The Forgotten stories: Ford J-Car

Ford J-Car Le Mans Test 1966 – Bruce McLaren, Chris Amon

Ford J-Car – Chris Amon, Bruce McLaren, Le Mans 1966


The J-Car came from Dearborn, Michigan. But not from the famous Ford complex. It was built at a supplier’s shop across the street called Kar Kraft. Ford was planning the future and looking for a replacement for their soon-to-be winner GT40 Mk.II. Appendix J from the new FIA rule book allows a smaller interior, giving Michigan’s automaker a chance to develop a streamlined, lighter version of the Mk.II, hence the nickname: J-Car. The new model carries a unique chassis, using an innovative honeycomb aircraft aluminum panel bonded with epoxy resin and riveted in areas of high stress. Like always, Ford delivered chassis number two to Carroll Shelby.

The car performs a successful official shakedown at the 1966 Daytona 24 Hours, driven by Ken Miles. Later in the year, with some minor modifications in the body, Chris Amon set the fastest lap during testing in Le Mans. But sadly, months after the successful Ford campaign in France, Ken Miles was killed in a fiery crash while testing a lightened J-Car with the Shelby crew in Riverside, California. The cause of the accident remains a mystery. The Miles tragedy substantially affected the J-Car program, but it was not tossed. The last changes to the J-Car shaped the birth of the successful Ford GT40 Mk.IV. Eight more chassis were constructed, and many races were conquered.

The model you acquired is a replica of the car used in testing by Chris Amon and Bruce McLaren at Le Mans in 1966. It was commissioned by Electric Dreams and hand made by Modelant in Barcelona. This is a limited and numbered edition. One hundred copies were made, but only 50 were available. The other half stayed in Spain and was delivered to collectors. 

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