Gulf Pro

JASON FERRARO’S GT40 IS A HOME-BUILT SUPERCAR OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY

STORY BORIS VISKOVIC PHOTOS CHRIS THOROGOOD

I DIDN’T WANT THE 5.4 FORD MODULAR ENGINE BECAUSE IT WAS A BIT HEAVY AND SLOW. BUT THEN THE COYOTE WAS LAUNCHED!

A LOT of you are probably thinking: “Wait, what? Why is there a GT40 in Street Machine? This mag is for people who pour their blood, sweat and tears into building the best street machines in the land!” Well, that’s precisely what Jason Ferraro did with his car. Sure, the starting point wasn’t the usual Aussie or US production car, but the amount of engineering, fabrication and passion poured into this ride was no different, and like many cars featured in SM, it was built in the shed at home.

“I chose an RCR [Race Car Replicas] GT40 kit because I wanted an aluminium monocoque chassis, so that narrowed down the choice,” Jason says. “They also don’t use production A-arms; it’s all custom billet suspension.”

While the car looks like a ridgey-didge copy of the Le Mans GT40s, underneath the skin there are quite a few updates to add modern performance to the classic looks.

Blue Oval lovers will be pleased to hear that it’s Ford-powered as well, but that wasn’t always going to be the case: “Initially I was going to put in a 6.0-litre LS – I actually bought the engine and everything,” Jason says. “I didn’t want the 5.4 Ford modular engine because it was a bit heavy and a bit slow. But then the Coyote was launched! I wanted a Ford transaxle as well, so that’s why I chose the Ricardo transaxle, which is out of a 2006 Ford GT supercar. It also bolted right up to the Coyote with no adapter plates and uses a Ford twin-plate clutch and flywheel. It was really important to me to have a good driveline.

The only problem was the cost of the transaxle; apart from the chassis it’s the most expensive part of the car.”

Calling this a kit car seems a little bit demeaning; it implies that it came in a box and Jason just bolted it together, and that perhaps the finished product is a mish-mash of parts and ideas. But that is not the case at all. Not only has this car copped a fair bit of customisation, the quality of the parts and the attention to detail that Jason has lavished on this GT40 is truly amazing.

It wasn’t just about how the finished product

I DIDN’T WANT TO DRIVE AROUND IN A CANOE, AND THAT’S WHAT I ALWAYS THINK OF WHEN I SEE FIBREGLASS THAT’S GOT THE MATTING UNDER IT


looked; it had to function as well as if it had come off the factory floor.

“When I first built the car there was a problem with the gearbox; it would occasionally baulk on third and fourth shifts, and I was about to send it back to the US. At the last minute I opened up the side of the gearbox and I could see what was wrong and was able to fix it myself for about $15,” Jason says. “It’s a beautiful ’box and absolutely stunning to use. I used an original Ford Racing short-shift inside the car and machined up all the billet parts to mount it in the centre console, so what you end up with is an OE transmission shift quality.”

Another part of the build that impressed me was how well all of the wiring and plumbing has been routed. Modern engines quite often look like a dog’s breakfast with all of the wires and hoses running everywhere – hence the need for plastic covers – but Jason has managed to make the 5.0-litre Coyote look pretty tidy. “I pulled the whole engine harness apart and re-routed it to reduce how much runs around the top of the engine,” he explains. “There was a lot of work making billet parts to change where the coolant ran, and I changed the crossover because of where the alternator is mounted up high. You can’t see any of it but there’s a custom serpentine belt layout to fit the non-standard a/c compressor and alternator position.”

The other thing you may not notice is how the underside of the body has also been finished off nicely. Yeah, it’s painted satin black,

JASON FERRARO 2016 FORD GT40 REPLICA

Colour: PPG Gulf Racing blue/orange

DONK

Type: Ford Coyote 5.0L

Inlet: InnoV8 billet ITB Heads: Stock Valves: Stock Cam: Comp Cams Stage 3 Pistons: Mahle hard anodised, forged Crank: Stock forged steel Conrods: Manley H-beam Radiator: Race Radiators, custom design by owner Exhaust: Stainless headers by owner Ignition: Stock ECU: Haltech Elite 2500

SHIFT

’Box/diff: Ford Ricardo transaxle Clutch: Twin-plate

BENEATH

Springs: Hypercoil (f & r) Shocks: QA1 adjustable (f & r) Steering: Custom steering system Brakes: AP Racing; 343mm discs and six-spot calipers (f), 328mm discs and four-spot calipers(r)

ROLLING STOCK

Rims: BRM; 17x7 (f), 17x10 (r) Rubber: Hoosier; 225/45/17 (f), 315/35/17 (r)

THANKS

Haltech; Jason Bolger from TI Performance for the many late nights programming it all; SL Customs for paint application; PPG for all the support and quality product

but look how smooth and clean everything is. “I didn’t want to drive around in a canoe, and that’s what I always think of when I see fibreglass that’s got the matting under it,” Jason says.

“There were many hours of high-fill and finishing it – you can’t hide it in a GT40.”

When it came to painting the exterior, it was a no-brainer – Gulf Racing all the way. If you actually told someone you were going to paint your car light blue with a bright orange stripe down the middle, they’d probably think you had lost your mind, but for some reason the Gulf colour scheme just works. As Jason says: “There’s not many chances you get to paint the centre of your wheels orange and not look like a dickhead!”

Speaking of those wheels, while they look just like the ones used back in the 60s, they’re actually in a 17-inch diameter, which allows Jason to run much bigger brakes than a 15-inch rim would allow. To that end he has fitted 343mm AP Racing brakes and six-spot calipers to the front and 328mm with four-spots on the rear. There’s some fairly hefty rubber on board as well, with 225/45 Hoosiers up front and 315/35 out back.

Jason estimates the car is making upwards of 500hp at the motor with the upgraded cams and eight-stack injection, and with only 1100kg to push around, it’s got more than enough poke to keep him happy. With some 8000km on the clock, including a few laps around Phillip Island, it’s no surprise he’s on his second set of tyres already!

Given Jason’s mechanical engineering background and a long career supplying OEM manufacturers, it’s no surprise that this car looks like it’s been built by a team of professionals.

The good news for us is that Jason has recently started his own business, Renner Auto, creating modern replicas of some of the most iconic sports cars from the 50s, 60s and 70s. This means you can get all of the style with a modern chassis, engine and electrical system – guaranteed not to have any Lucas electricals! Check them out at www.rennerauto.com.au. s

THE CAR IS MAKING UPWARDS OF 500HP AT THE MOTOR, AND WITH ONLY 1100KG TO PUSH AROUND, IT’S GOT MORE THAN ENOUGH POKE