Ford versus the world. That’s what Ford’s 1960s-era entries into the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans races should have been called. Famed for their rivalry with perennial sports car favorite Ferrari during that era, Ford actually took on all of the top racecar makers of the world, not just Ferrari, and they still came out on top. The storied marque’s incredible GT40 racecar went on to dominate race circuits globally and is considered one of the best racing machines of all time.
Five decades later, Ford looked to celebrate their 1966 Le Mans win with a high-tech descendant of the GT40, the Ford GT. This modern take on the GT40 also took first place at the 2016 running of the famed 24-hour race. A limited number of streetable examples of the Ford GT were made available, each snapped up the instant they were available for order. This is where the featured vehicle you see here comes into play.
The Ford GT Mk II was created to be the most powerful Ford GT ever produced. Building upon the tradition of the Ford GT’s success in historic races, the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, this latest Mk II iteration is made without the limitations of motorsport regulations, which means it is powered by an upgraded, unfettered 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 EcoBoost engine that unleashes over 700 horsepower. Combined with race-proven aerodynamics and incredible handling characteristics, this track-only supercar is the one to own.
TAMIYA TT-02 FORD GT40 MKII
At a cool $1.2 million dollars apiece, you’d think there would be at least a few cars still available to order. That would be wrong. Ford only made 45 of these monsters and they are all spoken for already. Good thing for us, however, that Tamiya introduced their own highly detailed 1/10-scale radio controlled version of this sought-after racecar.
Tamiya’s RC model assembly kit recreates the 2020 Ford GT Mk II track-only supercar. The accurately depicted Ford GT MK II body is made of polycarbonate with an ABS plastic wing and mirror pieces, which sits on top of the company’s ever-popular and builder-friendly TT-02 entry-level on-road chassis.
Building the GT40 kit is a simple, enjoyable process. Like many of Tamiya’s RC kits, the instructions are detailed, and parts are laid out in a logical fashion. Minimal tools are needed, with most screws being a #2 “regular” sized cross-type design. Other than that, we would suggest a pair of flush cut trimmers for the plastic parts. Part fitment is spot-on, as can be expected from a Tamiya kit. The company uses high-quality plastics throughout the model, so durability isn’t ever a question.
Tamiya includes their latest TBLE-04S ESC with the kit. The TBLE-04S has been improved compared to its predecessor, the TBLE-02S, by providing more output power and weighing in at almost 10 grams less. The TBLE-04S can be configured to power both brushed and brushless motors. The TT-02’s tub chassis easily accommodates a 7.4V LiPo battery pack or a 6-cell NiMH pack depending on your preference.
Battle Hardened Look
The Ford GT40 Mk II body included in the kit is extremely accurate, with plenty of detailed Ford launch livery decals to finish it off. As you can see here, this GT40 was custom painted and weathered by RC Patina Guy, who is famous for making RC vehicles look worn and distressed. RC Patina Guy decided to paint this GT40 in an iconic livery reminiscent of the 1960s Gulf Racing colors and added his signature patina to it. The look is decidedly battle worn, perhaps depicting what this racecar would have looked like after doing battle and racing a hard 24 hours at Le Mans.
ON THE ROAD
The real Ford GT40 Mk II is a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive design, but the RC version goes a different route with its TT-02 4WD layout. The four-wheel-drive capability provides excellent stability and smooth performance, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a capable on-road kit. The TT-02’s 4WD system provides plenty of grip while driving and the supplied treaded tires make it easy to carry speed. This kit includes a silver can 540 motor and friction-style shocks.
There are quite a few TT-02 chassis kits available, and for good reason. The chassis itself is easy to build, made from great materials, and can be set up in multiple ways to accommodate different bodies and driving styles. Most importantly, the TT-02 is fun to drive, making it an excellent base for this awesome kit.
TAMIYA tt-02 Ford GT40 mkII VEHICLE SPECS
Shocks: Plastic, friction-type
Suspension: Double wishbone front and rear
Transmission: Direct-drive motor to center spur
Differentials: Gear type, front and rear
Driveshafts: Composite dogbones
Bearings: Plastic and copper bushings
Body: Polycarbonate, unpainted
Wheels: 2-tone mesh
Tires: Tamiya slicks
ESC: Tamiya TBLE-04S
Motor: 540 brushed
Once again Tamiya has done a great job of capturing the details of a highly sought-after racecar and brings it to life in 1/10-scale RC form. The detailed body decals, down to the wheels and tires, most definitely do the full-sized GT40 Mk II justice. As with many of Tamiya’s TT-02 offerings, the kit has a great price tag and has tons of potential for upgrades, making it a wonderful choice for anyone from model builders and collectors that want a great-looking, drivable scale model to beginning and advanced RC enthusiasts who want a capable on-road racing kit.
Source: Tamiya tamiyausa.com
Text by James York and RCCA Staff
Images by Leigh Guarnieri