Ford GT40 MK II 7L prototype

During the test program with the already ultra fast small block GT 40, Ford decided to build, as a second generation GT 40, two 7 litre prototypes which would go even faster.The order to build this cars, GT 106 and GT 107, with the 427 CID engines was given to Kar Kraft, a company belonging to Ford.

Work started in July 1964 on GT 106 and was completed by May 1965.
GT 106 and GT 107 where 2 out of the 4 prototype chassis build out of thinner sheet metal -22 gauges instead of 24-gauges in an attempt to reduce weight.

These second generation MK II GT 40 were basically completely different cars. To cope with all the extra power of the big engine, a new 4- speed manual transmission including differential got developed by Kar Kraft, many chassis alterations had to be made to allow the big engine.

After extensive testing with GT 106 by Tom Payne and Ken Miles on Ford’s Romeo proving ground, reaching more then 210 Miles and further test’s on the Riverside track, the car returned to Kar Kraft. The car was completely stripped, rebuilt and prepared to be send to Le Mans for the 24 hour Race together with GT 107 and several other 289 GT 40`s.

The decision to take the 7 litre cars to Le Mans, which was only 4 weeks away, was taken after this impressive tests and the Le Mans Race would be the ultimate test. For the cars the time for preparation was so short that the cars where airlifted for all transports.
In Le Mans, the 7 litre GT 106 was driven by Bruce Mc Laren and Ken Miles. The car made the fastest lap in the race with a top speed of 342 kmh, was leading the race until the first fuel stop, regained the lead until it troped out after 4 hours with gear box problems. The sister car GT 107 driven by Phil Hill and Cris Amon droped out after seven hours with gear box problems as well.

Never the less the overvelming speed convinced the Ford management that the 7 litre car would be the future and so the MK II was born. The impressive victories proved it and the MK II became an icon.

Original article