It seems like such a good idea. We wonder why no one thought to lop the roof off a Ford GT before Kip Ewing, engineering supervisor for package and advanced concepts at Ford's SVT division, made it happen.
Those of you with long memories (or a GT40 fetish) will recall that Ford produced five open GT40s in 1965. Four were roadster versions of the existing coupe, and the other was the X-1, a wild, long-nosed, 427-cubic-inch V-8-engined machine with a cut-down windshield that was made for the United States Road Racing Championship. None were very successful, but the X-1 was rebodied to look like a Mark 2 roadster, in which guise it won the12 Hours of Sebring in 1966, driven by Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby.
Ewing is wild about that car, so he set about persuading his SVT bosses to make a roadster based on the current GT. "I did a bunch of renderings," he says, "plus a chop job on a 1:18-scale model. Then I went to [SVT boss] Hau Thai-Tang, proposed it as a SEMA [Specialty Equipment Market Association] car, and he OK'd the idea." By making the car for the SEMA show, Ewing says, "we could do things more aggressively than we can inside the system-we could just go off and do it."
Ewing then approached Genaddi Design in Green Bay, Wisconsin, a coachbuilding company that specializes in converting Rolls-Royce Phantoms.... Read full article