Despite being finished to a higher standard, it’s otherwise very true to the original. The original drawings and lots of photos were used to get it as close as possible. All the decals, for instance, are spot on right down to the 1960s Shell logo.
Mechanically, it’s just the same as the 1960s version. The Ford Crossflow is 1097cc, as the Class A rules of the National Sports Car Championship allowed cars up to 1100cc. It’s running on Weber carburettors and has race cams, a ported cylinder head and is lightened and balanced. “It will sound great at 8,000rpm!” The original car had more power – 93bhp versus 85bhp – because in those days they ran using avgas.
“There were lots of specials racing back then,” says Gordon, “but by about 1968 people started importing Lolas and Lotuses. You didn’t stand a chance against something like a Lotus 23.” After two successful seasons – winning his class several times – he stopped racing the IGM, but it had set him on a career-changing path.
In November of this year, around 40 Gordon Murray designed cars will be exhibited to celebrate his half century in the automotive industry. “This car is important as it’s the first one in the collection.”
Photography by Tom Shaxson