Rui Macedo Silva was delighted to receive a late entry to Revival with his Ford GT40 Roadster just a few days before Revival, says Jonathan Brewin of Gelscoe Motorsport, who looks after the car: ‘He’d been down in the dumps, especially as his son Pedro had an entry with his T70. When he got the call, he was ecstatic.’
Only four GT40 Roadsters were built by Ford, and this particular car completed Le Mans testing before being entered into the Targa Florio rally. That’s where the first chapter of this car’s life came to an end: it lost a wheel, causing it to crash and cause quite extensive damage to the chassis. It went into storage, only resurfacing around seven or eight years ago.
‘We managed to save about 80 per cent of the chassis,’ says Jonathan, ‘and we located some original panels for a Roadster – the doors and the tail.’ That gave them a good start, as did access to some original drawings to remake the parts that were beyond saving. Slightly less successful was a trip to Los Angeles where they hoped to take photos and measurements from another Roadster. ‘Unfortunately, when we got there they didn’t let us do anything, all we could do was look and touch!’
Once the car was rebuilt a few years ago, its very first outing was at the Goodwood Revival. That was when the car was with its previous owner, Philip Walker. ‘The goal was to get it finished and running, and get an entry here. I think he came about 10th or 11th, but he was really pleased.’
It has been back many times, and the Revival is one of the few exceptions that Silva makes to his usual rule of only racing in hot climates. The unique atmosphere of Goodwood is enough of a pull to risk enduring lower temperatures. Thankfully, the sun has shone over Goodwood most of the weekend so far.
Photography: Pete Summers