Replica fulfils boyhood dream

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Accomplishment .. Brian Stewart, of central Dunedin, and his 1966 Ford GT40 replica.

Q: Where and when was it built?

I built it with Classic Car Developments in Invercargill. It took almost 19 years and we finished it in March last year.

Q:Why did you decide to build this type of car?

I fell in love with them when I was a 14-year-old boy and they won at Le Mans in 1966. It’s a fulfilment of a boyhood dream.

Q: Has chasing a dream been as satisfying as you had hoped?

It is – it’s fantastic – it gets so much interest wherever it goes. It’s a work of art.

I couldn’t afford to own the real thing several millions of dollars. It’s built from Ford blueprints so it’s as close to the real thing as you’ll get without spending millions.

Q: How much did your car cost to make?

If I wanted to build another one today, it would cost me between $400,000 and $500,000.

Q: What is the significance of the numbers painted on it?

The registration number and car roundel numbers are in recognition of GT40P 1046, the chassis number of a car that was driven to victory in the 1966 Le Mans 24 hour race by New Zealanders Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon.

Q: What’s it like to drive?

Just like the originals – hot, noisy and it leaks like a sieve in the rain but it handles brilliantly and driving it is huge fun. It’s surprisingly comfortable and it is possible to hold a conversation with your passenger travelling at 100kph – just.

Q: How fast is it?

It accelerates from zero to 100kph in just under four seconds and has a top speed of about 265kph.