RCR 40s FAQs

Building a car, especially one like the RCR 40, sometimes raises lots of questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the RCR 40 cars. Please contact us if you'd like to see a specific question answered here.

What engines can be fitted?

The kit is designed to fit a wide range of Ford engines, from the 289 to the 7-liter big block. Other engines have been fitted, including one car with a Chevy LS7, but choosing a different engine than the standard means extra fabrication work, and custom headers and exhaust. Most every GT40 replica builder uses a 289, 302, or 351-based engine, as they look good, can make decent power, sound great, and fit best. The small-block Fords can now be punched out to a full 427 CI or 7 liters, to get the same size (but less weight) as the original 7-liter big blocks. For those who want a very modern Ford engine, the Coyote engine can be made to fit with a little work. 

What transaxles can be used?

The car was designed to fit a range of transaxles, including the popular ZF series from the Pantera and BMW M1. These are available from RBT Transmissions, and other sources now, setup for the RCR 40. Another option is the T44, though these are hard to find and not popular for a number of reasons.  Other transmissions can also be used, including the popular Porsche G50 series.  

Call the factory to discuss your preferred transaxle and other options- this is a detailed topic.

Do I need a special shifter?

The kit comes with a shifter that is cable operated like all modern cars, and can be used in either right-hand-drive or left-hand-drive cars, and can be configured as a center or side-shift setup.

What kind of exhaust do I need?

Every Ford-powered RCR 40 needs the iconic "bundle of snakes" exhaust as seen on the originals. These are readily available from RCR for your selected engine package. They can be fabricated in mild steel, or stainless, and with varying muffler and cat options as required. Contact the factory for details, options and a quote for your car when you order. Of course, if you have welding skills, you can make your own, or have an outside source make up a set to meet your specific needs.

What's the difference between the MKI and the MKII cars?

For our purposes, the MKI cars had slightly different bodywork, a different nostril in the front, different tail lights, and snorkels in the rear for brake cooling. Check the internet for pictures of MKIs and MKIIs for more details. The chassis, suspension and interior are the same for the two RCR 40 variants.

Will I melt in the car?  I heard GT40s are hot!

The Deluxe kit comes with air conditioning to keep you cool, no matter how hot it gets outside. Given decent sealing, the small cockpit size of a GT40 is easy to cool. And for those cool Fall days, the heater keeps you toasty as well!

What kind of brakes are on the RCR 40?

6-piston Wilwood calipers in the front grab 11.75" NASCAR-style steel rotors. In the rear, the 4-piston version is used. These are great racing brakes that are equally at home on the street, and are easy to rebuild when needed,  They have a wide range of pad options from Wilwood and the aftermarket. These are about the biggest brakes that can be fitted under the original 15" wheels.

How authentic is the RCR 40?

The body is created from a mold that was taken from an original car, so it is very accurate. The chassis is a monocoque design like the original, but instead of steel, is fabricated from aluminum for lighter weight, increased rigidity and resistance to corrosion. Likewise, the suspension resembles the original design, including the famous trailing arm design on the rear, but uses billet aluminum hubs and control arms instead of the spindly, weak fabricated steel tube arms of the past.

The RCR cars are pretty authentic, but are improved over the original cars in terms of strength, rigidity, comfort and reliability. If you want absolute authenticity, look at the cars at Gelscoe.  Then come back here when you get your breath back after you check the prices there.

Should I order a roll cage?  I plan to only drive on the street.

Probably not.  A roll cage that is exposed, as most are, isn't a good idea for the street. That's because, even with padding, the cage presents very hard surfaces to hit in an accident. In a race car, the driver is better restrained, and is wearing a helmet designed to mitigate some of these impacts. An unprotected driver on the street who is only belted in is more likely to be injured from contact with the cage.

A cage is a great idea in racing- in fact, it is mandatory. For the street, a hoop (standard in the Deluxe Plus kits) is preferable.

Will I fit in the car?  I'm a big guy!

The GT40 is a small car, but we have been able to fit people as large as 6'5" in the RCR40. One way we do that is to add a "Gurney bubble" to the car as an option. For those who don't remember, Dan Gurney was part of the Ford Le Mans effort, and unlike many drivers, was pretty tall. At 6' 4", and with a helmet, he didn't fit in the car, so the team added a sort of bubble to allow him to fit. Here's picture of a car with a Gurney bubble. Note that this one is riveted in, but many are installed with fiberglass resin and body plastic to make the bubble seamless.


What else do I need to complete my RCR 40?

Assuming you begin with the Deluxe Plus kit, as most builders do, you'll need the following:

  • Transaxle, clutch, flywheel, adapter plate, starter
  • Engine and related parts (fuel pumps, hose, fittings, etc.)
  • Exhaust- available from RCR, depending on your engine and transaxle choices
  • Paint
  • Tires
  • Battery
  • Miscelanious fasteners, adhesives, fluids, terminals, etc.

Please contact the factory to discuss your requirements for any or all of these.  While the factory does not sell engines, it sometimes has a supply of transaxles suitable for the RCR 40, and can recommend places to get everything else your car needs.