The name of Terry Drury will need no introduction to fans of 1960s GT and saloon car racing – a highly accomplished driver, he was also one of the Ford development engineers behind the GT40.
Even after he had officially left the company, the Blue Oval continued to call on Drury’s engineering genius, notably in the early 1970s when he created the celebrated ‘Supervan’, a once-humble Mk1 Transit for which he crafted a tubular spaceframe fitted with a five-litre, 435bhp V8.
Flared arches and 15-inch wheels clad in Firestone race tyres put the power on the ground, while brakes from a Can-Am race car ensured the Supervan stopped as well as it went.
Drury’s appreciation of serious cubic inches had earlier led to him building one of the so-called ‘Fraud Cortinas’ for saloon car racer Terry Sanger, a flamboyantly modified machine also powered by a Ford V8 and allegedly clocked at more than 160mph… in 1966.
That was around the time that Drury himself was racing GT40s, first with chassis 1005 and then, for the 1968 season, chassis 1073 that he spun and crashed during the Monza 1000Kms.
“It is arguably a brand-new GT40 with genuine period parts”
Uncertain that the car could be repaired in time to contest the Targa Florio very soon afterwards, Drury used his contacts at Ford to obtain a new chassis but ended up rebuilding 1073 in time for the Sicilian event – meaning the replacement was surplus to requirements and was shelved in a barn at Drury’s Essex home for more than 35 years while business interests took him away from motor sport and into property development.
Having returned to the racing car world in the early 2000s, Drury decided to dust off the long-stored chassis and commence the slow process of piecing together what could be described as a ‘continuation’ GT40 using genuine parts sourced over the years through his Ford connections.
Sadly, however, Drury died in November 2017 before the project could be finished – but his sons Jack and Steven took it over with the aim of finishing the build.
By the end of last year that had been achieved, resulting in the essentially new GT40 pictured here, complete with rare, original front and rear magnesium uprights, a Gurney Weslake four-bolt engine, ZF-1 gearbox and flared wheel arches in the style of the 1968 Le Mans cars.
“It is, arguably, a brand-new GT40 built with a genuine Abbey Panels chassis and all period parts,” says Tim Schofield of Bonhams, which will sell the car at its Goodwood Members’ Meeting sale, when it is expected to realise more than £1m.
As this issue of Motor Sport went to press, Drury’s sons were preparing to start the car’s engine for the first time in order to bring this remarkable piece of racing history to life.
On sale at Bonhams, Goodwood Members’ Meeting sale on April 7
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