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Peter Lombardo

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About Peter Lombardo

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    MCM Ohana
  • Birthday 06/14/1949

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  • Website URL http://www.cmaads.com

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  • Location Morris Plains, New Jersey
  • Full Name Peter

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Peter Lombardo's Activity

  1. Peter Lombardo added a post in a topic Winning Ford GT's   

    Okay, I think all the pictures are finally there..... so sorry for the screw up.  Let me know if they are visible ... and please take the time to read the story along with the pictures.   Thanks
  2. Peter Lombardo added a post in a topic Winning Ford GT's   

  3. Peter Lombardo added a post in a topic Winning Ford GT's   

    My son is playing with the privacy settings for these images. In the mean time, try clicking on the link above.
  4. Peter Lombardo added a post in a topic Winning Ford GT's   

    Okay, let me work on fixing the issues
  5. Peter Lombardo added a post in a topic Winning Ford GT's   

    I don't know why... they are all there, all 24 of them.   I see them on two different computers
  6. Peter Lombardo added a topic in Under Glass   

    Winning Ford GT's
    The Ford GT40.   Without a doubt, one of my 5 favorite cars ever built.  Ford Cobra’s, roadsters and coupes, all Corvettes, Ferrari 250 GTO’s and Jaguar E Types, roadsters and coupes.  Sure, there are plenty of other great cars out there of all stripes, but for me, these 5 are exceptional and the pinnacle for what they were, and still are, in the history of motor sports.
    I think most of you older “car guys” out there are fully aware of how these GT40 race cars came to be, but here is a short-abbreviated history for anyone not up to speed on the project that would lead to 4 consecutive victories at Le Mans in 1966, 67, 68 and 69. 
    In 1963, Henry Ford II decided and then wanted to go racing internationally.  Prior to this, the “Big 3”, GM, Ford and Chrysler, had all agreed to concentrate on domestic racing dealing primarily with NASCAR and Drag Racing (Drag Racing was mostly a “backdoor” project in that support to drag racers was on the down-low).
    Ford saw that Enzo Ferrari was looking to possibly sell his auto empire and old Henry saw this as the prefect opportunity to go racing in Europe.  Negotiation’s went fairly well until they hit a sticking point. Now depending on who you believe, there are two different stories (at least two, maybe more) why the talks broke down.  One is that Enzo demanded that he retain control of the Ferrari racing program.  Since the racing program was the plum that Henry wanted, talks broke off.  The other story centers around the fact that Ford, if the deal went through, would not allow Ferrari to race in the Indy 500 and compete against the Ford backed Lotus entries so Enzo pulled out of the talks.  Personally, I believe it was the control of the racing team that was the real reason, but either way, the deal was off.  Henry feeling betrayed by Enzo, after spending millions on full audits of Ferrari’s books, in a fit of rage, decided that if he could not have Ferrari, the next best thing was to beat Ferrari.  And, at the time, Ferrari was the dominant force at Le Mans (winning 4 years in a row up to that point and a total of 6 years straight, 1960 to 1965).  Henry, flush with surplus cash, gave an open checkbook to his team and told them to spare no expense, just beat and humiliate Ferrari on their home turf.
    Ford had successful racing programs on a number of fronts, and especially with Carroll Shelby doing very well in sports car racing with his Cobra’s and Mustang GT350R’s, but Henry wanted a different animal for international racing.  Talks began with Lola Cars, Lotus and Cooper.  Ford was partnered with Lotus in their Indy program, but Colin Chapman of Lotus was an advocate of smaller lighter cars and that did not fit into Fords vision.  Lola was already using Ford engines in the Lola MK6, (A/K/A Lola GT) so it seemed to be the natural starting point.  Eric Broadley, the man behind Lola Cars, sold Ford two chassis’ and contributed his expertise to the project.  
    In 1964, the new Ford GT, dubbed the GT40 because that was the very low height of the roof from the ground in inches, made a very lackluster debut at Le Mans failing to have a car complete the race with a team run by John Wyer.  Disappointed by the result, the team was handed off to Carroll Shelby by Henry Ford.  Shelby’s team made major changes to the vehicle although many of the changes were not all that visible.  The air flows in, around and through the car were corrected.  Brakes, wheels, suspension and transmissions were revised.  In 1965, Shelby brought a team of 6 GT40’s and also 5 Cobra Daytona coupes to Le Mans.  All of the GT40’s failed to finish the race and 4 of the Daytona coupes did not finish either, but chassis #2299 finished 8th overall and first in the GT5 class (P.S. chassis #2299 is my next project that I just started.)
    For 1966, all would be very different.  The Ford Factory brought no less than 8 GT40’s to Le Mans with a concerted effort to finally “de-throne” Ferrari.  Cars 1, 2, 3 and 4 were entered by Shelby American, cars 5 and 6 were prepared, crewed and entered by Holman and Moody and cars 7 and 8 were prepared by Alan Mann Racing of Great Brittan but prepared in Shelby’s shop in California.  All cars were the new Mark IIa design and were basically equal in every way.  The biggest change incorporated into the Mark IIa GT40 design was to the driveline where it underwent a major metamorphosis.  Gone were the 4.7-liter engines replaced by the venerable 7-liter NASCAR proven 427 big blocks.  These cars are identified by the larger air intakes for improved breathing in the rear and the unique snorkel ducting for the rear brake cooling. These engines gave a huge power advantage to the GT40’s over the smaller engine Ferraris.  The Italian cars could not match the speed of the American entries and fell by the wayside trying.  In the end, Ford took the now famous 1-2-3 finish at the Le Mans 1966 race amide a controversy that still lingers today. Chassis number P1015, the very car that won the 1966 Daytona race, also with Ken Miles at the wheel was well ahead with a few laps left in the race.  Chassis number P1046 in 2nd place roughly 3 laps behind, and chassis number P1016 was just behind that in 3rd place.   Here is where it gets a bit murky.
    It has been reported that the public relations people at Ford saw a huge photo opportunity.  They wanted to have all three cars finish the race together to have a great all Ford finish photo to put the final stamp on the Ford dominance of the race.  So, race leader Ken Miles was ordered to slow down and allow the other two cars to “catch-up”.  He did that, and so on a rain dampened Sunday afternoon in France, 3 Ford cars crossed the line together…… but why in the many pictures of the finish from many angles is the #2 car, the black car driven by Amon and McLaren ahead of the light blue #1 car of Miles and Hulme?  The official story (I have read in many different places) has always been that because the #2 (black) car started from 50 meters further back on the grid, it traveled a greater distance, so in theory it did travel further, but the actual pictures show a different scenario altogether.  That would only hold up if the #1 car, the light blue car of Miles and Hulme crossed the line just feet ahead of the #2 black car.  In that case, the argument of the further back starting grid position makes sense.  But because the #2 car physically finished ahead of the #1 car, the car of Amon and McLaren actually did win the race outright and no bogus claim about the starting grid position matters.  Clearly there is another force at work here.
    It was well known at the time that Henry Ford II did not like Ken Miles for whatever reason.  Miles was the guy who did nearly all of the development driving work on the Cobra’s and GT40’s. Miles won the Daytona race in 1966 in Chassis P1015 a Mark II 7-Liter car painted white with a flat black hood along with Lloyd Ruby and followed it up with a win at Sebring in chassis number (GT/110A which was renumbered X-1) as a Mark II Prototype roadster with the 7-liter engine also co driving with Lloyd Ruby.  So here is Ken Miles with a few laps to go holding a three-lap lead in the 1966 Le Mans race about to become the only man in history to win those three races in the same year and he is denied most likely due to a petty personality conflict with Henry Ford II.  Clearly Miles was angry with the race order to slow down to allow the others to catch up but why would he have allowed Amon and McLarens car to pass him at the finish?  I believe he was ordered to allow Amon and McLaren to win the race.  Any other situation makes no sense.  Miles knew where he was on the track and he had to know where the number 2 car was also. 
    All these years, Ford and Shelby until his death, has stuck to the story about the French claim that the McLaren/Amon car traveled further, but the many camera angles don’t lie, Miles had to have been ordered to take second, and if so, that is an even bigger travesty due to the fact that months later, Miles was killed in California while doing the development work on the terrible handling and obviously dangerous Ford designed J-Car.  The car that would go on to win the 1967 Sebring and Le Mans races once Phil Remington redesigned the car.  I know, it means nothing, but it is interesting to speculate.   
    The 1967 Ford Mark IV.  My favorite of all of the cars that either bare the name Ford GT40 or are forever linked to the dynasty of the mark.  Many writers have expressed thoughts that technically the Mark IV is not descended from the GT40.  The chassis is different, the body is similar, but clearly different.  But seriously, a Corvette C1 is not even close to a C5, 6 or 7, but they are descent from the same place, the same thinking, the same genius and without a Corvette C1, could there even be a C2, or C3, etc….?   The Mark IV is, in my mind the ultimate expression of the GT40.  Longer, sleeker and faster.  It was clocked on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans at 212 mph, a good 15 mph over the Mark IIb.  This car (the Mark IV) only raced two times (Sebring 1967 and Le Mans 1967) and it won both times before the rule changes outlawed its power advantage and the cars in the J series were relegated to being museum pieces.
    After 1967, The Ford Factory lost direct interest in the quest to dominate European racing, but the Ford GT40 was not finished yet. Under the experienced hand of John Wyer and the Gulf Racing Team the GT40 sporting the smaller 4.7-Liter V8 (the engine used in the Daytona Coupe) returned to Le Mans in 1968 and 1969 to challenge the new rising star of Sports Car Racing, Porsche.  Chassis number P1075 won in both years, completing the sweep of 4 consecutive years and if I am not mistaken, this is the only time that the same chassis number car won twice at Le Mans, and if so, which I am pretty sure it is, it is just another major example of what a magnificent car the GT40 is.
    So, in a mini-tribute to the magnificent Ford GT40, I have built, what I think are the major players in the many victories that this vehicle has won. 
    1.      Chassis Number P1015 as it raced and won the 1966 Daytona 24 Hour Endurance race with Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby driving.  This is the Mark II configuration of the car. The rear brake snorkels removed, fuel filler relocated, the rear air duct has a splitter and the front air diffuser is reshaped.  Decals from Pattos Place and the paint is rattle-can flat black and gloss white which is cleared with Future.
    2.      Chassis Number GT/110A, changed to X-1 as it raced and won in Sebring 1966 also with Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby driving.  This is a Fujimi coupe kit that I converted, many, many years ago to a roadster (somewhere around 20 years ago).  I vacuum formed the new windshield and added the higher rear spoiler with supports.  I forget where I got the decals now, it may have been Fred Katy, I don’t remember. Paint is Tamiya Red topped with Tamiya clear red and then Future.  
    3.      Here are the 1 – 2 – 3 finishers in the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hour Endurance race.  Black #2 Chassis # P1046.  This is a Fujimi kit which I opened up the rear cover and added full engine detail.  The engine block is a modified Revell Parts-Pac Ford 427.   The exhaust “nest-of-snakes” is made out of solder.  I fabricated the oil and transmission coolers and made the oil tank.  The rear suspension was modified with anti-roll and side torsion bars.  Painted in rattle-can black cleared with Future and the decals are the kit supplied set.  P.S.  If you have ever built one of the Fujimi GT40 kits you know how tight, and difficult the body is to get over the chassis…. Once you open the rear though, it becomes almost impossible to get the top and the rear cover to match up again being so tight, the two ends of the car do not want to meet in the middle.)
    4.      This the second-place car, chassis P1015, same car that won Daytona earlier in the year, this time sporting number 1 and painted pale blue driven by Miles and Hulme in the Mark IIa configuration.  The car is airbrushed with a custom pale blue I mixed with Tamiya paints and cleared with Future.  The decals are an after-market set from Renaissance mainly because they have the proper Day-Glo orange/red “flames” where the kit supplied set has plain orange.  As a side note, these “flames” were added to the car because of a near serious pit crew accident because there was another light blue car in the pits and the crews could not tell which was which and a crew member got struck when he did not expect one of the cars to be moving.  I really like the flames, they give a boring pale blue paint job some life.
    5.      Cars 1 and 2, above, were Shelby entered and Shelby crewed vehicles, car number 5, chassis #P1016 was sponsored by Essex Wire Corp and entered by Holman and Moody.  This car is painted Gold with Pink “flames” up front and a Pink Diamond on the right rear quarter for quick identification for the crew (very distinctive).  This car finished 3rd and was piloted by Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson.  After the race, Ford sent a letter to Holman and Moody thanking them for their solid effort, great finish and the fact that they fully accepted their role as a “back-up” team to Shelby.  
    6.      This is chassis XGT1 also a Mark IIa car (crazy numbering system by Shelby, don’t you think?  All over the place) This car did not complete the race (DNF) out on lap 81.  It is the second of the two GT40’s entered by Alan Mann Racing of the UK, and obviously with its number 8, it was the last of the 8 Factory GT40’s entered.  This car was driven by John Whitmore and Frank Gardner.  I did this car for two reasons, I wanted race cars from all three teams entering “Factory” GT40’s for 1966 and I like the yellow and black stripe paint scheme better than the number 7 car which was silver with a flat black hood.  Fujimi GT40 kit, after-market decals from Renaissance with rattle-can paint cleared with Future.  This car is owned by the Simeone Foundation Museum in Philly who also own the prototype (the very first of the 6 examples of the famous race car) Cobra Daytona Coupe car, the only one built entirely in the Shelby Factory in California and Ford GT40 Mark IV, chassis J8, which also raced in the 1967 Le Mans but DNF.  
    7.      My favorite.  This is the Ford GT Mark IV.  This car won the 1967 Le Mans race with Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt sharing the driving duties and currently resides at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan (where it belongs).  This is chassis #J5.  The “J” stands for the “FIA Group Six, Appendix J regulations”.  This is the only Ford GT completely designed, powered and built by Americans.  Henry Ford wanted to win Le Mans with an all-American team (is this where Gurney got the idea for his “All American Racers” race team?) with all American drivers.  The development of this car was very costly, difficult and tragic in that Ken Miles lost his life while test driving it hard to find the areas that needed correcting.  As mentioned earlier, Phil Remington, an old “Hot Rodder” was assigned the task to correct the aerodynamics of the flawed design, and in short order using mainly his eyes, experience and knowledge of what works best, he reshaped the car into a world beater. This is a resin kit from Renaissance.  A bit expensive, but worth every penny to me.  This has a lot of photo-etched details and a great set of decals.  It can be built as the number 1 car or the yellow number 2 car…. Obviously, I wanted to build the winning #1 car.  The windshield and headlight covers were a “bear” to fit that had to be cut from vacuum formed flexible clear plastic without any alignment aids to speak of, very difficult.  Painted Tamiya Red and also cleared with Future.  And yes, I am certain that some of you sharp eyed guys out there will notice that the “Gurney Bubble” on the roof is a little too far forward…. Sorry, the super glue set up much too fast on that part and I could not remove it and the photo-etch surround and reset without serious damage.  And as a side note, Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt after winning the race, were given the customary magnums of Champagne to “toast the victory”.  Dan doesn’t know why, but after taking a swig or two he got the crazy idea to put his thumb over the top of the bottle, shake it up and spray it down on the crowd and photographers below, and so a tradition that carries on today was born that day. 
    8.      1968, after the 1967 race, Ford Motor Company had achieved their stated goal in 1966 and 1967, so they pulled out their factory support and allowed the privateers to carry the banner.  John Wyer was having success racing Ford GT40’s in Europe and he wanted to get back to Le Mans.  Taking the lightweight Mirage variant of the GT40 and using the smaller block engine due to new regulations and a variation of the Mark I rear cover design, John entered a few cars into the 1968 Le mans.  Chassis number M-10003 was modified and renumbered as GT40 P/1075 and it won the race.  Here is my model of that car, number 9 in Gulf Oil colors.  It is a Fujimi kit which has a strange design.  All of the Mark IIa kits are curb-side kits with no engine detail and basically one-piece bodies.   The 1968 kit is also a curb-side engineless kit, but it has a two-piece body.  Obviously, it just screams out for an engine and detailed engine bay.  Harold Bradford of Historic Racing Miniatures, makes a great resin cast engine that just plugs into the chassis.  Years ago, I purchased the Fujimi kit of the 1969 car, then added a couple of resin cast GT40 doors I found and this engine kit along with a photo-etch sheet with plans to build it up.  But this is the 1968 car (same chassis car, but slightly different details.) and I wanted to add an engine into this car too.  Again, I back up to about twenty years ago.  Back when I purchased the Gunze Sangyo curb-side Cobra Daytona Coupe kit I was talking to the owner of Thunder Valley Models who was selling a detail kit of the 1969 GT40 that won Le Mans.  He had a resin small block engine, 4 cast metal weber carbs and cast metal heads for the engine.  I was able to talk him into selling me two of the engine sets with the anticipation of dropping one into the Cobra Coupe.  Before I was ready to begin the Cobra, Harold Bradford of HRM announced that he was offering a full detail kit of the Cobra Coupe.  I spoke to Harold and he very graciously offered to sell me just the engine and under hood detail parts I would need to convert the curb-side kit into a full detail model.  That freed up the two resin blocks, so one of them found its way into my build-up of the 1968 Le Mans winning GT40.  Chassis number P/1075 driven to victory by Pedro Rodriquez and Lucien Bianchi.  My version has the Thunder Valley resin block and Webers and I once again fabricated the “nest of snakes” exhaust out of solder and most of the serious engine bay details. Painted in rattle can pastel blue and orange (under the front nose section where the decals stop) and topped with Future.
    9.      And finally, the winning 1969 car this time numbered 6 also in Gulf Oil colors.  The same chassis number car as the 1968 winner, with minor detail changes, P/1075 this time driven by Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver.  This kit is obviously also the Fujimi kit but this has the addition of resin doors and the great resin engine detail kit by HRM along with a Studio 27 photo-etched sheet. I very carefully cut out the two door openings and fabricated hinges for the doors.  I made a hinge for the rear section and added a fair amount of detail to the engine bay.  Painted with the same rattle-can colors, Fujimi decals and topped with Future.
    Interestingly, the first three victories were pretty easy for the GT40’s in that they had a wide margin of victory as they were the clear class of the field.  But by the very end 1969 race, the handwriting was on the wall.  The margin of victory in 1969 was quite literally seconds as the soon to be dominant Porsche’s were showing their muscle and making it clear that they would be a force to be reckoned in the future.  The Ford GT40 had proven that if an auto manufacturer set their mind and resources on a racing goal it could be achieved, and in a fairly short amount of time.  Carroll Shelby clearly was an automotive and racing genius.  His vision, dogged toughness and tenacity carried Ford to the very pinnacle of sports car racing in the 1960’s.  Amazing.     
    • 16 replies
  7. Peter Lombardo added a post in a topic Ford GT-40 Mark II #98   

    Curt.... I love it... it is the model of the Ford GT that I need to get....You did your usual great job on it.  this is the last Ford GT I need to build.... Looks perfect.
  8. Peter Lombardo added a post in a topic 1953 Cutaway Corvette   

    Sure Howard, we can do that..... now the back story of the car has two pieces to it.  The first 26 1953 Corvettes ( project named "Opel") were hand assembled in an out of the way customer delivery  garage in Flint.  The first 3 cars were assigned to Chevrolet.  Cars chassis 001 and 002 joined the GM caravan of show cars that traveled the USA.  car #003 ( which this represents, sort of) was used as the factory test vehicle and was subjected to all kinds of terrible misuse.  Driven to the brink of destruction by the GM engineering staff for weeks. At the end of the tests, the car was rebuilt with a brand new chassis.  It is then said that the original body of #003 was used on a car campaigned by NASCAR.  The frame, it is said, remained in Warren Michigan, there is a void in its whereabouts at this point.  In 1977, an attorney in the Michigan Attorney Generals office purchased a 1955 Corvette and when he sent it to a repair shop for rebuilding they uncovered the fact that the chassis under the 1955, was actually chassis #003, from 1953.  It is not clear how it got there, but it was clearly stamped in two places #003.  The attorney had the re builder find a replacement 1955 chassis and the car was rebuilt with that.  The chassis #003 was offered for sale and it was purchased by Ed Foss the owner of the Foss Collection of Roanoke, Indiana.  He commissioned the Corvette Repair Shop (Corvette Repair) in Valley Stream, NY to build the cutaway car we have here..... if you google cutaway corvette you will find the full story on this, if you are interested.  I truncated to story here, but it is very unique and interesting to view the pictures of the actual car..... P.S., since the photos of the model were taken, I added the horn to the left front area and the dual hinges on the left side for the trunk and the lowered convertible top storage area just behind the seats.   again, thanks for the kind words. 
  9. Peter Lombardo added a post in a topic 1953 Cutaway Corvette   

  10. Peter Lombardo added a post in a topic La Freccia The Arrow   

  11. Peter Lombardo added a post in a topic La Freccia The Arrow   

    The images are so big that some of the photos are compressed.... too bad.
  12. Peter Lombardo added a post in a topic La Freccia The Arrow   

  13. Peter Lombardo added a post in a topic La Freccia The Arrow   

  14. Peter Lombardo added a topic in Under Glass   

    La Freccia The Arrow
    built on a Ferrari 612 chassis
    • 9 replies
  15. Peter Lombardo added a post in a topic 1953 Cutaway Corvette   

    it took some doing, but I got them in.            Finally!