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Excellence in an Early ERA GT40

ERA Replica Automobiles GT40

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller on BringaTrailer.com

At a glance, you’d think you’re looking at a beautiful new GT40 replica from one of the top manufacturers. The proportions are spot-on, the paint is honest, yet eye-catching and the GT’s attitude easily leaves you in awe. But if you know anything about ERA Replica Automobiles, you know that the ERA GT has been out of production for years. While replicas too often show their age compared to the newest offerings, there are almost no physical clues that this GT40 replica has been thrashing around for at least 25 years.

The ERA GT has a great reputation in the replica market, and it’s easy to see why after pouring over the details on this example for auction on BringaTrailer.com. After a quarter century, 4,200 miles and plenty of track time, this ERA GT still looks brand new, and will certainly command a healthy price in this internet auction. But beyond visual appeal, what is it that makes the ERA GT so good

From the inside out, the ERA GT reflected the original to an extremely high degree. The car was built on a stainless steel semi-monocoque chassis with a bit more protection and space built into the cockpit. ERA’s front and rear suspension designs echo the originals, while incorporating a few improvements in materials, bearings, brakes, shocks and more. The ERA GT is capped off with a hand-laid fiberglass body, which ERA claims will maintain an excellent shape for many years thanks to random fiberglass-mat patterning.

ERA Replica Automobiles is still in business, manufacturing Slabside, 289 FIA and 427 Cobra roadster kits, but discontinued production of the ERA GT in its MkI, MkII and MkII Spyder configurations. ERA’s company website states the following:

“Sorry, but we are no longer taking orders for the ERA GT. We simply couldn't make money at the level of production we had, and it wasn't practical to raise our price to a position of profit without completely killing almost all sales.”

The company’s FAQ section states that 70 ERA GTs had been constructed by the time the section was written, and they were being built at a rate of eight GTs per year.

First registered in 1994, this ERA GT on BringaTrailer.com is an early example with its fair share of use, but even so, we’re predicting strong numbers. It’s powered by a freshly rebuilt Ford small block displacing 322 cubic inches. The powerplant is based on a four-bolt-main Dart block with AFR aluminum cylinder heads, 10.7:1 ratio pistons, an Edelbrock RPM Air-Gap intake and a 650 cfm Holley four-barrel. Listening to the seller’s start-up video, its clear the GT has a unique, raspy tone. That soundtrack is thanks to the GT’s true “bundle of snakes” exhaust arrangement, which evenly spaces individual exhaust pluses. This particular model is also equipped with Super Trapp mufflers.

This ERA GT is positioned somewhere in between dedicated track car and road-legal showpiece. The car is set up to fulfill both rolls with air-conditioning, windshield wipers and striking looks for the street, and a standard four-barrel carb, Avon CR6-ZZ tires and four-point harnesses for the track.

It’s quite a bit easier to approximate a selling price when you have close comparisons to draw on, and there’s a great comparison to draw on for this ERA GT. Back on September 12, 2017, an early ERA GT40 sold on BringaTrailer for $100,000. This car had considerably more miles and is likely outclassed a bit by the ERA we’re looking at today, so I’d assume it will take $115,000 to $125,000 to drop the hammer on the GT. That’s a ways off from its current high bid of $72,500, but a sale under $100K seems out of the question here.

See the ad here on BringaTrailer.com.

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