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						Ford V Ferrari Gt40 17
Own the Sound of Ford v Ferrari

GT40 sound engineering car from Ford v Ferrari

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

Classic cars are a visceral experience; we see them, feel them and of course hear them. So it’s impossible to understate the importance of sound effects in a good car guy movie. (If you’re missing the point, just think of what those terrible 18-gear shift driving scenes did to The Fast and the Furious.) Awarded an Oscar for best sound editing in 2020, it’s safe to say the film crew behind the 2019 drama Ford v Ferrari set a new standard for sound editing, and they owe much of that success to this Ford GT40, an exacting continuation car that served as the eight-cylinder soundtrack for all the GT40’s driving scenes.

Longtime readers will recall that cars seen in the film’s high-revving driving scenes were battle hardened stunt mules, completed without period-correct interiors and drivelines. In fact, most of the GTs seen on screen were powered by LS engines for improved reliability during hard filming days. But the modern fuel-injected LS wouldn’t fool even a causal Shelby fan, so the sound editing team was given the monumental task of tracking down an authentic GT40 to cover with microphones for a baseline of sound effects for the films numerous driving scenes, the final of which stretches on for nearly 30 minutes.

But that’s not exactly a small ask considering the monumental price tag attached to these rare classics, and the prolonged high-rpm sound sessions the crew would need to bring the excitement of Le Mans to your average moviegoer. That’s where this car comes in though, a spitting image of the MkII driven by Dan Gurney and Jerry Grant at Le Mans in 1966.

"One fellow in Ohio took a chance with us," sound editor Donald Sylvester told a panel of Oscar-nominated sound mixers and editors. "He built us. So, it's not a vintage car. It's a new GT40, but it's actual GT40 parts. This is his labor of love. He built this car by hand. It's the car you hear. It sounds amazing."

The car in question is a licensed Superformance continuation, chassis number 2134, but the extensive effort undertaken in the name of period correctness makes it a fitting choice, as one look down the spec sheet will reveal.

The engine is a 427 side-oiler, and the long block assembly was sourced brand new for the build. It’s topped by a 1966 medium-riser intake manifold and Holley 780 cfm carburetor with the correct turkey pan and Plexiglas air horn. The ’66 “baldie” valve covers finish off the mill and the iconic bundle-of-snakes exhaust system looks like a fitting piece for big-block soundtrack production.

From the correct ’66 air dam at the tip to the NOS Corvair lamps at the tail, this MkII continuation is just about as good as it gets, but there’s no denying the connection to Ford v Ferrari will always make this one just a little more special.

While most of the car’s performance takes place behind the scenes so to speak, there’s a bit of 2134 in every GT seen in the film, as the car’s soundtrack was used in both the small-block and big-block GTs throughout the film. The crew simply toned down the big-block sound effects for use in the 289-powered iterations. But putting the audience in the front seat with Christian Bale required a bit more than a few microphones around the exhaust.

"We had mics on the transmission housing and transaxles that gave us whines and different interior sounds. It was finding the right sounds for the right places, but we had a lot to work from," sound designer David Giammarco told The Hollywood Reporter.

Beyond a stunning and exacting MkII GT40, Superformance chassis No. 2134 and its 427 side-oiler engine have earned a permanent place among the best car films and movie cars out there. The price for a piece of Ford v Ferrari fame is a cool $389,900, offered here on eBay by The Throttlestop in scenic Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

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