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2005 Ford GT
Manufacturer: Johnny Lightning
Release date 2007 (This one: Modern Muscle)
Catalog number: 011
Date Purchased: June 2007
Date Completed June 2008
Number in collection: 7

The Ford GT was probably one of the few American-made cars that can rightfully be considered a "supercar". It was sold in very limited numbers from 2004 to 2006. Inspiration for the car came from the original Ford GT40 race cars from the 1960's.

Johnny Lightning made a nice replica of the Ford GT, which I bought in 2007. Like other JL cars, they offer nice enough detail to look good as purchased. I've found that with a minimum of effort, can be made to look even nicer. Being an older issue, this is when their cars still had a metal chassis, as opposed to the plastic that the company uses today.

At the time I bought this car, I didn't have any way to drill out the rivets that usually hold the body and chassis together. I was able to detail the exterior, chassis, and engine (if provided) just as well as I do today. I had to leave the interiors pretty much alone, unless the car had an open top. I have decided to revisit these early cars, disassemble them, and add details that I wasn't able to add originally.

As I originally worked on this car before I started photographing them, pictures will be limited to ones taken during its recent changes.

Click to zoom Click to zoom
What I started with. Actual car I used for reference.

Disassembly was done by drilling out two body-to-chassis rivet at each end of the car. The parts breakdown is as follows:
  • The die-cast body, painted yellow. Emblems, lights, and lower body stripes are tampo-printed markings.
  • a black plastic, two-piece engine assembly. The air cleaner is a separate piece, with the remainder of the engine detail cast into the other.
  • An unpainted die-cast metal chassis. Wheels/tires and axles are held in place by cast pins, which have been pressed to hold the axles in place. There is a separate piece riveted near the front, which has front hood scoop detail. I saw no reason to separate this part.
  • Tires are soft and have printed whitewalls. Wheels are chrome-plated plastic, with black painted centers. Backing plates are black plastic, and have the ends of the axles riveted to the inside surface.
  • A black plastic one piece interior with seats, side panels, and engine detail moulded to it. There is also a separate dash and steering wheel. The dash has pins that attach to the interior by heat applied from underneath. The steering wheel appears to be glued to the dash. I was able to separate them without damage.
  • A single piece window assembly, which appears to have a light blue tint to it. It is riveted to the inside of the body, and I didn't remove it, as this wasn't necessary to detail the body, and I didn't want to risk damaging it.

I felt that the overall casting and printed markings were close enough to the actual car. After disassembling the car, only paint and foil were used to detail the car.

The following is a summary of the changes I made:
  • Wheels and tires: Sanded the tread surface with 220 grit sandpaper to simulate wear.
  • Chassis: Entire piece is painted Testors acrylic flat black. Exhaust system, suspension and floor pan details were painted with Tamiya flat steel, aluminum, and semi-gloss black.
  • Engine compartment (part of interior): I painted the sides of the compartment Testors acrylic flat black. Engine support brackets and supercharger housing are painted Tamiya aluminum.
  • Interior: All interior parts were first painted Testors acrylic flat black. Seats, door panels, and dash were covered with Testors acrylic semi-gloss black. Center console and door panel trim are painted Tamiya aluminum. Remaining interior details were highlighted with appropriate colors, using pictures of the actual car as a guide.
  • Body: Painted entire underside of body casting with flat black. Applied Bare-Metal foil to tail lights, then detailed with Tamiya clear red and Testors flat white. Door and other body panel lines are drawn in with a metal tipped 'quill' pen and black ink. Remaining exterior details were highlighted with appropriate colors, using pictures of the actual car as a guide.
Disassembled parts, before reassembly To the left is the car prior to re-assembly.

Assembly was completed by pressing the parts together, filling the old rivet holes with epoxy putty, and touching up the filled holes with paint to match the chassis plate.

Pictures of completed car (click to enlarge)

The proportions of the completed car look very close to the actual car. The table below shows how close they are.

Actual car 
(mm / in)
(mm / in)
Dimensions of actual car based on model scale
(mm / in)
Calculated scale based on model to actual car
Length 4643 / 182.8 75 / 2.96 4806 / 189.2 1:62
Wheelbase 2710 / 106.7 45 / 1.75 2850 / 112.2 1:61
Width 1953 / 76.9 32 / 1.27 1829 / 81.3 1:61
Height 1125 / 44.3 19 / .74 1196 / 47.1 1:60

Johnny Lightning cars are generally assumed to be 1:64, but as you can see, this one is closer to 1:61. This is the first Johnny Lightning car that I've checked that is a bit large. The opposite is usually true. At least the major dimensions are off by pretty much the same percentage, so the overall look of the car is good.

The only significant thing I'd change about this model is an opening engine cover, in order to show better engine detail. I suspect this wasn't done because of cost and/or engineering considerations, but I can't prove it. I'm generally pleased with the results of my original detailing efforts, but I was glad that I was able to disassemble the car, so I could add interior and engine compartment detail. All of my original work I left untouched.

Liked what you saw? More cars can be found HERE .

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