The GT40 Enthusiasts Club.
The club was formed in 1985 by a small group of people who had or were building GT40 replicas. Originally the club was called the GT40 Replica Owners Club; today we are called the GT40 Enthusiasts Club as we also have members who own original GT40's as well as replicas and many members who don't have cars. We are an International Club with members in USA, Europe, Australia, and many other countries around the world. The largest group is the membership in the UK were the club is based. In the UK we have regional centres with monthly meetings, we regularly attend car shows, track events and take our cars onto the race circuits regularly. We are trying to arrange annual meetings in the major centres of our membership in the various countries around the world as a prelude to more regular meetings and events.
The main event for Enthusiasts Club members is the Le Mans Classic. From a handful in 2002, the number of cars driving to Le Mans has increased to 24 in 2004, 38 in 2006 and 58 in 2008. Groups of 4 or 5 cars, usually followed by a chase car to carry the bags, meet at Channel ports to drive down in convoy. The Club has an exclusive parking area inside the Bugatti circuit, conveniently close to the Group 4 and 5 Paddocks, where the racing GT40s live. Interest in the cars is always intense, with large numbers of spectators asking questions and showing intelligent interest.
The Club year is always busy. There are track days - the Club has organised events at Spa, Nurburgring, Goodwood, Silverstone, Oulton Park, Brands Hatch and Castle Combe - hill climbs and the occasional drag racing visit to Santa Pod.
Club members' cars are often on display. We take stands at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the NEC Classic Car Show, while area groups support shows such as the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, Dunsfold Wings & Wheels Day in their own areas. We support Sporting Bears, where GT40 rides are always over-subscribed. Regional Meetings are held monthly in several areas of the country and you can be guaranteed a warm welcome, whether currently a club member or not. These meetings are informal so drop by for a chat about GT40s and cars in general.
The current worldwide membership stands at just under 400. The membership year runs from 1st January to 31st December, with new members after 1st October the previous year receiving a bonus of 3 months and an extra magazine. The Club's active, attractively laid-out website at gt40enthusiastsclub.com keeps members up to date and carries late-breaking news; they have their own area in which to post events, sales and wants.
The Club publishes a full-colour 44 page magazine 4 times a year, containing articles on car builds and modifications, racing, historical articles, attendance at race meetings and social events. Its aim is to promote excellent engineering with safety, to be controversial and to keep Club members up-to-date with developments in the GT40 world.