Major GTX1 Surgery...


GTX1 Owner/Moderator
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Dec 15, 2006
Nev./So. Cal./Minn.
Interesting post Kip. It's wayyyy past your bed time. :lol:lol


Mark II Lifetime
Jan 31, 2008
BEAUTIFUL work:thumbsup



GT Owner
Jul 14, 2006
So. Ca.
I had the exact same thought.

Except that if butterfly doors are reversible, besides not killing the value it might also be a superior solution in that it preserves the ability to get in the car quickly with a helmet.

Downside is that in a rollover you can't open the door, but it's like that stock as well. Butterfly doors are probably worse though, since with the stock doors if the car is slightly canted you can open a door, whereas that won't work with the butterfly design.
There is a photo of a heretage on its roof at La Mans on and it appears that the driver had to crawl out the window. so as long as you can break out the window butterfly doors or stock it you end up a pole turtle you still have to fit through the window.:ack:shrug:driving:


GT Owner
Aug 18, 2005
Lake Zurich, IL
Kip, As others have mentioned, thanks for the updates! I don't own a GTX1 but I really enjoy your process updates. Thanks so much for taking the time to post the pictures and descriptions.

Here's an idea for another project, like you don't already have enough going on. ;) I was thinking about adapting your center console armrest/ cubby to house 2 popup cup holders...

Kip Ewing

CF Vendor
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 23, 2007
Suburban Detroit
GTX1 hard top headed to the rally

Over the past few weeks, there has been extraordinary activity on the roof.
With the Rally upon us, obviously, this one has to get wrapped up.

You will recall from prior posts, one of the critical decisions was how to execute the rear window. This was an important stylistic decision, but (more so) an important one for water sealing.

The styling was worked out, prior to a full assessment of feasibility or tooling.
The model looked cool enough to just commit!

The rear window structure ended up being a really difficult thing to pattern and tool. It ended up being a part that was die-locked in about every direction!

The tooling ended up being quite complex. We ended up producing the rear window frame in two parts and bonding them together. While I don't have the photos of the tools, here's the finished part.

The rear window frame needed to be a separate part. Until we see how much variation there is in the later cars we modify, we need a way of managing this cross-car variation.

To bond the window frame to the roof, we place the window frame onto the body, with the quarter-inch sheet wax gap we used for patterning.

Once we were satisfied with the placement of the window frame, we bonded the roof to the window frame.

After the window frame was bonded in, the next step is paint.
Normally, this would be pretty straight forward.......................................
However; this was a custom color.

I went into the booth after the base was sprayed and about freaked out.
It was green....
We'll, at least a very green shade of silver!

The paint store I have used exclusively for over 8 years totally botched the color match and the color they gave me for the stripes was the same color as the body....... Then they didn't want to re-mix it that day.
Not good. Depending on how they handle this, I'll be choosing a new shop for paint.

Panic time.

After another round of mis-matched color and another panic, the second paint source stayed late and got a perfect match. Perfect color, perfect metalic, right on! If you need paint in the Detroit area, go to GNE in Hazel Park and ask for Rob. These guys will probably be getting my account.

So here we go, into the booth.

With urethane paint systems, the color goes on flat, and it looks pretty splotchey. The magic happens when you put on the clear.

Once 4 coats of base are down, we lay out the stripes.
We were really lucky to have Larry Hornsby lay out the stripes.
Larry worked at the Saleen plant where the GT's were built and is one of the best painters I've worked with. He is really, really talented.

After the stripes are layed out, we mask the pattern.

Shoot the stripe color.

And then the clear.

After this, I didn't get a lot of photos.
It was officially crash time.

The audio system had to go back in.
The interior had to go back in.
The roof had to be assembled.
Basically, a 24 hour crash-and-burn session that seems to be part of every show car build I have done in my life.

So, this is what we ended up with;

It really turned out pretty cool and I am really, really proud of what my crew has been able to execute on this one.
We need to finish the molded details on the ends of the seals, so the car will be coming back after the Rally.

I really want to thank the owner for asking me to do this.
It has been a remarkable project; technically and creatively.
It's also been a great chance to get a functional roof on the GTX1 that is really integrated with the car's appearance.

Next post - Austin!

Kip Ewing

CF Vendor
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 23, 2007
Suburban Detroit
You have no idea.....

Interesting post Kip. It's wayyyy past your bed time. :lol:lol
You have no idea.

I was too slow to get to my phone when you just called....


GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jul 18, 2006
Largo, Florida
I don't have a GTX1 but I am fascinated by the work you are doing and the quality of the workmanship. Truly impressive.


GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Dec 3, 2006

You keep posting this stuff with the detail work that you do, you might just yet talk me into "cutting the top off" of mine yet. :biggrin

Good work as always. :thumbsup


GT Owner
Jul 16, 2007
Annapolis, MD
Greetings Scott

I've had a number of people express interest in having us do a GTX1 conversion.

We are ready to do it. Just a matter of who is first.

Kip, was "GTX1" protected as a trademark or proprietary name by Ford, Genaddi, Mark G. personally, or ??
Last edited by a moderator:


GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Jul 12, 2006
Northern California
Truely amazing! That is unbelievable work!


GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Stunning. I've enjoyed every post. Congrats.


Ford Gt Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Aug 8, 2007

Kip Ewing

CF Vendor
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 23, 2007
Suburban Detroit
GTX1 roof update

Greetings All

Been working stupid hours last week, so I wan't to motivated to stay up any later to post pics. Here's a chance to get caught up with some image posts.

The first photo is a trial fit to understand how the original roof fit and how we wanted to modify it.

There were a number of details that needed to be refined.
The original roof was really thick, and the margins not consistent.
You can see how the cut outs around the pillars have been filled in with Chevaunt clay in this next photo.

To protect the original roof, I wrapped it with 3m vinyl film. It is the same stuff you see on new cars when they are shipped.

This first mold that I am making is just going to be used once. For these types of tools, I use gypsum cement. It is really dimensionally stable and saves a lot of money vs. a compsosite too. This photo is of the tool after it was pulled off the original roof. The hairy looking stuff is sisal twine. It acts as a reinforcement.

Here's the part out of the tool. This part will be fully surfaced and will be developed as a master part that the production tool will be pulled from.

This week we are fitting this master pattern to the car and tuning the margins to the new door caps we have made.

Empty Pockets

ex-GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Oct 18, 2006
Washington State
Most impressive, sir!!! :thumbsup:thumbsup

Kip Ewing

CF Vendor
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 23, 2007
Suburban Detroit
Silver / Red

Great work Kip. I also noticed that Red interior. Do you have any full interior pictures. I always said, my third will be Silver/Red...
Right now, we have most of the interior out of the car.
We'll get a bunch of photos when we are finished.
It really looks cool.

Steve Helmstock stitched this interior. Perhaps he could post some.


Kip Ewing

CF Vendor
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 23, 2007
Suburban Detroit
Gurney Bubble

Most outstanding solution to the rear window issue.:thumbsup

Have you considered adding Gurney bubbles to the roof also?

We could definately do a roof with a Gurney bubble.
Anything is possible.

After seeing the car with this roofline, I am really keen on doing a coupe with a GTX1 clamshell and this roofline. If someone wanted to go with conventional doors (to make parking lots and garages easier) we could do this treatment on a coupe.

Kip Ewing

CF Vendor
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 23, 2007
Suburban Detroit
Door cap progress

Big progress on the door caps this past week.

You will recall this thread started with the clay modeling of the door caps.
We made rough molds and cast hard urethane models of these clay models.

One of the most difficult things to do in manual prototyping is to make the opposite handed part, or make the right side look just like the left side you modeled.

Fortunately, prototyping is evolving the same way as desktop publishing and photography. Computers have revolutionized everything.

We used a laser scanner to capture the 3d form of these master door caps as a digital model. Here is a screen shot of how the data is captured.

This computer data can be reflected to create a mirror image of the left side I modeled manually.

This is where it gets really cool...
We used what is called an FDM machine (fused deposition modeler) to create the right hand parts in ABS plastic directly from the scan data. Essentially, an FDM machine is a 3d ink jet printer that makes things out of plastic.
It takes the machine about 5 hours to make a door cap, and it is an exact reflection of the left side part. The time this saves and the accuracy it affords is amazing.

Here are some pictures of the parts. The grey part on the left is the original master. the two white-ish parts are the FDM parts.

Now the really cool thing you can do with the software is assign a material thickness for the part you are making with the FDM machine.
What we have now is a fully functional part we can put on the car to validate fit.

The next step is to make production tools from these FDM models so we can make the real parts out of carbon.


GT Owner
Staff member
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 13, 2006
Scottsdale, Arizona
Post of the day!


Outstanding photos. These are my very favorite threads. When Shadowman, or Rich (GT Guy), or you post a progress report with plenty of photos along with a description, you give those of us who can't do any of that a vicarious understanding along with a most enjoyable read. I know it's time-consuming and a pain in the ass to take the photos and post up like that, but please keep them coming! Thanks Kip, I look forward to seeing you in Texas.

Aug 25, 2006
Looking awesome Kip

After chatting with you I have a very clear picture in my mind as the end results; they will be stunning.



GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Apr 3, 2007
Northern California
Nice job. Very Very impressive.