Ben Kiehn caused a little buzz here a couple of years ago when he wrote a guest post for Lamley documenting his liberation of a super rare Auto World Ford GT40 Ultra Raw.
This is a big deal, mainly because there are only 10 Ultra Raws produced of each AW release, when they even do them at all. Not every model gets an accompanying Raw. But Ben was able to acquire one, on one of the most popular Auto World models, no less, and opened it.
That motivated me to open the one Raw I have, the Lead Sled (which I famously dropped), and I haven’t regretted it since.
Well Ben is back at it. A completist when it comes to the GT40, he was able to acquire the AW/MiJo Exclusives Gulf GT40 Ultra Raw, and yes, he did it again. I asked him document it, and he was nice enough to do it. He also provides a comprehensive list of all the releases for those of you pursuing them all.
Enjoy, and thanks Ben.
Auto World caught my attention from day 1 and I loved their approach to chase models. The Ultra Reds looked brilliant in their ruby red and they’ve been fun to find any collect, I think I’m up to about 80 now. And the Ultra Raws caught my attention too. I’d love to have the thrill of finding one in the wild but so far haven’t been able to. At only 10 of each model made, these are among the rarest diecast pieces you can get and I think they look fantastic. When the first GT40 came out, I had to have the Ultra Raw and I wrote up a piece here for Lamley that featured me opening it:
I even convinced a local friend to open his two:
I thought mine was the first, but as it turns out I was severely mistaken. Bob Fellows (@bob_fellows on Instagram) happens to have an extensive collection of Ultra Raws, most of which have been liberated as well:
And of course, John here at Lamley, opened his Kingswood Ultra Raw too:
So while, it’s certainly a rare sight to see one of these set free, there are far more loose than one might guess given the rarity. Anyway, back to the GT40. After getting my first raw, Auto World released several other versions of the casting. And I got every one and all of the Ultra Reds. But I never saw any Ultra Raws for any of those. I don’t believe any were actually made for those releases, but if anyone has pictures otherwise, I’d love to see them as this is definitely a casting I hope to keep getting all the versions of. Another sub collection I quite enjoy collecting are Gulf cars, so the newest version with licensed Gulf livery was right up my alley. And sure enough, this one had a raw. So I jumped at the first one I saw, and here it is:
But that won’t do. I had to be able to hold this one in my hand just like the other one. As brilliant as the Gulf packaging looked, I knew what I had to do. I also filmed it this time. Pardon my video quality, I haven’t done many:
On with the pictures:
The family is now complete:
John did a nice video with most of the Auto World GT40 versions, which you can see here:
And in my video above, it goes through all the versions too. But here is a breakdown of all the releases so far in pictures. First, from the Release 1 Licensed Premium series, it came in blue, red, ultra red and the ultra raw. The Ultra Red’s for both the blue and the red were identical.
Then came the 2017 Premium Release 2 that was sold at retail outlets. There was a Gulf inspired version and a white version. Both versions used an Ultra Red based on the Gulf one.
Then came a Hobby Exclusive set. It featured another Gulf inspired version, with no roundel or racing number. And a sharp looking plain black with gray stripe. Each of these had unique Ultra Reds.
After that was a MiJo Exlusive set. This featured another Gulf inspried car, with the roundel but no number as well as a brilliant black version inspired by the 1966 LeMans winning GT40 MkII. These also had unique Ultra Reds. Despite my love of Gulf models, this black version and it’s corresponding Ultra Red are I think the nicest basic version and the nicest Ultra Red version.
All three of the prior Gulf inspired versions lacked an actual Gulf logo. Finally, for 2018, they released a MiJo exclusive version that is an actual Gulf licensed model. Not only that, but it is a tribute to the #6 Mirage body GT40 that Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver won the 1969 LeMans with. And with this release, we also got the Ultra Raw back!