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Owner of Tim Norton Motors in Oakham takes £6m Ford GT40 for a spin as special 70th birthday surprise




The owner of a Ford dealership was given a surprise treat for his 70th birthday - a chance to go for a spin in a classic GT40 worth £6 million.

Tim Norton, of Oakham-based Tim Norton Motors, described the experience of racing around the secret airfield as “exhilarating”.

The GT40 won the Le Mans 24-hour race every year between 1966 and 1969, knocking Ferrari off its perch and securing its legendary status in motor-racing history.

Ford MD Andy Barratt with Tim Norton in the GT40
Ford MD Andy Barratt with Tim Norton in the GT40

Tim’s treat was arranged by Ford of Britain’s managing director Andy Barratt after the two became friends over many years in the industry.

Tim, who started his career in 1968 as a Ford apprentice, said: “It was a total surprise! Andy really came up with the goods as it wouldn’t have been inexpensive to organise. It really was a fabulous day for everyone.”

His wife Geraldine, son Oliver, daughter Lisa and son-in-law Kris were also taken for a ride by the racing car’s expert driver.

Left to right: Kris Strang van den Heuvel (general manager and Tim's son-in-law), Oliver Norton (Tim’s son), Gerry Norton (Tim’s wife), Lisa Strang van den Heuvel (Tim’s daughter) and Tim Norton
Left to right: Kris Strang van den Heuvel (general manager and Tim's son-in-law), Oliver Norton (Tim’s son), Gerry Norton (Tim’s wife), Lisa Strang van den Heuvel (Tim’s daughter) and Tim Norton

Mr Barratt had arranged for the iconic car, as well as the newest Ford Mustang Bullitt, to be transported to the airfield to help Tim celebrate his milestone birthday.

Tim, who has run his dealership for 38 years and celebrated his birthday on Thursday, August 27, added: “The GT40 is just an iconic car that everyone recognises. The ride wasn’t as harsh as I was expecting and nor was the level of noise. It seemed to leave the noise behind!

“It was exhilarating and a real piece of Ford history. I’m incredibly grateful to Andy for organising it.”

Tim Norton in the GT40 on his 70th birthday
Tim Norton in the GT40 on his 70th birthday

Tim Norton Motors is expecting to take delivery of a 2020 Ford GT and would be the first UK dealership to have one.

Just five or six are being made available in this country with around 1,350 worldwide. Online information suggests the car is worth around $500,000, or £380,000.

Tim wouldn’t reveal the price tag but added: “It’s a serious amount of money but a phenomenal investment!”

The GT40
The GT40

Ford had to drop the ‘40’ from the GT40 name as they failed to register it as a trademark 50 years ago and then chose not to pay the sky-high price demanded by the trademark owner.

For more information visit http://timnortonmotors.co.uk/



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