In both 1966 and 2016, Ford won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, marking 50 years of victory for their GT supercars. 75881 2016 Ford GT & 1966 Ford GT40 brings together the iconic race cars on either end of that 50-year span.
75881 2016 Ford GT & 1966 Ford GT40 includes three minifigures, with 366 pieces to build two cars and a podium and trophy for the winning driver.
The set includes two numbered bags, with the 1966 Ford GT40 in the first bag and the 2016 Ford GT in the second bag. The first bag also includes the podium and accessories. Both cars are small builds, but worth examining separately for the different techniques they use.
The 1966 GT40 begins with a 4-wide chassis, including 1×2 bricks with Technic holes for the axles. The curved sides of the car are attached with red 1×1 bricks with studs on the side. The driver’s seat is built around a dark tan vehicle base from the Mighty Micros line, and the element’s four tiny wheel wells are completely hidden in the finished model.
The side panels are built on modified 2×6 plates with studs on the side, enabling further attachment of tiles on either side of the car’s 4-wide “cockpit.” Stickers add details to the sides, front, and rear — most prominently the large number 2.
Hinge bricks create an angled rear for the car, while the rear window is angled down with another hinge brick.
Despite plenty of studs-out construction on the sides and subtle angles from hinge bricks, the most interesting and unexpected shaping comes from a simple clip connection at the front of the chassis. The nose of the GT40 is built on a 1×6 inverted roof tile attached by 1×1 bricks with clips to two 1×2 plates with bars on the chassis.
The sub-assembly swings down to integrate with the car’s body, creating the double-scoop hood insert in front of the number 2. The lights then become flush with the wheel wells, creating the sharply angled nose that makes the GT40 so iconic.
The 2016 Ford GT also starts with a 4-wide chassis, though the newer car uses 2×4 axle pieces instead of four 1×2 Technic bricks as the ’66 did.
The car’s sides are built studs-out like the 1966 GT40, but connected with brackets.
What makes the build interesting are all the odd shapes and nooks and crannies that turn out to be air intakes, buttresses, and so on — all accurately reflecting the real car’s complex shaping that controls air flow and down force.
Particularly notable are the red wedge plates attached to hinge bricks behind the cockpit. These sub-assemblies attach sideways with headlight bricks and create the buttresses that direct air flow along the rear of the car.
Like all previous Speed Champions sets, there are no printed pieces — every branded detail and many of the stripes and technical details are stickers.
Both cars are rewarding, if rather brief, builds that include plenty of interesting techniques and surprising shapes.
The finished models & minifigures
I’ve been disappointed with several of the previous LEGO Speed Champions sets for being too narrow, too tall, or too long — or all three, in the case of the canoe-shaped 75871 Ford Mustang GT. Not so with both of the cars in this set.
The 1966 GT40 has a beautifully pointed, sharply angled nose. The rest of the car has smooth curves and sharp angles in all the right places, with gold highlights to complement the white stripes and numbers from stickers. After adding rounded slopes and tiles, only six studs are visible on the top of the whole car.
The 2016 GT certainly has many more studs showing, but they blend into the stellar color blocking in red, white, and blue that captures the look of the real thing (which I saw up close last month at the Ford booth at CES in Las Vegas). What’s so cool about the finished supercar is how the blue and white front section integrates so well with the red rear.
In addition to all the right air intakes, buttresses, and a huge rear wing (not to be confused with a spoiler), the car includes a number of more subtle features, including the front splitter and rear diffuser in black.
I generally don’t apply stickers to my LEGO sets, preferring to keep both the parts and stickers flexible for future use in my own custom creations, but for race cars that are themselves decaled to within an inch of their mechanical lives, they add a realism that can’t be captured with bricks alone.
Each car gets era-appropriate minifigs, with the ’66 Le Mans winner (presumably Bruce McLaren) wearing a tan racing suit and the 2016 winner (Sébastien Bourdais, Joey Hand, or Dirk Müller) wearing a white and blue suit.
The pit crew member comes in the first bag with the winner’s podium and the ’66 GT40, wearing a white suit and dark blue baseball cap.
Parts & price
At $30 for 366 pieces, this set is a pretty good deal. Without stickers applied, all of the parts are small and very reusable in other creations. In other words, by the nature of the cars’s size they don’t incorporate the large bricks that less-experienced builders tend to dismiss as “single-purpose” elements.
The set also includes several new or unusual pieces, include a left/right pair of blue “corner baby bows” (1×2 curved slopes with a corner cut).
The 2016 Ford GT’s canopy is fully printed, and is the only non-minifigure printed element in the set.
Conclusions & recommendation
I was incredibly excited about this set when it was first unveiled, and the set does not disappoint. Both the vintage ’66 GT40 and the modern 2016 GT look distinct, rather than seeming like simple variants of earlier LEGO Speed Champions designs, and they well reflect the iconic styling of the Le Mans winners.
While zooming these cars around the table is fun — they have a nice heft to them despite their small size — the real pleasure is in the surprisingly intricate and rewarding builds.
These are truly stellar cars, with some great parts at a low price-per-parts ratio. This set is easily my favorite LEGO Speed Champions set since the pair of Porsche 911s (set 75912). Even if you’re not into American muscle cars, these are iconic and historic cars worth having in your LEGO collection — I cannot recommend this set more highly.
75881 2016 Ford GT & 1966 Ford GT40 is available now from the LEGO Shop at $29.99, with 366 pieces and three minifigures.