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reference I could to do the drawing for

the art. It turned out the engineering

company doing the design and con-

struction was Kar Kraft. I was famil-

iar with them from my following the

initial debut of the first Ford GT in

1964. This was the beginning of Henry

Ford IIs desire to win the World

Championship of Manufacturers and

beat Enzo Ferrari after he backed out

of Ford’s offer to buy Ferrari.

Kar Kraft was Ford’s skunkworks,

an inconspicuous building located in

an offbeat area of Dearborn, about

four or five miles from Ford’s World

Headquarters. I was greeted by Roy

Lunn, the head of Ford’s Advanced Ve-

hicle operation and father of the first

Ford GT. This, in itself, was very re-

warding. He showed me the car and

explained its elements. The car was in

a basic build form and had no wing

structure but I could photograph the

chassis with the wheels on and off and

with the fiberglass front section held

in place.

There was nothing available on

the wing but with Roy’s help I was

able to make a crude sketch that gave

me enough to draw a finished version

for him to approve later. While I was

there I also met Karl Ludvigsen, an

outstanding auto journalist and au-

thor of many books. He was gathering

references for his upcoming book, “The

Inside Story of the Fastest Fords,”

which later joined my collection of au-

tomotive books.

My drawing was completed and

approved to finish the art in ink-line

and color elements highlighting the

cars components such as brakes, sus-

pension, engine, cooling, etc. in differ-

ent colors. The project was completed

with the approval of Ford and Car and


Dick Soules’ story ended there but

we can add a little more detail to the

J-9 narrative. After Ford won LeMans

in 1966, Henry Ford II was disturbed

that the winning GT40 MK II was an

English-American hybrid. He wanted

an all-American Ford to win, and to

that end work began on a new car

built at Dearborn’s Kar Kraft. It was

called the J-Car because it conformed

to the FIA’s “Appendix J” rules. The

result was the “Breadvan” that was

tested at LeMans in April of 1966. It

was evident that more development

was required and a second car was

built (chassis # J-2). This, of course,

was the car that Ken Miles was test-

ing at Riverside when he was killed in

a crash in August. That knocked the

wind out of Ford’s sails but resulted in

rethinking of the car’s basic silhouette.

The flat-topped “Breadvan” roof was

reshaped using Ford’s wind tunnel.

The roof gradually sloped down to the

tail which ended in a spoiler.

An interim MK IV was built (J-3),

tested, disassembled, inspected, re-

assembled and retested. A fourth car

(J-4) was unveiled at Sebring. It had

been built in four weeks and per-

formed flawlessly, winning the race. It

was then returned to Shelby Ameri-

can, inspected and sent to Daytona For

testing. It then went back to Dearborn

where it was put into storage.

Four MK IVs were constructed

and went to LeMans: J-5, J-6, J-7 and

J-8. Four more chassis were under

construction by the end of LeMans

when the rules were changed, outlaw-

ing engines over 305 cubic-inches. So

Ford shifted it sights to the most excit-

ing professional racing series, the un-

limited Can-Am. Chassis J-9 and J-10

were built at open-cockpit racers. J-9

had a large Chaparral-style dihedral

wing mounted over the transaxle. The

car was tested in Ford’s wind tunnel

and track tested by Mario Andretti but

was never raced. The tenth tub, J-10,

was not completed.

In February of 1969, both of these

cars were sold to Charlie and Kerry

Agapiou for $1. In 1961 Charlie was

working as a mechanic at Ken Miles’

garage inWest Hollywood. After Miles

went to work for Shelby American in

1963 he invited Charlie to join him

and his brother Kerry soon joined the

company, too. Both were excellent me-

chanics and became crew chiefs for

team Cobras and GT40s. In 1967 they

left Shelby American to open a race

shop of their own. They maintained

their Ford contacts and when Ford

was looking for a team to campaign

their J-Car Can-Am race cars they

went to the Agapiou Brothers.

The Agapious completed J-10

which was powered by Ford’s new

Boss 429 engine. By this time the car

was heavier than the competing

McLarens. The car was driven by a se-

ries of drivers in a dozen events in

1969 and 1970 with little success. A

crash at Riverside in November 1970

ended the car’s racing career. It was

stripped of useable parts and the tub

was scrapped. Twenty-five years later

it had been rebuilt into a MK IV


The J-9 car sat in Agapiou’s

garage, still complete but disassem-

bled, until around 2013 when he made

the decision to sell it. He put it back


Spring 2016 54

Early photos taken at Kar Kraft in Dear-

born: wire frame to show body contours



]; Ford engineers huddle [center];

back in the shop [