In the world of automotive legends, the Ford GT40 is undoubtedly one of the most iconic names. The mere mention of this racing masterpiece brings to mind images of Le Mans victories and an era when Ford took on Ferrari’s reign of supremacy. Now, a remarkable piece of history has surfaced in the UK, and it’s making headlines for all the right reasons.
This Opalescent Silver Blue GT40 ‘Mk1,’ bearing the chassis number P/1069, has graced the pages of UK used-car classifieds giant, PistonHeads. What makes this beauty so special, you ask? Well, it’s not just any GT40; it’s a piece of history. This sleek machine was born on the Shelby American production line in Dearborn, Michigan, way back in 1967. That was less than a year after it managed to shatter Ferrari’s six-year winning streak at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Although this GT40 didn’t become one of Shelby’s famed race cars, it had quite an adventure of its own. Following its completion, a Swiss racing team borrowed it for a spin, giving it a fresh coat of Metallic Borneo Green. The car even made an appearance at the 1967 Geneva Motor Show, showcasing its timeless design. Soon after, it found its way back to the UK as a press car, sporting a new blue coat. Magazines like the British version of Motor couldn’t resist the allure of this beauty, noting its impressive 0-100mph sprint time of 9.1 seconds.
If you’re wondering if this GT40 ever rubbed shoulders with racing legends, wonder no more. It was driven and tested by none other than the two-time Formula One champion, Graham Hill, father of the 1996 champion, Damon Hill. The car then found itself a new home in 1971 when a private collector acquired it and decided to give it a sunny yellow makeover.
Fast forward to 2007, and the GT40 had a change in ownership again. The new owner had grand plans for this classic, commissioning Gelscoe Motorsport to prepare it for classic car races. Soon, it was revving its engine in the Classic Endurance Races series and taking laps at the Goodwood Revival. The UK-based website, The Home of Horsepower, became the next proud owner in 2021, though the GT40 still wore its striking yellow attire with black stripes and six-spoke wheels at that time.
Recent photos in the PistonHeads listing reveal that chassis P/1069 has returned to its original blue hue, recapturing the essence of its glory days. What’s more, it now boasts the correct wire-mesh style wheels, just like the ones used on the road-going versions of this sports car.
While the exact Ford V8 engine beneath the hood of this GT40 remains a mystery, it’s well known that Mk1 road cars typically sported the 4.7-liter/289-cubic inch engines sourced from the Ford Mustang. The GT40’s performance and power have always been the stuff of dreams.
The production numbers for the Ford GT40 have been a topic of debate among enthusiasts, with figures varying from the high-90s to the low-120s. What’s certain, though, is that only 31 Mk1 road cars ever rolled off the production line, and their scarcity adds to their allure.
The Ford GT40 has always been a darling of collectors and enthusiasts, with one fetching a record-breaking price in 2011. This particular GT40, which had a cameo in Steve McQueen’s 1971 film ‘Le Mans,’ went under the hammer for a staggering $US11 million, equivalent to an eye-popping $US14.75 million ($AU23.36 million today). While the listing keeps the price under wraps, classic car valuation specialist Hagerty suggests that Ford GT40 Mk1s are worth around $US6.4 million ($AU10.1 million), encompassing both road and racing versions.