The pair of cars shows the different stages in the development of the Anglo-American, mid-engined racer built specifically to win the Le Mans 24 Hours for Ford in the 1960s.
The white/blue 1967 Ford GT40 above, chassis P/1059, is one of just 31 production road cars and RM’s Mike Fairbairn describes it as “a time-capsule example”, having had just two private owners from new. As a first generation ‘Mk I’, this example has narrower bodywork and wheels (Borrani wires), and a divided air-exit from the front radiator. It’s of the type that’s normally raced at the Goodwood Revival.
Actually completed in December 1966, the car was originally used for promotional work at Shelby dealerships, spending much time on display at Stark Hickey Ford Inc., Detroit. After passing into private hands, it’s covered just 4,749 miles from new, making it “without a doubt one of, if not the lowest mileage GT40s in the world today.” Estimate: $2,300,000 - 2,700,000.
The slightly later car (1968, below, estimate ‘On Request’) is to the full ‘lightweight’ specification it ran to in period, when part of the Gulf-sponsored JW Automotive team, the John Wyer-led British company responsible for back-to-back GT40 wins at Le Mans in 1968 and 1969.
Hence it has widened, more aggressive bodywork, covering the largest wheel/tyre combination possible at the time. And it is - in case you hadn’t noticed - finished in the quite correct Gulf, Powder Blue with a Marigold stripe livery. In 1970, chassis P/1074 was sold to Solar Productions and in cut-down form was used as a high-speed camera car for the film Le Mans.
Since then, restored to original condition, it has resided in the garages of some of the world’s most discerning collectors. The current owner has cared for the car since 2000.
RM Auctions’ 2012 Monterey sale will take place at its usual Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center on 17-18 August. Further details of what’s surely going to be another record-breaking RM Monterey sale will be published by Classic Driver in weeks to come.
Photos: RM Auctions / Jamey Price / Mathieu Heurtault