1969 Ford GT 40
Year of manufacture1969
It is difficult, if not impossible, to overstate the significance of Ford Motor Company’s victorious Total Performance corporate racing program to automobile design, motor sports history, and certainly modern culture. The GT40, which earned back-to-back Le Mans 24 Hour wins in 1966 and 1967 under direct Ford management, is deservedly considered a racing icon today. Behind the scenes however, one of the little-known aspects of Ford’s GT40 program was the company’s early interest in civilizing it for the road as the Mk III, to be marketed as an exotic halo model. To that end, 20 late-production GT40 chassis were commissioned in late 1966 by Ford headquarters in Detroit for the planned Mk III program. However, the effort and projected costs involved with producing a Mk III street car from the basis of the all-out GT40 Mk II race car, not to mention the exorbitant purchase price, soon ended the project.
Ultimately, just seven examples of the street Mk III were ever produced, leaving 13 unused GT40 Mk III chassis. Throughout production, all GT40 chassis were stamped of steel and assembled by Abbey Panels in Coventry, England, with the entire batch completed by the end of 1966. Among the 13 unused Mk III chassis was P/1085, the last GT40 to be numbered in production sequence by Ford Advanced Vehicles, and the basis for the vehicle offered here.
The provenance of P/1085 is exceptionally well documented by GT40 authority and author Ronnie Spain, beginning from March 20, 1969 when the chassis was purchased from Ford Advanced Vehicles by Malcolm Guthrie of the UK, for his client, Gil Jackson of Garden City, New York. Next, Guthrie and his mechanic, George Thornton, equipped P/1085 as a rolling chassis and shipped it out to Jackson, accompanied by GT40 P/1009, originally the ex-Alan Mann Racing GT40 chassis XGT-2. Both P/1085 and P/1009 would remain with Jackson for the next 37 years, with P/1085 stripped to a bare chassis and placed on a trolley frame. During his ownership, Mr. Jackson accumulated a treasure trove of parts and components for an anticipated buildup of P/1085, which was never completed at that time, while P/1009 was rarely, if ever, driven. Ronnie Spain visited Mr. Jackson and photographed and documented P/1085 and P/1009 for the first time in 1990.
During 2006, a friend of Mr. Jackson purchased both cars and proceeded to begin building up P/1085 until 2007, at which time it was acquired by Jonathan Turner and shipped back to the UK along with all necessary and unused period parts available. Ian Jones’ Racing Fabrications workshop was selected to complete the long-overdue buildup of P/1085 and following its completion, on March 21, 2009, the GT40 was test-driven by Ian Jones in advance of the official first drive and handover of the car to Mr. Turner three days later – a wonderful occasion with Ronnie Spain in attendance to document the event.
Powered by an original 1968 5.0-litre, competition-spec Ford V-8 engine sporting a set of exotic Weslake lightweight alloy cylinder heads and four twin-choke Weber carburetors, P/1085 delivers a proven 479 peak horsepower at a track-worthy 6,500 rpm via the original-specification ZF five-speed manual transaxle. An itemized inventory list of the multitude of original parts and components used by Racing Fabrications during the GT40’s buildup, included in the history file, is fascinating reading and silently underscores the true period-correct integrity of P/1085. Appropriately, P/1085 made its maiden run on the track in April 2009 during a Masters Series test day at Donington Park with Jonathan Turner at the wheel, followed by completion of the 2009 Tour Auto.
In March 2011, P/1085 was sold to the consignor, who had the GT40 professionally serviced by Maxted-Page during 2019 and most recently in preparation for its current offering at auction. Documentation is included with the sale of P/1085, ranging from copies of factory documents from the original purchase of the P/1085 chassis in 1969, to photographs of the chassis and parts cache before restoration, and restoration images. Other important documents include an old MSA Historic Technical Passport, dynamometer sheets, service and maintenance receipts, media articles, and letters from Ronnie Spain describing the car’s pre-restoration history and post-restoration reveal, plus the chassis entry for P/1085 from his world-renowned GT40 registry. A fabulous spares package is included with the sale of P/1085, include two sets of spare wheels, front and rear body panels, doors, and a set of original GT40 magnesium wheels.
As offered, P/1085 offers a simply amazing opportunity to acquire, own, race, and show the last Ford GT40 ever built, using the last GT40 chassis numbered when new by Ford. Eminiently eligible for many of the world’s finest and most exclusive classic racing and road events, this GT40 stands ready to bring its legendary thrilling performance to a lucky new owner.
*Please note that this lot is currently located in the UK. It is UK registered and has a UK DVLA-issued V5C. For further information, please contact [email protected]
Please note that the Seller of this Lot is a private individual.
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