21 May 2014

Possibly The World’s Most Valuable Ford Offered For Sale

RM Auctions of Blenheim, Ontario, will be auctioning a rare open Ford GT40 prototype at its sale in Monterey, Calif., this August. Although the auction company hasn’t disclosed a pre-sale estimate, it will almost certainly be in eight figures and set a world record for a Ford-badged vehicle sold at auction.

The origin of the Ford GT40 is perhaps one of the greatest stories in all of automobiledom: It was a four-wheeled “screw you” delivered from Henry Ford II to Enzo Ferrari. In the early 1960s, Ford was looking to buy the storied Italian make and evidently spent tons of money doing due diligence only to have Ferrari break off talks in a huff over control of the racing program. Henry Ford II directed his team to produce a car that would embarrass Ferrari on the world racing stage and the GT40 was born.

This particular car, chassis GT/108, was the first of only four GT40 roadsters (the vast majority were closed cars), and it’s the only one of the extant roadsters still in its as-built configuration including unique nose and tail sections. It was used as a factory demonstrator by Ford and Shelby American. Famous drivers from Carroll Shelby to Ken Miles, Jim Clark and Dickie Attwood all spent time behind the wheel of GT/108.

Because of their fantastic looks and their astonishing record of four consecutive Le Mans wins from 1966-69, GT40s (whose name comes from the fact that they sit just 40” tall) are among the most collectible race cars of the 1960s. RM sold a GT40 for $11 million in 2012 that Steve McQueen’s production company Solar Productions acquired to do camera work for McQueen’s 1971 racing epic “Le Mans." Mecum Auctions sold another GT40 prototype in Houston last month for more than $7 million, but it was a closed car, not a roadster. This particular car might be the most valuable of the three: Dave Kinney, the publisher of the Hagerty Price Guide, states that “individual history and originality of the chassis, body and components dictate value more than condition.” Although for the record, this one appears to be gorgeous.

3 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Bill Hooper Los Angeles, CA May 29, 2014 at 22:11
    My most favorite race car! I never had the opportunity to drive/race one since I only got my competion license in 1971. It would have been my dream machine, and I only drove formula cars, FF & F3!
  • 2
    William Martin LA May 30, 2014 at 11:32
    I believe that this particular vehicle was in the possession of Dean Jeffries in his Cahuenga Shop where he built custom cars. He showed me the vehicle and stated that the car was given to him by Ford. Dean passed away several years ago, hence I believe it was made available for auction. I could be wrong on this, and I would like to know if that is the same vehicle which I was shown in the shop.
  • 3
    Chuck Boone la crescenta ca June 25, 2014 at 21:55
    Dean's car is chassis 109. The R&M Auction car is 108. When I last communicated with his son, Dean's survivors were preparing to accept offers on the car. In addition to the 4-cam Indy engine he installed in 109, he had a Weber carbureted E&F 289, a spare set of magnesium Halibrand pin drive wheels, a spare Colloti transaxle (109 has a polished ZF), and a spare GT40 roadster windshield. The body shown in the photos is a body he made from a mold he splashed from the original body, which he had as well. Someone visiting the shop stole the Ford GT button that belonged on the steering wheel. That really bothered Dean.

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