Just as the new Ford GT supercar gets ready to tackle the 24 Hours of Le Mans once again, RM Sotheby’s has announced that another Le Mans warrior, the GT40 that finished third at Le Mans in 1966 behind two other GT40s, will cross the block at the Monterey auction in August.
The gold and orange GT40 was driven to a spot on the podium by Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson, bringing up the rear in that famous 1-2-3 photo of GT40s sweeping Le Mans. That was the race that finally ended Ferrari’s dominance at the 24-hour classic and put Ford in the absolute spotlight of international racing glory.
Originally delivered unpainted to Shelby American, the car (chassis P/1016) was campaigned by Holman-Moody with a DNF at Daytona and a 12th at Sebring with AJ Foyt and Ronnie Bucknum driving. At Daytona, the car had actually been fitted with an automatic transaxle, and RM Sotheby’s claims it is the only GT40 to have been raced with an automatic. After the famous third place at Le Mans, P/1016 went on a promotional tour of Ford dealers throughout the Southeast and had another DNF at Daytona the following year with Mark Donohue and Peter Revson driving. Next, it went to the Harrah’s Collection in Reno and more recently was actively vintage raced throughout the ’90s (including a wreck in 1996 at Elkhart Lake that was quickly repaired). It won the People’s Choice Award at Pebble Beach in 2003, and was featured in the glorious line of GT40s featured at Pebble Beach two years ago.
The GT40 of course went on to win Le Mans in 1967, ’68 and ’69, along with numerous other races. Since this is one of the cars that helped set Ford on the path to world domination, it will be one of the stars in Monterey this year. And since barely 100 original GT40s were built, it will be a very rare treat to see it cross the block.
RM Sotheby’s has placed an estimate of $9,000,000–$12,000,000 on the car. Given the provenance, those are reasonable numbers. The last GT40 of this caliber to sell at public auction was the Gulf-liveried example that was both a successful racer and the famous camera car used for the Steve McQueen film Le Mans. It sold in 2012, also at RM Monterey, for $11 million. An early prototype 1964 GT40 also sold for $7.56M at Mecum Houston in 2014.
This 1966 Ford GT40 will be at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale, held August 24–25 at the Monterey Conference Center in Monterey, California. Starting on June 21, it will be on view in the lobby of Sotheby’s global headquarters in New York City.