• Retromotive

1965 Ford GT40 Roadster Prototype

Updated: Aug 11, 2019

One of the finest, most original, and rarest examples of Ford’s iconic race car is about to go under the hammer as part of RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction.

The history of Detroit’s first purpose-built prototype-class race car, developed to beat Ferrari at Le Mans,

is well documented - but what you may not know is that there was a small consignment of roadsters amongst the initial batch of 12 development cars.

This is GT/108 and is 1 of 5 roadsters from that original batch. This car is furthermore believed to be the very first example built at the Ford Advanced Vehicles (FAV) plant that was created in Slough, UK, after the exit of Lola’s Eric Broadley from the GT design team.

This GT40 is the eighth of twelve prototypes ever built and the only known roadster to still exist in its original form. Built for Shelby America as a development car on one of two chassis used by Kar Kraft for the J and X series development. Later forming the basis for the Mark IV iteration that claimed victory at Le Mans in 1967.

It’s been piloted by some of the best including; Caroll Shelby’s go-to man, Ken Miles and the legendary Jim Clark.

Carol Shelby even slid behind the wheel as part a promotional tour with the car. His passenger was none other than Henry Ford II and It is thought to be the only instance of the famed Ford director ever riding in a GT40.

Equipped with a Cobra-specification Ford 289-cubic-inch engine mated to a Colotti T-37 transaxle. This fabulously rare roadsteris finished in white and mounted with Borrani wire wheels and is expected to sell for up to 9 million US.

Visit RM Sotheby’s for more information on the GT40 Roadster

Images Robin Adams ©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

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