FORD GT40 ROAD­STER PRO­TO­TYPE ON THE BLOCK

Unique Cars - - NEWS -

ONE OF ONLY two sur­viv­ing 1965 Ford GT40 Road­ster Pro­to­types will see it­self as one of the main at­trac­tions at Me­cum’s Kis­simi auc­tion, tak­ing place from Jan­uary 3 to Jan­uary 13, 2019.

Ac­cord­ing to RM Sotheby’s, just four road­ster­bod­ied Ford GT40s ever left the Ford Ad­vanced Ve­hi­cles fac­tor y, two steel­bod­ied pro­to­types and two alu­minium mono­coque bod­ies which were later scrapped.

The two steel-bod­ied pro­to­types, de­noted by chas­sis num­bers: GT/108 and GT/109 re­spec­tively, were de­liv­ered to Shelby Amer­i­can in March 1965.

GT/108 was pre­vi­ously sold at Mon­terey Car Week in 2014 for AUD$9.5 mil­lion, and was again of­fered for pri­vate sale in 2017.

Its sis­ter-car, GT/109 is now gear­ing up for its own time in the auc­tion world’s lime­light, and boasts a unique his­tory to its un­touched and nev­er­raced coun­ter­part.

GT/109 is the only GT40 Road­ster to ever see the start­ing grid of a race, run­ning at Le Mans in 1965 un­der Ford of France and helmed by Mau­rice Trintig­nant and Guy Ligier.

It re­tired from that race, like all GT40s that year, and ended up with a DNF. Once it was re­turned to Shelby Amer­i­can, the road­ster pro­gram was shelved with devel­op­ment con­tin­u­ing on­wards with the coupe bod­ied cars.

GT/109 en­joyed a fur­ther three years of life as a test-mule for var­i­ous GT40 mod­i­fi­ca­tions, and was then later left to col­lect dust in a Shelby ware­house.

In the late 60s, cus­tom car le­gend Dean Jef­fries was work­ing with GT40-driver AJ Foyt in the wind-tun­nel at Shelby and spot­ted the now dis­used GT/109 Road­ster.

Jef­fries asked to buy the car, but the then-head of Ford’s rac­ing depart­ment Jac­ques Passino in­sisted he take it off their hands for free, along with a few quad-cam 255ci IndyCar mo­tors.

The car stayed with Jef­fries un­til 2013.

Me­cum has yet to post any pre-auc­tion es­ti­mates, but for one of just two sur­viv­ing GT40 road­sters, and the sole one with ac­tual rac­ing prove­nance – GT/108’s 2014 sale of Au$9.5 mil­lion wouldn’t be out of the ques­tion at all.

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