GT40 roadster prototype coming up for auction for the first time in its history.
With little over a hundred made and a legendary racing history, the Ford GT40 is, without a doubt, one of the most sought-after vehicles ever to wear the Blue Oval. But only a handful were made as roadsters. And one of them is coming up for auction, where it could emerge as the most valuable Ford ever sold.
What you're looking at is a 1965 Ford GT competition roadster prototype. It's one of only five such roadsters that were made by Ford Advanced Vehicles, one of only two to have survived, and the only one that actually raced at Le Mans.
Laying the groundwork for the GT40 that would follow, the GT/109 prototype entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1965 under Carroll Shelby's Ford of France team. Future racing constructor Guy Ligier was to share the cockpit with Maurice Trintignant (who had already driven Shelby's Daytona Coupe in the Tour de France the year before), but the car retired after only 11 laps with a broken transmission at that early stage of the GT40's development. The following year Ford won the first of four consecutive Le Mans victories, but the roadster design was abandoned and never raced again.
After Le Mans, this chassis was sent back to America where it served as a test bed for experimental components. Longtime Shelby collaborator Dean Jeffries subsequently bought it, initially fitting it under restoration with a four-cam Indy engine like the one it tested, before Shelby gifted the car's original 289-ci V8.
Dana Mecum bought it from Jeffries in 2013, and is now putting it up for auction for the first time in its history, restored to concours condition. Mecum's not saying how much it's worth, but we wouldn't be surprised if it surpassed the GT40 that RM sold in 2012 for a record $11 million.