The only Ford GT Roadster to race at Le Mans, and it's up for sale.
We've seen some low-mileage examples of the Ford GT for sale lately, but none of them are as rare or extortionate as this one heading for auction. What you're looking at here is a very rare 1965 Ford GT Competition Prototype Roadster. We all know the history of the Ford GT built to take on Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in the 1960s, but Ford also built five open-top versions of the original GT.
This version built by Ford Advanced Vehicles in England is one of only two surviving examples. What also makes it special is that it's the only Ford GT roadster that's ever competed in the grueling Le Mans endurance race. This month, the extremely rare Ford GT roadster will be going under the hammer at the upcoming Mecum Indy 2020 auction.
Known as GT/109, this particular GT Competition Prototype Roadster was entered in the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans race driven by Maurice Trintignant but was forced out after only 11 laps due to gearbox issues. Compared to other Ford GT prototypes, the Roadster features unique modifications including side-mounted engine oil radiators, rear-body exit vents, and a higher rear spoiler, four quick-release removable Dzus fasteners, center-section electric fuel pumps, a water radiator expansion tank, and a center-section rollover cover that gave easy access to ancillary engine systems.
Powering the GT Roadster is a Cobra-spec 289 cubic-inch engine mated to a ZF five-speed transmission. After its Le Mans debut, the car returned to Shelby American for a rebuild before being sent to Ford's Kar Kraft racing division.
Kar Kraft used the car as a development vehicle for the company's automatic transmission, Ford's Weber-carbureted 4-cam Indianapolis engine, brake systems, and other components. It was then returned to Shelby American and put into storage before being bought by stuntman and automotive customizer Dean Jeffries, who kept it up until he passed away in 2013. It was then purchased by Dana Mecum, the founder of Mecum Auctions, who commissioned a Concours-quality restoration that restored the car back to its original Le Mans specification.
Due to its rarity and racing pedigree, the 1965 Ford GT Competition Prototype Roadster is expected to fetch a fortune at auction. Mecum auctions estimate it will sell for between $7.5 million and $10 million when it goes under the hammer this month.