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Auction Preview: A Pair of Ford GT40s Join Headliners for RM Auctions’ Monterey Sale

Submitted by on June 19, 2012

1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight Racing Car

Fresh from the excitement of the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans, RM Auctions are preparing to offer two icons from the great race at their upcoming Monterey sale.

1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight Racing Car and ‘67 Ford GT40 Series I will join the 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Berlinetta and 1938 Talbot-Lago T23 Teardrop Coupe as big hitters for the sale, which traditionally coincides with the legendary festivities at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

1968 Ford GT40 Gulf-Mirage Lightweight Racing Car

“Authentic racing GT40s like this example only come up for auction on the rarest of occasions. Well-known in the collector car world and resplendent in its period correct Gulf team colors, P/1074 boasts a fantastic pedigree having competed on some of the world’s most famous tracks. Its provenance is further elevated by its connection to the ‘King of Cool’ Steve McQueen and its role in his iconic film Le Mans.”

There are few images as iconic to sportscar racing as a Ford GT40 in the stunning Gulf Livery. This particular car, P/1074,  started its life in ’68 when it was built for the J.W.A./Gulf team. Jackie Ickx drove it in the 1968 Le Mans trials and it was raced everywhere from Le Mans to Daytona during its racing career.

In 1970 it became a star of the silver screen when it was bought by Solar Productions and co-starred with Steve McQueen working as a camera car for Le Mans.

And since then it has led an active life both on the track and on display in historic motorsport events. It received a full and meticulous restoration in 2000 and has continued to be an active participant in the historic motorsport scene.

1967 Ford GT40 Series I

“A time-capsule example, P/1059 ticks all the boxes when it comes to collectability. Not only is it extraordinarily rare, it has desirable low mileage, exceptional documentation, and boasts just two private owners from new.” 

Joining the ’68 racer at Monterey is its brother from the production side – the ’67 Ford GT40 Series I. One of just 31 GT40 road cars, P/1059 is incredibly authentic. Complete with history as one of Ford’s Promotion and Dispersal cars, immaculate in its lovely pearlescent white with blue stripes finish and with just 4,749 miles on the clock, this car is truly something special. RM Auctions expect it to go for between US$2,300,000 and $2,700,000.

RM Auctions’ Monterey sale will be held at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center over the 17th and 18th of August, 2012, coinciding with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Head to their website here for more info and read on for the official word.

Via RM Auctions

Photos by Mathieu Heurtault and Jamey Price, courtesy of RM Auctions

COVETED PAIR OF FORD GT40S JOIN THE STARTING GRID FOR RM’S MONTEREY SALE

A coveted pair of GT40s, including a remarkable 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight Racing Car, chassis P/1074, and a strikingly authentic, unrestored 1967 Ford GT40 MK I, chassis P/1059, are the latest star attractions confirmed for RM Auctions’ highly anticipated Monterey sale, August 17–18, in California.

Widely considered one of the most heroic and legendary racing automobiles ever conceived, the GT40 succeeded the Shelby Daytona coupe as Ford’s standard-bearer during the infamous Ford-Ferrari wars of the 1960s. Among its many achievements, the utterly dominant GT40 stands proudly as the first American-built racing car to take victory at La Sarthe, and it scored consecutive victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1966 through 1969. Concurrent road cars featured similar mechanical specifications to its racing counterpart but with slightly less austere cockpits, which included fully upholstered interiors. In total, only 133 of all variations of the original factory GT40 were built before production ceased in 1969.

Continuing its strong track record for offering the world’s finest sports and racing cars in Monterey, RM is honored to present two examples of the highly revered GT40 at its upcoming August sale, representing both road and racing variations. Handpicked by RM’s expert specialists for the Monterey auction, they join a superlative list of early multimillion-dollar entries.

“The legendary Ford GT40 is without doubt one of the most celebrated and sought after motor cars ever built. Both aesthetically and competitively, it remains a highpoint in the history of American racing and sports car design,” says Shelby Myers, Managing Director, RM California. “To have the honor of offering one GT40 is a great privilege, but to present two, spanning both sides of GT40 production, is extremely exciting. We are truly honored to have been entrusted by the respective owners of these two cars to present them at our Monterey sale. Previously displayed together at the GT40 30th Anniversary Reunion in Elkhart Lake in 1994, we are thrilled to be reuniting the cars on the Monterey Peninsula in August, where we anticipate strong interest in their sale.”

Anchoring the illustrious pair is the exceptional, competition-specification 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight Racing Car, chassis P/1074. The first, by serial number, of several lightweight GT40s built for the J.W.A./Gulf team, this exceptional racing car was completed in 1968 and carries an incredible history from new. Finished in the Gulf team colors of Powder Blue with a Marigold stripe, it raced extensively throughout 1968 from Daytona to Le Mans, as well as the Le Mans trials at the hands of Jacky Ickx. P/1074 was then sold to Solar Productions in 1970 and used extensively as the camera car for Steve McQueen’s legendary film Le Mans. Over the following years, P/1074 passed through a well-documented chain of owners, participating in various vintage racing events as well as displays, including the GT40 25th Anniversary Reunion in Watkins Glen and the 30th Anniversary Reunion in Elkhart Lake. Purchased by its current gentleman owner in 2000, it underwent a meticulous restoration before being displayed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2003, where it was driven by Jackie Oliver. P/1074 returned to Goodwood the following year and remains to this day a witness and participant of the racing achievements of its era. (Estimate available upon request.)

“Authentic racing GT40s like this example only come up for auction on the rarest of occasions. Well-known in the collector car world and resplendent in its period correct Gulf team colors, P/1074 boasts a fantastic pedigree having competed on some of the world’s most famous tracks. Its provenance is further elevated by its connection to the ‘King of Cool’ Steve McQueen and its role in his iconic film Le Mans. One cannot overstate the importance of the GT40 in automotive history and this rare opportunity for discerning collectors to become one of an elite few to be able to join the distinguished GT40 owner’s club,” adds Myers.

The 1967 Ford GT40 Mk I, chassis P/1059, represents a wonderfully authentic example of the first generation GT40 Mk I. One of just 31 production GT40 road cars, it was dispatched to the United States in December 1966 as one of 20 vehicles selected for the Mk I Promotion and Dispersal Program. Of this group, it was one of six vehicles consigned to Shelby American for promotional use by their field managers. In preparation for this purpose, P/1059 was re-sprayed in the striking colors of pearlescent white with blue stripes. As this paint scheme was authorized by Ford very early in the car’s life and implemented prior to private ownership, it can be essentially considered the car’s original finish. During the program, P/1059 was acquired by Stark Hickey Ford, a Detroit dealership, where it remained for several years before passing on to Herb Wetanson, of Long Island, New York, a dealer, restaurateur, and one-time owner of six GT40s. It was then eventually sold to its first private owner, Dr. Jack Frost, a noted collector of vintage sports cars, who retained possession of the car for more than 20 years, until it was purchased by its current owner in 2002. A recent inspection by noted GT40 authority Ronnie Spain in October 2011 reported P/1059 displayed only 4,749 miles from new, making it “without a doubt one of, if not the lowest mileage GT40s in the world today.” (Est. $2,300,000–$2,700,000)

“A time-capsule example, P/1059 ticks all the boxes when it comes to collectability. Not only is it extraordinarily rare, it has desirable low mileage, exceptional documentation, and boasts just two private owners from new,” says Mike Fairbairn, Co-Founder, RM Auctions. “It will no doubt command the attention of the most passionate sports car collectors, promising its next owner a warm reception at the world’s top vintage touring and racing events and even concours d’elegance,” Fairbairn adds.

A tradition spanning over 25 years, RM’s highly anticipated Monterey, California sale, held during the same weekend as the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, returns to the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, August 17–18. For further information or to view a frequently updated list of entries for the sale, visit rmauctions.com or call an RM specialist at +1 519 352 4575.

Event Details – RM Monterey

Sale dates:
August 17, 2012, auction commences at 6 p.m. PT
August 18, 2012, auction commences at 6 p.m. PT

Preview dates:
August 15, 2012, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. PT
August 16, 2012, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. PT
August 17, 2012, 10:00 a.m. – end of sale
August 18, 2012, 10:00 a.m. – end of sale

Location: Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940

Admission: General admission is available for $50.00 per person for an event pass, which grants one person access to the preview days.

Bidder registration is $300 and includes an official auction catalog and admission for two to the preview, reception, and auction.

For those interested in participating but unable to attend in person, RM offers a range of remote bidding options, including absentee, Internet, and telephone bidding. In addition, RM’s Monterey sale will stream live online at www.rmauctions.com to provide real-time coverage of the auction.

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