1966 Ford GT40 Mk II
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
We all know the story of the GT40 by this point: Ford wanted Ferrari. Ferrari said no. Ford decided to whip Ferrari at Le Mans. And then did just that. The first GT40s hit the track in May 1964. Later that year, after disappointing results, the racing program was given to Carroll Shelby and he turned it around.
Using 1964 and 1965 as “work-out-the-bugs” seasons, Ford applied an upgrade to the GT40 for 1966. Dubbed “Mk II,” the cars now carried monstrous 7.0-liter V-8 engines. These 427s were built by Holman-Moody of NASCAR fame and boasted 450 horsepower. To handle the extra weight of the stock car engine, Kar Kraft upgraded the Mk II’s chassis, suspension, and engine mounts. And oh boy, what a package it was.
Ford dominated the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, finishing 1-2-3 in a clean sweep and embarrassing Ferrari – which was sort of the point of the entire program. This car was part of that sweep, coming home third. The race history for this chassis includes:
- 1966 24 Hours of Daytona – DNF (with Ronnie Bucknum and Richie Ginther)
- 1966 12 Hours of Sebring – 12th (with Bucknum and A.J. Foyt)
- 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans – 3rd (with Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson)
- 1967 24 Hours of Daytona – DNF (with Mark Donohue and Peter Revson)
In 1970, Ford donated this car to the Harrah Collection. A few other private owners followed, with a restoration coming in the 1990s. One of only eight examples of the Mk II produced, this car is well acquainted with the historic show and race circuit, accumulating refurbishment as-needed along the way.
Coming out of nearly a decade and a half of continuous ownership, this GT40 will be overshadowed (in price and in conversation) by RM’s consignment of a 250 GTO. But this is a far more historically important – and interesting – car. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Side note: Dick Hutcherson is, statistically, one of the greatest NASCAR drivers of all time – despite only three seasons in the sport. He is never brought up in conversations about NASCAR greats. But he should be. Plus, how many other NASCAR drivers have finished on the podium at Le Mans? Just wanted to put that out there…