Gulf-Mirage GR8

1975 Gulf-Mirage GR8

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 24, 2018

Photo – Gooding & Company

John Wyer is a name closely associated with Gulf Oil racing. He made a name for himself winning the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans as a team owner with an Aston Martin. Ford hired him to run their GT40 program (it didn’t go well and he was replaced by Carroll Shelby). So he went out and created his own company, J.W. Automotive Engineering. And the race cars they built were called Mirages.

1967 was the first season for Mirage race cars and in 1975 their new car was called the GR8. It featured an aluminium monocoque chassis and a fiberglass body. Power came from a 482 horsepower, 3.0-liter Ford Cosworth V-8. It definitely has the look of one of those weird-in-retrospect 1970s prototype race cars. But it was pretty stout on track. The competition history for this chassis includes:

  • 1975 24 Hours of Le Mans – 3rd (with Vern Schuppan and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud)
  • 1976 24 Hours of Le Mans – 2nd (with Jean-Louis Lafosse and Francois Migault)
  • 1977 24 Hours of Le Mans – 2nd (with Schuppan and Jean-Pierre Jarier)
  • 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans – 10th (with Schuppan, Jacques Laffite, and Sam Posey), as Renault-Mirage M9
  • 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans – 24th, DNF (with Schuppan, Jaussaud, and David Hobbs), as Ford M10

A different GR8 won the race in ’75 and this car underwent some development along the way, becoming a Renault-Mirage M9 in 1978 when a smaller Renault engine was installed and in 1979 it got the Ford Cosworth engine it sports now, thus it was then called a Ford M10. But still, five years for the same chassis at Le Mans – with three podiums at that – is pretty impressive.

In 1987, the car was retrofitted with its 1978 GR8 bodywork and passed between several collectors. It’s well-sorted and wears the best livery in racing. It can be yours for between $2,500,000-$3,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.