GT40 Mk II

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…

Update: Sold $9,795,000.

DB6 Volante Mk II

1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mk II Volante

Offered by Bonhams | Reading, U.K. | June 2, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The DB6 went on sale in late 1965. Aston Martin introduced a “Mk II” version in August of 1969. Mk II cars can be identified by pronounced flares on the wheel arches that came stuffed with wider tires and wider wheels than the earlier cars had.

The DB6 was available as a coupe or convertible. It’s powered by a 4.0-liter straight-six that makes 282 horsepower. This particular car is one of just 38 Mk II Volantes (convertibles). It’s a beautiful car finished in Light Sky Blue, a different shade of its original color.

This right-hand drive example was sold new in London and had three other owners before being sold to its current owner in 1983. The most recent restoration dates to 1991 with an engine rebuild in 2001 and significant services completed over the course of the last 15 years. These gorgeous convertibles don’t changes hands often and this is one that hasn’t been seen in quite a while. It is expected to bring between $950,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Bond Equipe

1970 Bond Equipe 2-Litre GT Mk II

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Toffen, Switzerland | April 21, 2018

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie

Bond Cars Ltd was a British manufacturer primarily known for their three-wheeled vehicles, namely the Bond Minicar and the Bond Bug. The Equipe, which was introduced in 1963, was their first foray into the world of four-wheeled vehicles.

The Equipe was built through 1970 when Reliant, who had acquired Bond, shuttered Bond’s Preston, England, factory. There were five different Equipe models with this, the 2-Litre being available from 1967 through the end of production in 1970. A two-door Saloon and Convertible were offered. This is obviously the saloon. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter Triumph straight-four that made 95 horsepower (or 105 as the catalog states).

Styling on the 2-Litre differed rather dramatically from earlier cars and it was the final iteration of the model. In all, 591 examples of the two-door saloon were built, which makes it rarer than its convertible counterpart. This 48,000km example looks nice and will go under the hammer in Switzerland later this month. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Evante Mk II

1999 Evante Mk II

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | October 19, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

There was an engine tuning company in the U.K. called Vegantune and they specialized in restoring Lotus Elans. After a while, they figured out a few tweaks that could be done to improve the cars and set up a separate company – Evante Cars Ltd – to build their own car, which was heavily influenced on the Elan. Introduced in 1987, the first Evante could be had as a kit or complete car.

The first Evante only lasted through 1991, but then the company was purchased by Fleur de Lys Automobile Manufacturing and they introduced this, the Mk II. Based around a 1.8-liter Ford Zetec straight-four, the Mk II made 130 horsepower. The body is fiberglass.

Only nine Mk IIs were built, with this probably among the last. Having covered only 11,000 miles since new, it looks like an attractive modern take on the classic Lotus Elan. Consider it a quirky Miata alternative if you will. It should bring between $14,750-$17,500. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Armstrong Siddeley Special

1935 Armstrong Siddeley Special Mk II Touring Limousine

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 29, 2017

Photo – H&H Classics

Armstrong Siddeley was a company that came together when two other companies merged. Those companies were Armstrong Whitworth and Siddeley-Deasy. Each of those companies were the result of a merger of two other companies. Basically Armstrong Siddeley was the culmination of four different, earlier, automotive companies.

Armstrong Siddeley began in 1919 and produced cars until 1960. From that point on, they focused on aircraft and aircraft engines. Through a series of mergers, they are now part of Rolls-Royce (the aircraft company).

This Special is one of the rarest Armstrong Siddeleys ever built. It was introduced in 1932 and went on sale for 1933, being sold through 1937. Only 253 were built. It’s powered by a 5.0-liter straight-six that offered pretty good performance for its day. This would’ve been their attempt to compete with the likes of Rolls-Royce.

This particular car was a factory demonstrator and is one of about 30 cars that are still in existence. Recently, it was owned by the a trustee of the National Motor Museum and the head of the Armstrong Siddeley Heritage Trust. It runs and drives, but needs a little work to be roadworthy. It will sell at no reserve and you can find more about it here (and more from H&H Classics here).

Update: Sold $28,777.

Townsend Typhoon

1957 Townsend Typhoon Mk II

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 3, 2016

Photo - Worldwide Auctioneers

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

We’ve featured another car called “Typhoon” from the same era as this one – but that one was British and this car was built by Frank Townsend of Tucson, Arizona during the fiberglass sports car craze of the 1950s. The first Typhoon was based on a ’49 Plymouth and was actually built by Townsend while in high school.

The second car was dubbed the Typhoon Mark I. A second one was later built (this car), that was originally a Mark I, but once the fenders behind the front wheels were cut away and the front end redone, they renamed it “Mark II.” It is powered by an Oldsmobile V-8.

It had a period race history in the NHRA and SCCA and is known as the “Purple People Eater.” Frank Townsend only managed to sell two additional Typhoon bodies after this car, putting total Townsend production at five cars – and they are all a little bit different. Fully restored and eligible for historic racing events, this car should bring between $150,000-$200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Allard Palm Beach

1956 Allard Palm Beach Mk II

Offered by H&H Classics | Chateau Impney, U.K. | July 11, 2015

Photo - H&H Classics

Photo – H&H Classics

Sydney Allard starting building cars in the late 1930s to compete in hillclimb events. Not the civilized, paved hillclimbing that we know today, but trials – as in, up nearly-impassible dirt hills. After the war he started building some road cars – and nice ones at that. Then he moved to sports cars.

One such car, built near the end of Allard’s run, was the Palm Beach. First introduced in 1952, the car received a substantial upgrade to Mk II specification in 1956. The body was classed up and fit more with the times. And the engine was bumped up to six-cylinders only. This car uses a 2.6-liter straight-six from a Ford. Jaguar engines were also available.

This car is beautiful, having had a recent ground-up restoration. It was on the stand at the 1956 Earls Court Motor Show. After that, it was an Allard factory demonstrator. The Palm Beach ended production in 1958 with 80 built – only six of which were Mk II cars, making this exceptionally rare. This one should sell for between $125,000-$155,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $138,880.

Supersonic Aston Martin

1956 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk II Supersonic by Ghia

Offered by RM Auctions | New York, New York | November 21, 2013

1956 Aston Martin DB24 Mk II Supersonic by Ghia

 The Aston Martin DB2/4 was the follow-up model to the Aston DB2 (on which this car was based). It was introduced in 1953 and the Mk II model came in 1955. Coachbuilt Astons from any coachbuilder are very rare. Ghia built a run of 15 “supersonic” cars in the 1950s and this was the last one built. It is also the only Supersonic attached to an Aston Martin chassis.

The engine in this car is likely the 2.9-liter straight six making either 140 or 165 horsepower, depending on compression (the catalog is vague on technical details. This auctions is being held in conjunction with Sotheby’s and is called “The Art of the Automobile,” so maybe it’s more about styling than driving, which is a shame). This car was acquired new by racing driver Harry Schell who sold it the following year to an American in New York. In 1974, the car was discovered outside a Detroit gas station by a young man who was able to track it down again in 2003 when he purchased it and began restoring it.

The restoration is exquisite and has proven successful, as this car wins awards just about every time it is shown. The DB2/4 is rare enough, with only 764 built. But this car has one-of-a-kind 1950s Space Age coachwork from one of the most famed coachbuilders of all time. It will likely bring between $1,800,000-$2,400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,310,000.

Aston Martin Mk II

1935 Aston Martin 1.5-Litre Mk II

Offered by Coys | Essen, Germany | April 13, 2013

1935 Aston Martin 1.5-Litre Mk II

Aston Martin built their first car in 1915 but production didn’t start until the 1920s. Early Astons are very rare and you don’t see many from prior to WWII. As far as what early Astons looked like – they all sort of resembled the car you see here.

The Mk II was introduced in 1934 and built through 1936 (yeah, they’re rare: only 148 were built). The company didn’t take off until the David Brown era, but it was models like this that allowed it to survive until Brown came along. Aston’s 1.5-liter engine was first bolted to a car in 1926 and lasted through 1935, with this being among the final Astons to use the 73 horsepower straight-four.

The body is a four-seat tourer by A. C. Bertelli and it’s very sporty, even with its long-ish looking wheelbase – they handled well and could do 80 mph. While the lot description doesn’t explicitly say so, it makes it sound like this car is in original condition – which would be incredible because this car looks like it was just restored. But it does come from long-term (50+ years) ownership where it was in a private museum (read: “collection”). It should bring a strong $150,000-$195,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Coys.

Update: Sold $158,100.

Gulf GT40

1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight

Offered by RM Auctions | Monterey California | August 17, 2012

The genesis of the Ford GT40 is a well-known story. Henry Ford II wanted Ferrari. Enzo said no. Ford set out to destroy them on the track – and succeeded brilliantly. The Gulf-Mirage story isn’t quite as popular, but it’s just as interesting.

While the GT40 was conceived and designed in Dearborn, it was built in England by Ford Advanced Vehicles (FAV). After the 1967 season, Ford cancelled the project, effectively ending FAV. A number of road-going models (as well as race cars) had already been produced.

The head of FAV was John Wyer, a former race engineer and team manager. He was actually the team owner of the winning 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans team – when Carroll Shelby, head of the GT40 race team, was driving. Anyway, when FAV was scuttled, Wyer stepped up and reformed it as John Wyer Automotive Engineering (JWAE).

One of the customers of the road-going cars happened to be Grady Davis, Vice-President of Gulf Oil. He liked the car and thought it might be a good platform to carry the Gulf Oil name in competition. He funded JWAE to build race cars specifically for the purpose. These cars were badged as “Mirage”s.

Wyer based the first Mirage prototype (the M1) very closely on the, unsuccessful in competition, Mk I GT40. The car you see here was the third of three lightweight Mirage M1 race cars built. The Mirage M1 was competing against the very successful Ford’s Mk II and Mk IV GT40s in 1967. When the 1968 rules were announced, Ford pulled out of the GT40 project and it was left to privateer teams. Wyer found a curious loophole: prototypes would be limited to 3.0-liters while sportscars (with at least 50 road version having been constructed) were allowed 5.0-liters. Wyer took the Mirage M1 cars back to Slough, where JWAE was based, and converted two of them to GT40s.

Now Wyer had quite a car on his hands. These “Mk I” GT40s (built after the Mk II, III and IVs) won the 1968 and 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans. The competition history of this car, Mirage M.10003/Ford GT40 P/1074, is as follows:

  • 1967 1000km Spa (as a Mirage M1) – 1st (with Jacky Ickx and Dick Thompson)
  • 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans – 47th, DNF (with Ickx and Brian Muir)
  • 1967 BOAC 500 (Brands Hatch) – DNF (with Thompson and Pedro Rodríguez)
  • 1967 1000km Paris at Montlhéry – 1st (with Ickx and Thompson)
  • 1968 Daytona 24 Hours (as GT40) – 33rd, DNF (with Paul Hawkins and David Hobbs)
  • 1968 12 Hours of Sebring – 28th (with Hawkins and Hobbs)
  • 1968 1000km Monza – 1st (with Hawkins and Hobbs)
  • 1968 1000km Nürburgring – 6th (with Hobbs and Brian Redman)
  • 1968 Six Hours of Watkins Glen – 2nd (with Hawkins and Hobbs)
  • 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans – 34th, DNF (with Hawkins and Hobbs)
  • 1968 1000km of Paris at Montlhéry – 8th (with Jean Blaton & Hughes de Fierlandt)
  • 1969 BOAC 500 (Brands Hatch) – 5th (with Hobbs and Mike Hailwood)

Perhaps, one of this car’s more interesting assignments was that of camera car for the 1971 film Le Mans starring Steve McQueen. The roof was cut away and heavy 1960s-era 35mm cameras were installed. The car was driven at speeds up to 150 mph with a daring camera operator in the passenger seat. The car made runs of the pit lane prior to the start of the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans for filming. Whether or not it ran during the race, however, is unknown.

The car passed through a few hands, being reconstructed as a GT40 in the 1970s and restored again in 1983. The most recent restoration was completed in 2002. Behind the driver sits a 440 horsepower Ford 289 V8. And all around the driver shines the brilliant blue/marigold Gulf colors that gives this car away as something truly special. The original Mirage M1 bodywork is included with the car.

If a Ford GT40 is a car you feel you must own, there is perhaps no other example, save for the Le Mans-winning Mk IV sitting in the Henry Ford Museum, that you should rather have than this. RM listed the estimate as “available upon request” – hinting that if you need even inquire, it is out of your reach. Expect it to go for millions. For the complete description, click here. And for more from RM in Monterey, click here.

Update: Sold $11,000,000.