1965 De Tomaso P70
Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 16, 2019
There were a lot of cooks in the kitchen when it came to getting this car built. And that’s probably a big part of the reason only an example or two were ever completed. Let’s start with the backstory: Carroll Shelby was killing it with his Cobras, including the legendary Daytona Coupes. But there were rumblings that McLaren was about to drop a huge 7.0-liter monster on the Cam-Am and USRRC circuits.
To hedge his bets while he waiting to find out if he would be taking over Ford’s GT40 program, Shelby teamed up with Alejandro de Tomaso to one-up McLaren before they got too far ahead. The car was engineered by de Tomaso and the body was designed by Peter Brock, who had also designed the Daytona Coupe. The body was then constructed by Fantuzzi in Italy.
Already featuring adjustable aerodynamics, Ol’ Shel wanted a lightweight powerplant. But it never got that far. Shelby got the GT40 gig and bolted from this project, and De Tomaso ended up showing the car at the 1965 Turin Auto Show as the “Ghia de Tomaso.”
Then it went into storage, staying put long after de Tomaso was gone. In 2004, the car’s body panels were discovered, and a very rough version of the car won awards at the 2005 Quail Motorsports Gathering. It was then restored and is now fitted with a 350 horsepower, 4.7-liter Gurney-Weslake V8. It’s expected to fetch between $2,000,000-$3,000,000 – which is a lot for a historic racing car with no racing heritage to speak of. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Not sold.