Giancarlo Minardi’s Formula One team first appeared on the grid in 1985. In their first 46 races, the team saw at least one car running at the finish only eight times. While they were more reliable in later years, they weren’t much more successful. The team’s best finish was fourth, which happened three times. But they did have a pretty loyal fanbase. The team lasted through the 2005 season, and their new owners rebranded the team as Toro Rosso for 2006.
The M198 was their chassis for the 1998 season, which saw drivers Shinji Nakano and Esteban Tuero on the team. This chassis was the first one built, and it is powered by a 3.0-liter Ford Zetec-R V10 that made about 710 horsepower. The competition history for this chassis includes:
1998 Australian Grand Prix – 16th, DNF (with Shinji Nakano)
1998 Brazilian Grand Prix – 21st, DNF (with Nakano)
1998 Argentine Grand Prix – 13th (with Nakano)
After that, the car was refinished in the team’s 1999 livery and used as a show car. It still wears that scheme today. Since 2011, the car has been restored and used at events. It’s now for sale with an asking price of about $579,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, Florida | August 13-14, 2021
The mid-1960s were a time for change at Indianapolis. The mid-engined revolution was in full swing by ’66, and the previous year was the first time that a majority of the field was made up of rear-engined cars. The British cars were back in force in 1966, with Lola leading the way with their Ford-powered T-90.
Three T-90s were built, and all three were on the grid at the 1966 Indy 500. This is one of two powered by a 4.2-liter Ford quad-cam V8. Fuel injected, it makes about 425 horsepower. The competition history for this chassis, 90/2, includes:
1966 Indianapolis 500 – 6th, DNF (with Jackie Stewart)
1966 Langhorne 150 – 3rd (with Al Unser Sr.)
1966 Fuji 200 – 1st (with Stewart)
As most old race cars do after their time on track is finished, this car passed around between a few owners. In this case some of them believed this to be the ’66 500-winning car of Graham Hill. The current owner bought it under that assumption in 1995. After much research, it was discovered it was not. In 2017, the car was restored back to its Bowes Seal Fast Special livery that Stewart ran in 1966.
It’s got a pretty interesting history and the 100% right look of an early rear-engined Indy car. The pre-sale estimate is $1,000,000-$1,400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale. Also… can we take a second to ponder the insanity that Stewart finished SIXTH and was still not running at the end of the ’66 500? The fifth-place finisher wasn’t running either. Talk about attrition…
Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 13, 2021
The Ford GT40 is one of the coolest cars of all time, but it also has kind of a convoluted history. The first cars, the Mk I, were produced in England. The Mk II cars were built in California by Holman-Moody and featured a huge 7.0-liter V8. The Mk III was a road car only.
Then there was the Mk IV. It developed out of Ford’s J-car program, which saw the use of lightweight bonded aluminum honeycomb panels. They beefed the chassis up a bit when they officially made it into the Mk IV and added a heavy NASCAR-style roll cage. It featured the 7.0-liter V8 from the Mk II, which made about 485 horsepower in this car. The Mk IV was built in the U.S. by Kar Kraft, the same company that assembled Boss 429 Mustangs.
The body was redesigned to be longer, with a long low tail that made the car slippery through the air. At Le Mans in 1967, the Mk IV hit 212 mph on the Mulsanne Straight. Ford used the Mk IV in only two races: the 1967 12 Hours of Sebring and the ’67 running of Le Mans. It won both.
Serial numbers for the Mk IV all started with J. There were 10 complete cars built in period, with this, J9, being the second-to-last. Two additional chassis were constructed, and they were later turned into complete cars down the road. J9 was at one point bodied as an open-cockpit Can-Am car in the spirit of a Chapparal. It was tested by Mario Andretti in period.
Ford eventually sold the car for $1 to ex-Shelby American team mechanics, who retained it in its Can-Am glory – stored away – until 2012. At that point, it was restored with a Mk IV body and sold to its current owner. It’s useful in historic events and is estimated to sell for between $3,000,000-$3,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 12-14, 2021
This is a pretty iconic concept car from the 2000s. Or really from any time period. In 2004, retro-inspired design was all the rage, and Ford was hitting it hard with the likes of the 2005 Mustang and the GT revival. Although Ford was not the original manufacturer of the Shelby Cobra, they decided to reimagine the Cobra for the 21st century anyway. And that said, it did supply the engines and had a close relationship with Carroll Shelby himself.
Carroll Shelby was also involved with this project, although to what degree I do not know. The styling does look vaguely Cobra-ish. The aluminum chassis was derived from that of the GT, and power is from a 6.4-liter V10 rated at 645 horsepower. Ford only produced four of these engines. So don’t break it.
The car is said to be capable of 207 mph but is limited to 100 mph. It was 100% intended for production. In fact, this car was so ready to go that this, the only prototype built, is plated for the street. It was purchased by its current owner, a former Ford VP of product development, in 2017. No pre-sale estimate is available, but this should be one of the stars of the show at Mecum Monterey. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Cheserex, Switzerland | June 20, 2021
Benetton Formula arrived on the grid in 1986, taking over the Toleman team. They later gave Michael Schumacher his first two titles before being purchased by Renault in 2000. The B193 was their car for the 1993 season, and it was updated to B193B spec beginning at the third race of the season at Donington Park.
The cars were powered by a 3.5-liter Ford V8 that made about 700 horsepower. Unfortunately, this chassis (#02) has been converted to show car spec, so it is currently engineless. It started the season as a spare car before being used for testing. Its actual competition history consists of:
1993 German Grand Prix – 5th (with Riccardo Patrese)
1993 Hungarian Grand Prix – 2nd (with Patrese)
1993 Belgian Grand Prix – 6th (with Patrese)
1993 Italian Grand Prix – 5th (with Patrese)
1993 Portuguese Grand Prix – 16th, DNF (with Patrese)
Not too shabby. The car has been refinished in a later livery (it would’ve had a yellow and green Camel livery in ’93). At any rate, it’s a pure roller. Yet, it is still expected to bring between $89,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | May 22, 2021
March Engineering debuted on the Formula One grid in 1970. Their best years were their early years, and they left after a points-less 1977. March reappeared in 1981, and then packed up their ball again and went home after 1982. They reappeared yet again in 1987 and raced as Leyton House Racing in 1990 and 1991 before a final season as March in 1992.
The 811 was their car for the 1981 season. It featured a 3.0-liter Ford-Cosworth DFV V8, which on this example was recently rebuilt. The competition history for this chassis, 811-05, includes:
1981 Spanish Grand Prix – 16th (with Derek Daly)
1981 French Grand Prix – 19th, DNF (with Daly)
1981 German Grand Prix – 21st, DNF (with Daly)
1981 Austrian Grand Prix – 11th (with Daly)
1981 Dutch Grand Prix – 20th, DNF (with Daly)
1981 Italian Grand Prix – 12th, DNF (with Daly)
1981 Canadian Grand Prix – 8th (with Daly)
It was later campaigned in the 1982 British Formula One championship and in the final few races of the 1982 Can-Am season, during which it was modified to look more like a sports car. It was restored to its 1981 F1 glory in 1988 and has been active on the historic circuit. It is expected to bring between $300,000-$400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Glendale, Arizona | March 18-20, 2021
This is the top dog among first-gen Mustangs. The Boss 429 was offered in 1969 and 1970 only, and it was more of a pure muscle car when compared to its namesake relative, the Boss 302 (which was produced for Trans Am homologation). The 429 was all engine, and that’s really the reason exists.
Ford needed to offer the 429 in a road car in order for it to be allowable in NASCAR. The Z-code 429 was a, well, 429-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) V8 rated at 375 horsepower. Only 499 were produced in 1970, and this one is finished in Grabber Green with a matte black hood scoop over black. The ’70 model was rarer than the ’69.
It features a limited-slip differential, a front spoiler, the Drag Pack, and a competition suspension. Only manual transmissions were available, and air conditioning was not an option. These are exceptionally cool Mustangs, and they are very rare. This is why they cost a lot more than their 302 Boss counterparts. You can check out more about this one here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 7-16, 2021
What a great looking car. The 1970 Torino is one of Ford’s styling highpoints of the era. This model year had a dizzying assortment of models, sub-models, trims, body-style, and engine combos. The Torino Cobra was the top sport-level trim, slotting in above the Torino GT. It was available as a two-door Sportsroof fastback only.
The dealers in Ford’s Kansas City sales district were selling a limited edition Twister Special of the Mustang for 1970. Only 96 were ordered. Alongside those, the dealers opted to outfit 90 Torinos with a similar package. Only 30 of those had a four-speed manual transmission like this car has.
Power is from a 7.0-liter (429) Cobra Jet V8 rated at 370 horsepower when new. The Twister Special package added some blacked-out trim and graphics. This car has rear window sport slats and spoilers up front and out back. Fully restored, it’s going to sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | December 12, 2020
In America, there is nothing remotely sexy about the name “Ford Escort.” There are no glorious images of the car on African rallies. No clips of RS-branded hatchbacks racing through the streets. We just got the crappy sedans and hatchbacks.
Not so in the U.K., where cool Escorts appeared as early as the 1960s. The fourth-generation Escort went on sale in 1986 and was produced through 1992. The RS Turbo actually debuted during the previous generation (thus why this is called a Series 2) and continued in production for the duration of the fourth-generation model run.
It is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four rated at 132 horsepower. It was fuel injected, intercooled, and capable of 125 mph and 60 in 8.3 seconds. Not super quick today, but fun and relatively cheap in 1988. This one has 36,000 miles and looks pretty good in black with a sly rear spoiler and driving lights up front. It is expected to sell for between $18,000-$24,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | September 16-25, 2020
Here is another coachbuilt example of something American you wouldn’t expect to have landed in the hands of an Italian design house. Ford and Ghia have partnered on quite a few show cars over the years, and Ford has actually had a stake in Ghia since 1970. But in the 1950s, Ghia was Chrysler’s turf. That all started to change about the time that this fastback Falcon appeared in 1964.
The car was built on a 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint chassis. It retained the Sprint’s 164-horsepower, 4.3-liter (260ci) V8. Ghia added the fastback body style that RM correctly notes as sort of predicting the upcoming Plymouth Barracuda.
It’s a neat-looking thing, but it somehow makes the relatively ho-hum Falcon appear just as ho-hum, yet even more of the period. I would have totally believed this was a factory body style if I didn’t already know it was a one-off. It’s expected to fetch $40,000-$75,000 (in other words, they have no idea what it’s worth). Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.