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 Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014
Photo – Auctions America
Humber is a relatively well-known British automobile manufacturer. But it did not build this armored car. In fact, it was built by Karrier, a brand that was part of the Rootes Group during the Second World War when the Humbers saw action all over the world. The engine is a 90 horsepower six-cylinder and it can do 50 mph. About 2,000 Mk IVs were built and they are differentiated from earlier versions by a larger gun and turret changes. This should bring between $75,000-$100,000. Click here to read more.
Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2014
There’s nothing too remarkable about the Bentley Mark VI. It’s not a car that stands out to me as brilliant or beautiful or anything special other than it being an old, post-war luxury sedan. That is, until you have one of the most prestigious coachbuilders in history slap one of their windswept bodies onto it.
The Mark VI was introduced in 1946 and lasted through 1952. This car uses the 4.25-liter straight-six making about 132 (or “adequate”) horsepower. In total, 5,208 were built in various bodystyles.
This car was built for a Parisian who used it to commute to Monaco. It was originally dark gray and it came to America in 1964 – where it has been since. It was restored in 1990 – and painted red – when it showed up and won Best in Class at Pebble Beach. In 2012 it was repainted black – which is a much better color than red for this car.
According to Bonhams (and Joseph Figoni’s son Claude), this is the only “true” (not sure what that means) post-war Bentley bodied by Figoni et Falaschi. It’s certainly striking and it’s certainly the only one like it in the world. It should sell for between $500,000-$650,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ auction lineup.
Offered by Russo & Steele | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 15-19, 2014
Can-Am was the coolest of race series. The rules were essentially: it must have two seats and four fenders. Other than that, anything goes. Unlike most racing series today, innovation was the key driver that bred some of the best race cars of all time (and ultimately killed the series).
McKee Engineering of Palantine, Illinois, was founded by Bob McKee. The company was one of very few in America producing road-racing sports prototypes in the 1960s. This car came about because NASCAR banned Chrysler’s Hemi engine for 1965 and Chrysler decided to sit Richard Petty out of NASCAR that year. They also figured that their Hemi would work well in a sports car, so they commissioned McKee to build this car for Petty to race in the coming Can-Am series.
Well the car was built but wasn’t ready to race until the end of 1965. Petty went back to NASCAR in ’66 and Phoenix, Arizona, Chrysler-dealer Bob Montana was given the responsibility to campaign this 7.0-liter V-8 powered monster. He raced it in USRRC and Can-Am between 1965 through 1967. In 1968, it competed in SCCA events and in 1969 it was retired.
It was parked for 35 years and restored in 2004 and the car has been invited to the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Monterey Historics since. This is a really cool race car with a pretty interesting history. You can see more here and check out more from Russo & Steele here.