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Historic Le Mans Ford GT40 up for auction

Historic Le Mans Ford GT40

A 1966 Ford GT40 – one of three that propelled Ford to its first-ever 24 Hours of Le Mans victory – is the latest star entry for RM Sotheby’s upcoming flagship auction in Monterey, California, on August 24-25.

Chassis P/1016 (which sported No 5 on the day) was one of three Ford GT40s to cross the line at Le Mans in 1966, not only earning Ford its first-ever victory at the legendary French endurance race, but also a 1-2-3 clean sweep.

Driven by American pair Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson, the No 5 car completed 348 laps and finishing 3rd overall for the Holman & Moody racing team.

Occupying first and second places were the two other Ford GT40s — the first driven by victors Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon, the other by runners-up Ken Miles and Denny Hulme.

Now restored to the same golden livery it wore when it raced at Le Mans, GT40 Chassis P/1016 is estimated to achieve around £7-9m in Monterey.

The GT40 Mk II was a development of the original Ford GT program, evolving to include a race-tuned
7.0-litre V8 engine – the ‘40’ part of the GT40 name is a nod to the sleek racing car’s low 40-inch
overall height.

“The status of P/1016 speaks for itself, and if it wasn’t for this car, the history of motorsport as we know it would be very different,” said Alexander Weaver, Car Specialist, at RM Sotheby’s.

“The sale of this GT40 represents a real chance for any collector or motorsport enthusiast to own a significant piece of history.

“To feature a car for sale that has played such a pivotal role in such a famous race is very important for us as we prepare for the Monterey auction.

“This Ford has been restored to the condition it raced in, which will be a vital consideration for any prospective buyer. Few cars can be considered gold standard, but this GT40 is, and will always be remembered as one of the Fords that finally beat Ferrari.”

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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