This particular car sold for $7.1MM during the sale and the video of the bidding presented here.
April 10-12, 2014
This Lot scheduled to be sold SAT 3:00PM
DESCRIPTION (text and photos excerpted from FULL OFFERING HERE)
The spark that detonated the famous war between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari flashed in the spring of 1963. From the drag strips to NASCAR to Indianapolis, Ford’s “Total Performance” image campaign was in full bloom and looking to reach across the ocean to encompass the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Manufacturer’s World Championship. Speculation that Ford was angling to buy Ferrari to those ends proved to be true, but the negotiations went down in flames when Enzo Ferrari suddenly had last minute misgivings and walked out on the pretense of suffering under Ford’s “suffocating bureaucracy.”
Ferrari’s stagecraft left Ford enraged and still with nothing to challenge the competition in Europe, but he did have one very valuable asset: Carroll Shelby, who even then was preparing his own Cobras to contest Le Mans and who bore his own personal grudge against Ferrari. Shelby had also won the 24 Hours for Aston Martin in 1959 and, when Ford asked him to find someone capable of building a Le Mans winner, he considered both Lotus and Cooper before eventually choosing Englishman Eric Broadley, whose Lola GT coupe was very similar to existing Ford designs for a GT endurance racer and was already in testing.
Ford signed Broadley to a one-year agreement that included the sale of the first two Lola GT chassis to Ford. Former Aston Martin racing manager John Wyer was hired to manage the development team and Roy Lunn, who had penned the mid-engined 1962 Mustang 1 concept car, was brought in from Dearborn to lead the design team.
Built at the new Ford Advanced Vehicles, Ltd. facility in Slough, the first Ford GT40, chassis number GT/101, made its press debut April 1, 1964 at the 1964 New York Auto Show. Just two weeks later it joined the second car, GT/102, for the April Le Mans practice weekend under Wyer’s management. Wind tunnel testing had further refined the GT40’s shape, but on the first outings drivers Jo Schlesser and Roy Salvadori encountered severe rear lifting at high speed that made the cars too dangerous to drive. Both drivers pushed their mounts past 190 mph, but only once; because there was no time to search for a solution they were ordered by Wyer to slow down. Despite that edict, on the second day Schlesser crashed on Mulsanne and Salvadori slid into the bank at the end of the straight. Both drivers were unscathed, but the cars were wrecked and Le Mans was only two months away.
- GT/104, the 4th GT40 Prototype
- Factory team car with lightweight chassis
- Ford's 1964 Le Mans debut entry
- The first GT40 with a podium finish
- Driven by Phil Hill, Bruce McLaren, Bob Bondurant, Ken Miles, Jo Schlesser, Richie Ginther, Richard Attwood and other works drivers
- The second oldest GT40 in existence
- After the 1965 season, the car was given to Kar Kraft for restoration
- Displayed by Ford at the Detroit Auto Show
- Owned by Ford until 1971,
- Exacting restoration to 1965 Shelby livery by Paul Lanzante in 2010
- Shelby 289 CI V-8 engine
- Colotti T37 4-speed transmission
- Girling 11.5" 4-wheel disc brakes
- Four Weber 48IDA carburetors
- Known ownership history
- Offered on a bill of sale
One of the pioneering prototypes of the now-legendary GT40 juggernaut and one of the few that remains today, GT/104 is one of only two famously prepared and raced by Shelby American for the 1965 season. One of the first race cars of any kind to benefit from computerized missile aerodynamics technology and the budding field of telemetry, it was crucial to the development of the GT40 into World Championship form, proving the project’s potential at Le Mans, reaching the podium at Daytona and participating in Ford’s first year in international competition. Its development involved such famous names as Lunn, Wyer and Shelby; it was driven by the top stars of the era at the world’s most famous venues. As the first ever 1965 Shelby American-specification GT40, chassis GT/104 is widely regarded as the most original and correct prototype Shelby American team car and possesses what Ronnie Spain has described as “one of the clearest provenances… of all GT40s.”