Name: 1966 Ford GT40 Mk I (Street Version)
Year(s) Produced: 1965-1966
Number Built: 31
Class: Sports car
Body Type: 2-door fastback coupe
Engine: 288.5 cui, Ford Windsor V-8
Power: 335hp @ 6250 rpm
0-60mph: 5.1 mph
Top Speed: 172 mph
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Length/width/height: 165 in./ 70 in./ 40.5 in.
Wheelbase: 95 in.
Base Price: N/A
Highest Price: US$5.25 million (Hagerty)
In the early days of the gruelling 24 Hours of Le Mans during the 1960s, those automakers who aspire to enter its GT class had to build at least 25 road-worthy versions of their participating car. It actually served as well, allowing the world to see the best of the best on what the industry can offer during that time. This street version of the 1966 Ford GT40 Mk I is a perfectly good example of such car that carries with it the bragging rights of being a world-class, Ferrari-beating, American racer.
This GT40 in particular had its share of the spotlight in Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida, and went under the hammer courtesy of Gooding & Co.’s. Though it never reached its estimated high bid, the previous owner couldn’t be happier with a final bid of US$3.3 million. However, don’t let the amount mislead you, because behind its impressive façade is a rich provenance that no auto connoisseur can’t shrug off or ignore. This car, with chassis #1065, is one of only 31 GT40 Mk I examples constructed for road use, and one of seven such cars that were consigned to the Car Merchandising Department-Ford Division as part of a Mk I dealer promotion program. #1065 was earmarked for “Road Car Specifications,” and came equipped with a Weber-carbureted 289 Hi-Po engine. Shipped from the factory to Ford’s Dearborn headquarters on December 23, 1966, this GT40 was eventually assigned to Ford’s Philadelphia Sales District for dealer promotion. On November 28, 1967, the car was invoiced to Al Grillo Ford of Lynn, Massachusetts, for $10,000. After being sold to a certain Charles Hills of Dallas, Texas in 1967 it changed hands many times travelling around the globe, and underwent many repaints, although ironically it was only driven sparingly.
This GT40 underwent a substantial restoration in 2009 that included a rebuild of the engine, transmission, brakes and suspension, and a repaint in its stunning Azure Blue original color highlighting this car’s breathtaking performance and arresting presentation. Its 289-cubic-inch V-8 engine maxes out at 390 horsepower with stunning quad twin-choke Weber carburetors as previously mentioned, and distinctively iconic headers. Its five-speed ZF transaxle and four-wheel disc brakes ensures that this powerhouse is kept tamed.
It might be a shame to mention right now that this particular GT40 has only a little over 3000 miles on the clock. Even with its tremendous value, we hope that the current owner will somehow manage to add more miles into it. Nevertheless, the GT40 Mk I is and will continually to be a heart-stopping example of how the American sports racer should be. Here are more pictures of this iconic speedster.