'Le Mans' Ford GT40 For Auction
The iconic Ford GT40 film car that Steve McQueen raced in Le Mans is expected to break records when it is sold in the US this August.
By Elizabeth Annett on Monday 18th June, 2012
The eight-time Le Mans winning racing model will be auctioned alongside a road GT40 that has covered only 4,749 miles since it was built in 1967. The pair is set to be the star attraction at the RM Auction's Monterey sale in August.
The iconic 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf Mirage lightweight racing car gained celebrity status after being driven by none other than the King of Cool himself, Steve Mcqueen, in the 70s cult classic film Le Mans. Originally famous for its racing rather than acting career, Ford’s model GT40s won Le Mans through 1966 to 1969. Raced by Jacky Ickx in the real-life 1968 Le Mans trials, its chassis number 1074 is painted in the Gulf team colours of powder blue with an orange stripe.
This pair of cars represent what many would call the highest point in Ford’s designing history. Shelby Myers, mnagaing director at RM auctions, commented: “One cannot overstate the importance of the GT40 in automotive history and this rare opportunity for discerning collectors to become one of an elite few to be able to join the distinguished GT40 owner’s club.”
Ford GT40s are hugely famous for their racing pedigree, the reason for their creation being Ford’s desire to win the legendary 24-hour Le Mans endurance race. The company initially hoped to achieve this by buying main competitor Ferrari, but when this purchase fell through the company decided to design its own super sports racer, and consequently the GT40 was born. It went on to beat Ferrari throughout the 60s.
The second car up for auction is one of only 31 GT40 road cars built: the 1967 GT40 Mk I chassis 1059. As one of the lowest mileage GT40s in existence, it is an extraordinary car and estimated to sell for around $2.5 million.