The 1965 GT40: Loud, Fast, and on the Auction Block!
When I was a little boy, one of my favorite toys was my Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle. I’m not quite sure how it worked. I just wound up a lever until the pad made a “WHIRR” sound, and then flipped a lever. The bike, with a Knievel figure mounted on the seat, took off like a bat out of Hell; leaping over whatever makeshift obstacle I put in its way. The official ad for the toy said that it could “clear an entire set of encyclopedias,” but I don’t recall ever tasking it with such a feat. The point was that it was fast, powerful, and made a loud sound. In the 1970s, that’s all that mattered. Fast-forward 40-odd-years and nothing has changed. That’s why my inner child is so excited about the upcoming auction of a 1965 Ford GT40. Few things louder or more powerful have roamed the earth since the last Tyrannosaurus Rex died off. Born to Race
In the early 1960s, Henry Ford II wanted one thing above all else: to have a car with his name on it compete at Le Mans. To this end, he forged an alliance with master race car designer Eric Broadley, who was based in London. Ford sent some of his best talent, including engineer Roy Lunn, across the pond to collaborate on the project.
For a year, the team the team labored to create automotive perfection. The fruits of their efforts were unveiled in England on April 1st, 1963, and then shipped to New York City. Initial results were disappointing, until Carroll Shelby got hold of the GT40 and gave it the special touches only he was capable of. The car went on to victory at 1965’s Daytona 2000, then crushed the competition at the 1966 Le Mans.
It took three years and a Helluva lot of money, but Henry Ford II was at last a happy man. The auction’s winner is going to be ecstatic as well, albeit a few million dollars poorer. Hey, it’s only money!