Ford GT40 Works Prototype Roadster

In March 2013, it will be 50 years since Ford jump-started the GT40 program. The purposeful mid-engine sports coupé is the finest Anglo-American supercar of the last century, with four straight victories at the Le Mans 24-Hour endurance race between 1966-69. In 1966 alone, it finished 1-2-3 against Ferrari in one of the most memorable photo finishes in the race’s distinguished history.

Its genesis alone is the stuff of legends and the subject of countless books, summarised most succinctly as a failed buy-out of Ferrari by Henry Ford II.

Blank cheques were signed in Detroit, engineering and racing heavyweights were hired, and Lolas were modified and readied for testing. GT/101, the first prototype, was assembled in March 1964, in time for testing and the imminent Ford-Ferrari battle at Le Mans in summer. Undaunted by a lack of wins, Ford regrouped for 1965 with Carroll Shelby – already a veteran with his Cobras – taking over the GT40 program.

He delivered a win at Daytona with Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby in GT/103 and a 2nd place at Sebring with Ken Miles and Bruce McLaren in the same car.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in May of 2011 at the Spazio Villa Erba, Cernobbio, Como.

444 hp, 289 cubic inch, OHV V-8 engine, four Weber twin-choke carburettors, ZF five-speed manual transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,400 mm (95").

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Tom Wood

Gallery: Ford GT40 Works Prototype Roadster