1965 FORD GT40 ROADSTER PROTOTYPE
words by samuel cuthbert with PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF RM AUCTIONS
So you all know about the Ford GT40, and most of you probably know about the epic tale of how it came to be produced, after Enzo Ferrari infuriated the board of Ford Motor Company by withdrawing his proposed sale of Ferrari to them in the '60s. Rightly so, as they had sunk millions into their due diligence on the company as they prepared to buy the marque.
That fury within Ford turned into a drive to create a "Ferrari-killer", a car that would be able to beat Enzo where it hurt - on the race track. You see, this is why Enzo performed the last-minute backflip - when he found out that he would lose control of the racing division he couldn't bear the thought of someone else taking over and reneged on their proposal.
The development of the Ferrari-slaying GT40 would take place in England, and would result in 12 prototypes being made with the help of Lola. Their agreed bid on the project involved starting around their own successful Lola Mk 6 | Lola GT and developing it from there. The dozen prototypes included five roadsters as featured in the album (only 4 of which are accounted for these days) and this particular example is said to be the best condition of those four.
The prototypes did their job, testing various setups and systems until the GT40 was fit to be unveiled, and it proceeded to dominate the 24 hours of Le Mans, winning four years in a row from 1966-1969. This sort of thing makes uber-rich all sweaty at the thought of adding something like this with such history to their collections - and indeed it should provide some sweaty moments for RM Auctions when it comes up for sale in August - rumours put it the the region of $10,000,000. Here is a little snippet of footage I dug up for you to give you another angle on this rather special prototype.