The Last V-8 Prototype: 1964 Ford GT40 Prototype up for Auction
And it can be yours if you have a small fortune to burn.
There are rare cars, and then there are unicorns on wheels forged from unobtainium—cars that come up for sale once in a lifetime. This 1964 Ford GT40 headed to auction belongs to the latter category, as it's among the earliest prototypes for the legendary race car in existence.
This particular car, presented by classic car auction house Duncan Hamilton, is Chassis GT/105, the fifth of five prototypes built in Coventry, England for the start of the Ford GT40 program in 1964. These early cars were fitted with a 4.2-liter V-8 (and later, Ford's 289-cubic-inch V-8) and served as testbeds for the later versions that would go on to sweep the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans two year later. All five original cars saw action during the 1964 season, racing at the Nürburgring and Le Mans, but saw little success. By the end of the season, Chassis GT/103 and GT/104 were shipped to Carroll Shelby for fine-tuning. If you've seen Ford v Ferrari, you know where the story goes from there.
But what happened to GT/105? According to the sellers, it continued to serve as a test car, racing at Daytona, Sebring, and Le Mans in 1965. It was the first GT40 to test the 289-CID V-8 from the Ford Mustang, which led to the development of the more widely produced GT40 MkI. Over the course of its racing career, GT/105 racked up more miles than any GT40 still in existence, and was piloted by such racing greats as Bruce McLaren, Phill Hill, Bob Bondurant, and many more. Duncan Hamilton claims the car has never been damaged, and has a well-documented provenance that can be traced all the way back to the beginning of Ford's campaign to beat Ferrari at Le Mans.
With GT/103 and GT/104 permanently residing in the collection of the Shelby American museum, and GT/101 and GT/102 destroyed, this is the earliest Ford GT40 you can buy. Considering original GT40s with known racing pedigrees have sold for millions in the past, you can bet this one won't come cheap. But again, this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime cars.