We’ve all heard the tale of that fateful day in June, 1966 when Ford pulled off the overall victory at Le Mans with its new GT40 racer and iced the high-octane cake with a historic 1-2-3 photo finish. That day would go down in history as one of the most memorable Le Mans finishes in the history of the race and now, well-heeled collectors have the chance to add the third-place finishing car to their collection.
1966 Ford GT40 MkII chassis number P/1016 will be offered by RM Sotheby’s at its annual Monterey sale this August, among a growing lineup that also contains a 1968 Porsche 908 race car. P/1016 was shipped to Shelby American, then headquartered in Los Angeles, in 1965 where it was completed in time for its first race at the 24 Hours of Daytona in February 1966. In that race, driven by Richie Ginther and Ronnie Bucknum, P/1016 did not finish, the victim of a broken experimental automatic gearbox. The car’s next race would be at the 12 Hours of Sebring a month later, where it finished 12th overall, driven by A.J. Foyt and Ronnie Bucknum.
Following Sebring, P/1016 was sent to famed race shop Holman and Moody in Charlotte, North Carolina where the car was prepared for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. There, driven by Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson, it finished 3rd overall. The car’s last professional race was back at Daytona in 1967 where it again DNF’d, the result of another broken gearbox with Mark Donahue and Peter Revson sharing the wheel. It also ran at the Le Mans test days with Donohue and Bruce McLaren, though it would not compete in the actual race. Three years later, the car was donated to Bill Harrah’s automobile museum in Reno, Nevada and in ’73, the car began a long history of private ownership. It has been raced at several Le Mans Classic events in the meanwhile and was even reunited with the first and second-place 1966 Le Mans finishers at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Still presented in its gold Le Mans livery, there is no pre-sale estimate yet given for the GT40, but rest assured, this car should be bid at least well into the seven-figure range when it crosses the auction block in Monterey this August. The RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction will take place at the Monterey Conference Center at the Portola Hotel and Spa on August 24 and 25.