1966 Ford GT40 MkI road car headed to Mecum’s Kissimmee auction

Christmas will come in January for a number of bidders at Mecum’s Kissimmee, Florida auctions running from January 2-14. One of the lots crossing the dais will be this 1966 Ford GT40 MkI road car. The MkI race cars fitted Ford’s 289-cubic-inch V8 and smoother bodywork than the MkII cars powered by the 427-cubic-inch V8; note the flying buttresses behind the cockpit that inspired the buttresses on the 2017 Ford GT, whereas the MkII cars required additional air intakes here. Before MkI production ended, Ford built 30 roadgoing examples, making 49 changes to dial the racy bits back slightly. The alterations included a softer suspension settings, dual-plate clutches instead of three-plate for the five-speed ZF manual transmission, and more pliant brakes, The interior’s laid up with more leather and upholstery than the race car, too. 

Italian Antonio Allecce ordered this car new, Ford delivered it to him in this Metallic Dark Blue over black interior in 1966. Allecce specced the race exhaust but also got the road exhaust normally fitted, he also paid extra for a high-pressure oil pump, as well as a spare wire wheel and Goodyear tire for the frunk. 

Four owners over the years included one ex-Ferrari works driver who drove the MkI GT40 race car at the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans. Over the nearly 58 years of its life, these owners combined to put 13,442 miles on the car, none of them on a race track. Talk about mechanical sympathy. Furthermore, the current owner of nearly 30 years, a German resident, asked RUF — yes, the Porsche people — to complete a full restoration. A RUF spokesperson told Motor1, “[RUF] did indeed restore that GT40 back in 1996 for a special client of theirs… In fact, they restored all his cars. Though it is pretty rare, RUF is able to restore cars outside of the Porsche realm if a client requests.” 

The result is a barely used, concours-quality GT40 that might have just 29 brothers and sisters on the planet. Mecum hasn’t provided a pre-sale estimate. According to Hagerty, the quality of this GT40 puts the coupe’s valuation at just over seven million dollars.

The lot is part of what Mecum’s calling The Apex Collection of cars being sold in Kissimmee, the group including a 1966 Shelby GT350 Hertz Edition, a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS Z10, a 1987 Porsche 959, a 1993 Jaguar XJ200. As a sign of how special Mecum considers that group of cars, The Apex Collection doesn’t include a 1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra also going under the hammer, one of merely 23 original factory 427 Cobras that Shelby made.

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