The Ford GT40 moved from famous to legendary when Lucien Bianchi and Pedro Rodriguez drove the car to victory at the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
Editor’s note: This is the first in a 30-day sponsored series featuring cars to be sold January 23-31 during Barrett-Jackson’s 45th Scottsdale auction.
The Ford GT40 moved from famous to legendary on September 29,1968 when Lucien Bianchi and Pedro Rodriguez drove the car to victory at the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Sporting Gulf Oil’s powder blue and orange colors, the No. 9 GT40 finished five laps ahead of the second-place Porsche 907 to secure Ford’s third straight victory at the LeMans classic, a string of victories that began in 1966 with Henry Ford II’s demand to “beat Ferrari’s ass.” Shelby American and Holman-Moody delivered with a commanding 1-2-3 finish in 1966 to end Ferrari’s dominance over the previous six years.
In 1969, the same GT40, chassis No. 1075, went back to Le Mans and competed making it the first car to ever win LaMans twice.
In 2002, Ford took the automotive world by storm when it was announced its “GT40” concept car with hints toward possible production at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. On June 13, 2003, a Ford news release made it official: “Today, the all-new 2005 Ford GT supercar comes to life.”
When released, the 2005-2006 Ford GT’s showcased what was called “retrofuturism” styling, effectively bring the Ford GT into the modern era.
This 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition (Lot #1370) is being offered at no reserve at Barrett-Jackson’s 2016 Scottsdale auction.
Its drivetrain consists of a supercharged, mid-mounted four-valve 5.4-liter V8, good for 500 horsepower, mated to a Ricardo 6-speed manual transaxle. Unlike the original GT40, the new iteration came with the comforts and conveniences of a touring car, including air conditioning, AM/FM/CD stereo and tilt/telescoping steering wheel.
For the 2006 model year, Ford added a pair of special colors to the supercar — Tungsten Grey to commemorate the GT40s 1-2-3 LeMans victory in 1966 and this “Heritage Edition” in the blue and orange livery of the Gulf Oil-sponsored GT40 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1968 and 1969. Only 343 Heritage Editions were produced out of the 2,011 Ford GTs built for 2006, bringing the total 2005-2006 Ford GT production to only 4,033.
With only 5,718 miles, this orange and blue GT comes with documentation, including a pair of original window stickers, one framed and the other in new condition.
The GT40s of the 1960s and the 2005-2006 Ford GTs are once again in the spotlight as Ford reintroduces the Ford GT for 2016 and takes the marque back to LeMans to try for another win on the 50th anniversary of the GT40’s first victory in 1966.
Barrett-Jackson’s 45th Anniversary Scottsdale Auction, January 23-31 at WestWorld of Scottsdale, will feature over 1,400 vehicles, most selling at No Reserve. For information on becoming a bidder, visit Barrett-Jackson.com/bid or call 480-421-6694.