The story of the GT40 has been told many times. Henry Ford II had wanted a Ford at LeMans for years. In 1963, Ford found out through a European intermediary that Enzo Ferrari was interested in selling to Ford Motor Company. Ford would then spend several million dollars in an audit of Ferrari factory assets and in legal negotiations, only to have Ferrari cut off talks at a late stage due to disputes about the ability to direct open wheel racing.
It is said that Ferrari wanted to remain the sole operator of his company's motor sports division. He was angered when he was told that he would not be allowed to race at the Indianapolis 500 if the deal went through, as Ford fielded Indy cars using its own engine and didn't want competition from Ferrari. Enzo immediately ended negotiations and Henry Ford II, enraged, directed his racing division to find a company that would build a Ferrari-beater. And thus, the GT40 was born.
GT40's would go on to win the 24 Hours of LeMans four times, including a 1-2-3 victory in 1966, beating Ferrari.
A total of 84 production versions of the racing GT40 were completed at Ford's Advanced Vehicle facility in Slough, England. J.W. Automotive Engineering took over the Slough facility and started manufacturing strictly road-going version of the GT40 in 1966. The company was headed by John Weyer, the ex-GT40 team manager and Ford's GT40 distributor in England. His goal was to create a more roadworthy GT40 than Ford's racing versions. The MKIII was a GT40 for the street, just as the Jaguar XK-SS was a D-Type for the street. The MK III had a slightly detuned Cobra 289 or 302 V8, a more civilized interior, more ground clearance, a storage compartment for touring and 'bumperettes' among other detail changes. A total of seven were built with a price tag of $18,500, more than a Ferrari or Maserati.
This GT 40 MK III number 1103, was first owned by Sir Max Aitken of London, and in 1973 Brian Auger became the second owner. Auger had it painted from its original maroon to white with blue stripes and installed MKI wheels and tires. No other modifications were made. In 1981 it passed to a new owner and the car had covered only 6,000 documented miles. The new owner put the car in the National Motor Museum at Bealieu where it resided until the current owner purchased it in August 2011.
He had CKL Developments in Battle, East Sussex, England, begin a 'sympathetic' restoration, taking the car back to the original colors and original specifications including rebuilding the engine. Even the Borrani wire wheels along with the original Goodyear tires are with the car.
The car was dismantled to being the process of cleaning components and replacing 'consumables' like bearings, seals, hoses, brake hydraulics, valve springs, piston rings and valves. Even the original Borrani wire wheels along with the original Goodyear tires are with the car. The objective of this process was to return 1103 to its original specification.
Exceptional care has been taken to ensure it remains in such unmolested condition and not damage its originality.