Sold for $9,795,000 at 2018 RM Sothebys : Monterey.
Chassis #: P/1016
Engine #: HA 1697
Starting in 1966, Ford won at the 24 Hours of LeMans four years in a row. This dominance in international long-distance racing by a single make and model was a tremendous accomplishment. Three GT40 entries had retired early at LeMans in 1964. A year later, Carroll Shelby was made manager of the racing program, yet success was not achieved. Gearbox failures or related problems were typically the reasons for the early retirement in endurance competition. Henry Ford II's frustrations continued to climb as a NART-run Ferrari 250 LM emerged victories.
For 1966, Henry Ford II demanded top Ford Division executive Don Frey win at LeMans at any cost. Among his first decisions was to cancel Carroll Shelby's employment as the program manager, though Shelby-American continued as one of three factory-approved teams. In Mr. Shelby's place was Holman-Moody of Charlotte, North Carolina. They were initially allocated three GT40s for the 1966 season (chassis numbers P/106, P/1031, and P/1032). All three were built new to MK II specifications. The GT40 Mk II was the product of Kar Kraft, Ford's stateside sports car facility, which used the British-built GT40 and made modifications and updates as needed. This included making the chassis stiffer using thicker-gauge steel, stronger engine mountings, and more advanced suspension with two-way adjustable Koni dampers
Powering the MK II was a 427 cubic-inch 'Big-Block' V8 that was first tested in a GT40 by Shelby driver Ken Miles in April of 1965. With Holman-Moody help, the engine generally developed 450 horsepower. It was given a dry-sump ry-sump lubrication, aluminum heads, and a magnesium oil pan. The bodywork was modified from the original MKI, becoming wider and taller and able to accommodate larger wheels. In the back were extra engine scoops and adjustable spoiler.
The cars were delivered as bar chassis in 1965 for final assembly by Shelby-American. Eight GT40 MK IIs were completed and most were shared between three Ford factory teams.
This particular example is chassis number P/1016. It was sent by Ford Advanced Vehicles on September 11th of 1965. In January of 1966, it was completed at Shelby-American's plant in Venice, California. It was given Ford's racing paint colors of white with a matte black hood. It was tested at Sebring by Ken Miles and Ronnie Bucknum in mid-January. After testing, it was shipped to Holman-Moody, where many of the Shelby modifications were either changed or upgraded. In preparation for the Daytona 24-Hour Continental on February 5th, it was given heavy-duty dampers and springs, adjustable anti-roll bars, and a special right-hand-side torsion bar to counteract body roll during high-speed banking on left turns.
At Daytona, the car wore race number 87 and was equipped with an experimental two-speed automatic transaxle and driven by Bucknum and Richie Ginther. Unfortunately, it experienced problems with the new gearbox and was forced to retire after 13 hours.
The next race was the Sebring 12 Hours on March 26th. It was given the paint scheme it currently wears, Kandy Gold. It was equipped with brake-cooling 'snorkel' air intakes mounted on the tail section, and wore race number 4. This would be the final time the experimental PowerShift transmission was used. It was later equipped with the regular T-44 manual transmission. Bucknum and A.J. Foyt drove the car to a 12-place finish at Sebring.
This Ford GT40 MK II is believed to be the only example that was ever raced with the PowerShift transmission.
Holman-Moody continued tuning during early April of 1966. It was given standard front bodywork and a modified driver's door with a bulge to clear a helmet. Driving duties for LeMans were given to Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson. It was registered as number 5 and joined at Le Mans by two other GT40 MK IIs racing for Holman-Moody. Three similar MK IIs prepared by Shelby-American also toed the line at LeMans, along with two more GT40s run by Alan Mann Racing. Their biggest competition were the factory-run Ferrari 330 P3s and privateer P2s.
Prior to the race, GT40 P/1016 was given matte Day-Glo pink headlights on the nose and flanks. Of the three Holman-Moody entries, this was the fastest car during practice and qualifying. It was positioned 9th on the starting grid.
After three laps of the race, P/1016 had climbed into third place. Over the six hours that followed, braking issues had the car steadily dropping back. After long pit stops for repairs on Saturday evening, the car had fallen into 10th place after seven hours. With the repairs made, the car continued to gain ground, climbing to 5th place after hours, and 4th two hours later. By hour 17, it was in 3rd place. In the lead were two Shelby American GT40s.
After achieving a 1-2-3 finish at LeMans, P/1016 was used for six months as a Le Mans-liveried promotional car, touring Ford dealerships in the southeastern United States.
For 1967, it was used as a test mule in the development of Holman-Moody's GT40 MK IIB. It was fitted with bigger disc brakes, lighter bodywork sections, relocated oil tanks and spare wheel, wider Halibrand rear wheels, new heavy-duty roll cage, an aluminum instrument panel, and a fire suppression system.
Mark Donohue and Peter Revson drove the car at the season opener at Daytona in early February 1967. There, it was joined by two other Homan-Moody GT40. Unfortunately, all three cars retired early due to output shaft failures. This would be the final race for P/1016 in period.
In mid-March, the car was tested at Daytona and in April it was sent to the LeMans trials at La Sarthe. Powered by the latest 7-liter engine, it was driven by Mark Donohue to a speed of 203 mph on the Mulsanne Straight and set fourth fastest lap time overall. It was then sent back to the United States where it was stored at Holman-Moody's Charlotte headquarters. In 1970, it was donated to William Harrah's Automobile Collection in Reno, Nevada. At this point in history, Holman-Moody misidentified the car and delivered it with a chassis plate stamped P/1015 - which was the Shelby American car that finished 2nd at LeMans in 1966.
In 1983, the car entered the care of Leslie Barth of New Haven, Connecticut. Believing this was chassis number P/105, he had it painted a light blue livery in similar fashion to the color worn by that car at LeMans. It was later acquired by Nick Soprano of White Plains, New York, before it passed to collector Peter Livanos of Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1988. The car was professionally prepared for vintage events, and raced at the GT40 Reunion at Watkins Glen in September 1989, where it was driven by Le Mans veterans Brian Redman and Jacky Ickx.
Ownership that followed included Bruce Ziegler of Simi Valley, and then to Jamey Mazzotta of Redding. It was briefly owned by George Stauffer of Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, before it was acquired in 1992 by Ken Quintenz of Columbus, Ohio. While in his care, he correctly re-identified it as chassis P/1016 and proceeded to restore the car to proper 1966 Le Mans specifications (though it retains Mk IIB upgrades such as the roll cage, aluminum instrument panel, and the fire suppression system). Upon completion, it was shown at the Shelby American gathering at Watkins Glen in July 1993, the SVRA Road America in 1995, and the 30th Anniversary celebration of the Le Mans victory held at Goodwood in 1996.
In 1996, it received freshening from original Holman-Moody mechanics. This was followed by more vintage events including the Shelby American gathering at Elkhart Lake in July 1997, the Shelby Reunion at Watkins Glen in September 2001, the Ford Racing Centennial at Dearborn, Michigan, in October 2001, the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July 2003, and the Monterey Historic Races at Laguna Seca a month later. In August 2003 the GT40 was also the recipient of the People's Choice Award at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
The current caretaker acquired the car in 2004. He had the car sent to Holman Automotive for additional refurbishment. Since then it has been enjoyed at numerous events including six appearances at the Le Mans Classic, several in the Classic Endurance Series, including at the Istanbul and Barcelona Grand Prix Circuits, and one each at the Goodwood Revival and Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The car is currently finished in its 966 Le Mans livery of gold with pink highlightsBy Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2019