If a more significant American race car exists, please excuse us, but we can’t think of one. The striking shape you see before you is a Ford GT40, but not just any GT40.
This is the #2 GT40 that finally took the fight to Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans and won: unleashing four consecutive years of dominance at la Sarthe by the Blue Oval.
It has emerged after years of private ownership to find a new home at Charlotte’s RK Motors, and will begin undergoing an extensive 20-month restoration ahead of its grand reveal at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Denoted as chassis P/1046, the legendary #2 car was driven to victory by the equally storied Shelby-American team of Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon, resulting in the famous Ford 1-2-3 finish. Ken Miles and Denny Hulme finished neck-and-neck in the second Shelby GT40 Mk.II, followed by the third place Holman-Moody GT40 entry.
To say that was significant would be a massive understatement. In 1963 Enzo Ferrari put the kibosh on selling his company to Ford. In return, Henry Ford II promised to beat Ferrari at his favorite race, Le Mans.
It took Carroll Shelby’s involvement, millions of dollars, and a few years, but in 1966 he did it, and this was that car.
New owner Rob Kauffman took the rare beast out for a clandestine pre-restoration spin. Take a look below.
The Mk.II GT40 was sold to the Holman-Moody team for the 1967 season and raced its final outing at the 24 Hours of Daytona, retiring with gearbox failure.
It exchanged hands among private collectors, appearing from time to time in vintage events, and will now be returned to full Concours quality – 50 years after its epic race-winning achievement.
Yeah, we’re a little excited.