On a list of the all-time greatest American race cars, there are a few challengers that vie for the top spot, but perhaps none more pedigreed than the Ford GT40. Henry Ford campaigned his GT40 in sportscar racing not to be good but to be the best, and that of course meant beating Ferrari on the world’s stage – Le Mans.
With help from none other than Carroll Shelby, Ford achieved that heroic win at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans… and wouldn’t let go of that title for four consecutive years. This is the legendary car that achieved it, chassis #P1046. Watch its remarkable story below.
The Le Mans-winning Mk.II GT40 received modifications and continued racing in the 1967 season for the Holman-Moody team, but retired with gearbox failure during the 24 Hours of Daytona.
At this point, the historic Le Mans champ became a test vehicle, and as such, lost many of the original parts that took it to victory in ’66.But that’s not the way it will stay.
RK Motors Charlotte recently acquired chassis #P1046 and has embarked on a restoration of considerable magnitude to turn this GT40 into the Le Mans-winning great it always was, and will even use some of Ford’s original tools and molds to make that happen.
Twenty months later, the #P1046 GT40 will roar back to life at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its big win.