Thanks to a little help from a Hollywood blockbuster, more people than ever are familiar with the Ford GT40. Henry Ford II’s weapon of war against Ferrari is one of the most important race cars of all time, and undeniably one of the most beautiful. While it is rare for any of the Le Mans participant cars to come up for sale, well-heeled buyers now have a chance to score the only GT40 Roadster that ever competed at the big race.
This 1965 Ford GT40 Roadster, chassis GT/109, is being offered for sale at Mecum’s Indianapolis auction from July 10-18. While five roadster prototypes were built by Ford Advanced Vehicles in England, chassis GT/109 is the only open-top car that ever saw competition, and is one of just two examples that survive today. French racing drivers Maurice Trintignant and Guy Ligier were selected to pilot the car during the 1965 iteration of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, however the pair was forced to retire with a gearbox issue after just the 11th lap.
Handling issues related to aerodynamics and chassis flex ultimately spelled the end of the GT40 Roadster program. Ford of course would go on to dominate Le Mans for the next four years with the closed roof cars, so it’s probably safe to say this was a good call. That said, this open top example is one of the coolest of the run and an irreplaceable piece of motorsport history.
This particular Ford GT40 Roadster is currently owned by Dana Mecum himself, and has undergone a full concours-grade restoration back to its original Le Mans spec and livery. It was the runner up in its class at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, coming in just behind the 1966 Le Mans champion. Mecum Auctions currently has the final sale price estimated at about $7.5 million, but with a car this rare, that number could really go as high as someone likes.