An authentic Ford GT40 on an auction block is a rare thing, what with only 133 units having been produced. So you can just imagine how exceptional it must be to have one with a racing history in Le Mans--complete with its iconic Gulf livery--and a solid connection to Steve McQueen, be available to the highest bidder.
At RM Auctions' sale in Monterey, California, this August, one such car will go under the gavel: a 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight Racing Car with chassis number P/1074.
The first of several lightweight GT40s built for JW Automotive and its main sponsor, Gulf Oil, the car was completed in 1968 and finished in the Gulf team colors of powder blue with a marigold stripe. The car was raced extensively throughout the 1968 season from Daytona to Le Mans and was even driven by six-time Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx.
In 1970, the car was sold to Steve McQueen's production company, Solar Productions, where it was used as a camera car for his 1971 racing film Le Mans. Since then, P/1074 has reportedly passed through a well-documented chain of owners and participated in various vintage racing events and displays. Purchased by its current owner in 2000, P/1074 underwent meticulous restoration before being displayed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2003 where it was driven by ex-Formula 1 driver Jackie Oliver.
"Authentic racing GT40s like this example only come up for auction on the rarest of occasions," said Shelby Myers, managing director for RM California. "Well-known in the collector car world and resplendent in its period-correct Gulf team colors, P/1074 boasts a fantastic pedigree having competed on some of the world's most famous tracks. Its provenance is further elevated by its connection to the King of Cool, Steve McQueen, and its role in his iconic film Le Mans. One cannot overstate the importance of the GT40 in automotive history, as well as this rare opportunity for discerning collectors to become one of an elite few to be able to join the distinguished GT40 owners' club."
RM Auctions refuses to disclose publicly just how much it estimates the P/1074 will go for.