Auto collectors and enthusiasts are revved up over an extremely rare street model of one of America’s most legendary race cars.
The sleek, metallic dark blue 1966 Ford GT40 MkI Road Car, with black interior and right-hand drive, was listed by Mecum Auctions on Jan. 2, 2024, with one estimate placing its value at $7 million.
“The GT40 is one of Ford’s great masterpieces, and it’s an extremely rare event to see one offered at public auction,” Sam Murtaugh, COO of Mecum Auctions, said in a statement sent to Fox News Digital.
“To put it in perspective, when a Picasso masterpiece comes to market, art collectors know that if they don’t act, it may never see the light of day again.”
The listed auto is reportedly one of only 30 GT40 Road Cars ever built. It shows just 13,442 miles on the odometer and has not been seen in public over the last 30 years, under the most recent of its four owners.
“The result is a barely used, concours-quality GT40 that might have just 29 brothers and sisters on the planet,” AutoBlog.com reported Monday.
“Mecum hasn’t provided a pre-sale estimate. According to Hagerty, the quality of this GT40 puts the coupe’s valuation at just over $7 million.”
The sparkling gem of American muscle went up for bid at Mecum’s Kissimmee, Florida 2024 showcase, which ends Jan. 14.
The allure of the GT40 is its rarity, power and stunning design — boosted by the car’s international legend among auto enthusiasts as the American auto that toppled the Ferrari dynasty at Le Mans, France.
“Perhaps the most successful and iconic American racing car ever built, the Ford GT40 has become an automotive icon to many enthusiasts,” Mecum writes.
“In so many ways, the GT40 helped shape automotive history by being so successful in its era against the European manufacturers who had dominated sports car racing for far too long.”
The race car’s prestige was forged in the wake of a deal gone bad between Ferrari and Ford, according to Mecum.
“Henry Ford II decided that if he could not buy the legendary sports car builder, he would beat them at their own game — and that’s just what he did with the GT40,” the auction house writes.
“Ferrari’s last win at Le Mans was in 1965 with its 250 LM, and at that time, Ford was just beginning to gain steam with its GT program. By 1966, Ferrari’s Le Mans dynasty was at an end.”
The Ford GT40 not only won the race in 1966; it swept the top three spots.
“The Ford GT40 was the car that brought Le Mans to America’s consciousness,” Florida auto museum Revs Institute writes on its website, “and victory in the French classic to Dearborn.”