World’s rarest Ford is up for grabs, here’s what makes this one special

There are many reasons that differentiate chassis number GT/108 from the other 12 prototypes, including the fact that it is has largely remained untouched

By: | Published: August 17, 2017 5:22 PM

Ford GT40 was the outcome of sheer dedication and an objective to put Ferrari in its place, which it successfully did. There were only 133 GT40s ever built, one of which is up for grabs this week in Monterey, California and anyone who packs several million dollars in their bank accounts can go ahead buy this machine. However, we've often heard nasty things about the GT40 - too cramped, you're lying on your back, the ground clearance is too low. Along with all this though, there is the thrill of big speed and a history that turned it into an icon. The GT40 is perhaps one of the best car creation stories ever. Henry Ford II was left annoyed after a failed deal to buy Ferrari in the mid-1960s, a deal which was pretty much scuttled by the Italian manufacturer. What Ford did next is what repainted history. He had his engineers build a car that would beat the Italian stallion at Le Mans, which was dominated by Ferrari. The GT40 did just that, four times in a row. It grabbed the top spot in 1966 and retained the position for the next three years. Having proven the point, Ford did not build such a car for 34 years.

What makes this particular GT40 - chassis no. 108 or GT/108 - so rare is that it is one of 12 prototypes. The distinctive bits are a steel chassis, lack of a roof and tyres smaller than the later iterations. It was powered by an eight-cylinder engine, with four carburettors, that sat right behind the driver.

Not a regular car from the inside, the GT40 had its speedometer in front of the passenger seat and the driver's seat was bolted on directly to the chassis. So, if you were too tall or too short for it, it was your problem to deal with.

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Now, here's what differentiates the GT/108 from the other 12 prototypes. A: it has largely remained untouched - no collector has attempted to 'improve' it, while most added a roof to it and B: this is allegedly the only GT40 Henry Ford II himself drove in.

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The last time this car changed hands in 2014, it fetched $6.9 million, which may sound big but it was a humble amount for the kind of spending capacity 'real' car collectors have. This year though, considering refurbished interest in the GT40 at auction houses, the figure may shoot up a bit, or a lot.

(Images: Bloomberg)

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