Auctions and Brokerage
Ford Division, Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan (delivered December 1966)Al Grillo Ford, Lynn, Massachusetts (purchased from the above in December 1967)David Carroll, Lexington, Massachusetts (acquired autumn 1968)John “Skip” Barber, Carlisle, Massachusetts (acquired late 1969)Harvey Siegel, New York, New York (acquired 1970)George Getz, Paradise Valley, ArizonaCurrent Owner (acquired from the above)
SAAC National Shelby Convention, Fontana, California, July 2013Concours d’Elegance of America, Plymouth, Michigan, July 2013
It is difficult, if not impossible, to overstate the enduring significance of Ford’s GT40 to motor sports history and race car design. Initiated in the wake of Henry Ford II’s frustrated attempt to acquire Ferrari during the early 1960s, the GT40 program was the ultimate product of Mr. Ford’s stated intention to beat il Commendatore’s Scuderia at its own game on the world stage. Developed from Eric Broadley’s cutting-edge Lola GT (also known as the Lola Mk 6) and built by Ford Advanced Vehicles’ (FAV) studio located in Slough, England, the first-generation Ford GT40 Mk 1 was a promising start, but the lessons learned on the track underscored several key areas requiring further work.
Not content with anything but absolute dominance, consistent with Ford Motor Company’s stated “Total Performance” mantra of the 1960s, Carroll Shelby was brought in to fine-tune the GT40 racing program. The choice was natural, given Shelby’s relentless development of his brutally dominant Ford-powered Cobras, with their basic concept reaching a zenith with the sleek Daytona coupes that won their class at Le Mans and captured the FIA World Sportscar Championship in 1965.
Shelby’s organizational prowess quickly molded the GT40 program into a world-beating juggernaut, with the cars benefiting from Phil Remington’s fabrication genius and the masses of subjective and empirical data gained from Ken Miles’ relentless testing. The GT40’s driver roster was a “who’s who” list of the era’s finest, including sports car aces and a number of NASCAR stars skilled in the fine art of delicately balancing all-out speed and equipment preservation during long races.
The massive GT40 program bore fruit in 1966, with the Fords achieving a stunning podium sweep at Le Mans, complete with the famous 1-2-3 photo finish. The GT40 went on to utterly dominate sports car racing, with Ford-entered cars winning again at Le Mans with the big-block Mk IV in 1967. For 1968 and 1969, the torch was passed from Ford to John Wyer, the architect of Aston Martin’s Le Mans-winning program of the late 1950s, with John Wyer Automotive (JWA) winning at La Sarthe both years. Only an approximate 133 GT40s were built along six distinct evolutions through 1969, including a small batch of 31 barely civilized Mk I road cars among which P/1058, the example offered here, was produced.
P/1058 carries fascinating and well-known history, being documented in both the Shelby American World Register and GT40 expert Ronnie Spain’s book GT40: An Individual History and Race Record. Completed by FAV in Slough, and originally finished in Carmen Red, P/1058 was part of the 20-vehicle sub-group of GT40s ordered by the Ford Division of Ford Motor Company for sale in North America. Original features included a 289 Hi-Po engine, Weber carburetors, road-friendly two-disc clutch, ZF five-speed transaxle, and Borrani wire wheels with Goodyear tires.
P/1058 was eventually one of the seven GT40s assigned to Ford’s “Mk I Promotion and Disposal Program” initiated on February 16, 1967, and it toured Ford dealerships in the Milwaukee/Northeastern sales district before purchase by Lynn, Massachusetts’ Al Grillo Ford in December 1967. The GT40 was then entrusted to the care of Shelby American Inc. Regional Representative Ed Casey, who used P/1058 as a demonstrator at promotional events throughout the East Coast. At one demonstration, P/1058 was at Tasca Ford, where Mario Andretti was in attendance for the Mustang’s third anniversary celebrations.
During autumn 1968, David Carroll became the first private owner of P/1058, with the car driven at Lime Rock, where it was used to record sounds for a Gulf Oil commercial production. According to the Shelby Registry entry, Carroll recalled thoroughly frightening the sound man shoehorned into the passenger seat on a “moderate” lap during the track session. Circa 1969, the GT40 passed from Carroll through John “Skip” Barber, the noted racing driver and eventual founder of the Skip Barber Racing School, who in turn sold P/1058 to Harvey Siegel of New York, who retained the GT40 for the next four decades. Next, P/1058 was acquired by George Getz, with whom the GT40 was cosmetically freshened, the mechanicals were sorted by a GT40 specialist, and the car retained its purposeful original interior. Harley Cluxton’s Grand Touring Cars Inc., based in Scottsdale, Arizona, and long known for GT40s passing through its doors over the years, maintained the car during this period.
In 2011, the knowledgeable consignor acquired P/1058. While shown infrequently, in 2013 P/1058 was taken to the National Shelby Convention at Fontana Speedway, where the car performed flawlessly during a high-speed track session, and additionally the GT40 captured first place at the SAAC Car Show. P/1058 was also displayed at the July 2013 Concours d’Elegance of America in Plymouth, Michigan.
Recently, the consignor reported that the GT40 “has less than 15,000 original miles and all of the original bodywork remains on the car. The interior, date-coded wheels, sand-bent headers, numbered ZF transaxle, and luggage boxes are all original to the car.”
This exceedingly rare Mk 1 road car will doubtlessly command the attention of the most passionate sports car collectors, promising its next caretaker a warm reception at today’s premier concours, shows, and classic touring events where its presence and power are sure to draw admiration. According to noted GT40 authority Ronnie Spain, “GT40 P/1058 has never been raced, and, back in its original paint [color], is in excellent condition. It has never had any known incidents or accidents, and is one of the finest original Ford GT40 Mark Is – road or race – in existence today.”