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anything I could have imagined. A line

of special cars is always placed on the

water side of temporary white plastic

chain links, stretching nearly the

length of the show field. Past shows

have displayed the best of the best of

various makes and classes, but noth-

ing like this. I have never been a fan

of one-marque displays but looking at

those seventeen cars, that share much

the same silhouette, was a game

changer for me.

There were years when Ferrari

took the stage, when previous show

winners were in the foreground of the

Monterey Bay; when Cobras (in 2012)

and GT350s (2015) filled a class it was

one thing. But to see a line of the most

historically significant GT40s, repre-

senting the various models of their

brief and evolutionary history, all re-

stored to concours condition was some-

thing else entirely.

These cars, like no other, with

their shapes, colors, and livery could

grace any Concours, even if they had

no history. But they do. They are

champion race cars, each one winning

a significant victory. And they are ele-

gant. They make a wonderful display.

To read about these cars and the

events that led to their creation would

be to begin a thousand-page historic

novel. Go, instead, to the epilogue

where the most significant examples

are assembled fifty years after their

first win at LeMans. And where the

heirs of the Ford family present the

awards, and they face and wave to

Dan Gurney, legendary LeMans co-

winner who drove one of the cars that

was there, as he sat on the patio over-

looking the awards presentation.

I’m just a guy with my own inter-

ests, taste and bias. For me, nothing

I’ve ever seen at Pebble can or will

compare with that line of GT40s along

the waterfront. Add to that the Ford

heirs presenting awards to the owners

on the ramp, with Dan Gurney watch-

ing from the deck. It just does not get

more memorable than that. It was

surely the capstone to the history of

the GT40. A history that took only a

few years to make, but which has mar-

inated for five decades to produce

something we shall not see again in

our lifetimes.


Fall 2016 25

GT/109. Dana and Patti Mecum, Geneva Lake, Wisconsin.

One of five GT40 spyders

built, this is one of two steel-bodied prototypes. The only roadster to have race history,

driven at LeMans by Maurice Trintignant and Guy Ligier. It was shipped back to Shelby

American and the roadster project was shelved in order to concentrate on coupes. Used

for testing until it was spotted in Shelby American’s warehouse and purchased by cus-

tom builder/painter Dean Jefferies until 2013.

P/1015. Greg Miller, Sandy, Utah.

MK II, driven by Ken Miles/Lloyd Ruby to victory

at Daytona. Finished 2nd at LeMans by Ken Miles/Dennis Hulme in the famous 1-2-3

finish in 1966. Raced at Daytona the following year (DNF) and at LeMans, where it

crashed in 1967. Put into storage at Holman-Moody.

P/1031-P/1047. The Revs Institute for Automotive Research, Naples, Florida.


II, driven by Dan Gurney at Sebring in 1966. Raced at LeMans and then upgraded to

MK II-B specifications for 1967. Raced at Daytona, Sebring and LeMans. Ford renum-

bered the car to P/1047 and it finished 1st at Reims. Retired after racing in 1967 and

preserved ever since.

P/1016. Claude and Sylvie Nahum, Founex, Switzerland.

MK II. Driven by Richie

Ginther and Ronnie Bucknum at Daytona in 1966 and A.J. Foyt and Bucknum at Se-

bring. It was prepared by Holman-Moody and entered at Lemans, driven by Bucknum

and Dick Hutcherson where it finished 3rd . After a promotional tour it was donated to

the Harrah Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada where it resided for many years.