An exceptionally rare 1965 Ford GT Roadster prototype will be auctioned off in July and is expected to sell for between $7.5 million and $10 million.
The car was built by Ford Advanced Vehicles in Slough, England and is chassis GT/109, one of just five Roadster models ever built, the only GT Roadster to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and one of just two examples that have survived to this day.
Early documentation uncovered by Mecum Auctions reveals that GT/109 was a special-order chassis and looked virtually identical to GT/108. The car was supplied to Shelby in March 1965 for use by Ford of France in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It features a host of modifications over other Ford GT Prototypes of the day, including side-mounted engine oil radiators, the addition of rear-body exit vents and a higher rear spoiler. Also featured are four quick-release removable Dzus fasteners, center-section electric fuel pumps, a water radiator expansion tank, and a center-section rollover cover that provided access to ancillary engine systems.
Powering the car is a Cobra-spec 289 cubic-inch engine mated to a ZF five-speed transmission. It was driven by Maurice Trintignant and Guy Ligier during the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1965 but had to retire after the 11th lap after the gearbox failed.
The car was soon retired from racing and purchased in 1986 by Hollywood stuntman and California automotive customizer Dean Jeffries, who kept it until his passing. His son then took ownership of the car until Dana Mecum, the founder of Mecum Auctions, purchased it in 2013 and commissioned Harley Cluxton III of GTC Mirage Racing to complete a concours-quality restoration back to its original Le Mans configuration.
Interestingly, Mecum Auctions tried to sell this same Ford GT Roadster Prototype in 2018.