If Enzo Ferrari would have sold his motorsport division to Ford, the world could have been a very different place today. But thankfully he didn’t and the spiteful resonation of a deal gone sour brought the world one of the greatest cars ever made, the Ford GT40. Henry Ford had gathered everyone from Carol Shelby to setting up elaborate European research and development operations for one purpose, beating Ferrari at the very place they pride in winning; Le Mans.
The Ford GT40 as a result, was build solely for that very purpose. It took Ford two attempts before Ferrari could be displaced, but his persistance in making a more reliable car finally paid off in 1966 when the GT40 took 1-2-3 at Le Mans in the hands of Bruce McLaren, Ken Miles and Ronnie Bucknum, all driving the Ford GT40 Mk.II.
For Ford’s centenary celebrations in 2003, the company brought back the iconic design of their Le Mans winning GT40 in the form of the Ford GT. The new car showcased the latest technologies in lightweight body construction and used lightweight composite and aluminium body panels. It was powered by a mid-mounted, hand built, supercharged V8 that delivered 550bhp to the rear wheels via a 6-speed transmission helping the Ford GT to accelerate to 60mph in 3.5 seconds.
When the production of the Ford GT ceased in 2006, the company had produced just over 4,000 units, off which 101 examples were delivered to new Europe. This particular car going on auction at the Race Retro Classic Car Sale 2017 by Silverstone Auctions is owned by none other than former Formula 1 racing driver Jenson Button. The world champion had purchased the car in 2005 via a Swiss Ford GT dealer and had it under his possession till 2011.
Jenson Button’s Ford GT with a white base and blue racing stripes has just 8,350 miles on the odo. The car is expected to sell for a price of £250,000 to £300,000 at the auction that will take place at Stoneleigh Park, warwickshire in UK on February 24, 2017.
Images via Silverstone Auctions