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    / #Ford-GT40 / Book of the month / #Ford-GT / #Ford / #Jacky-Ickx / #Ford-GT40-Mk1-Roadcar / #Ford-GT40-Mk1

    The Autobiography of 1075 #Ray-Hutton , Porter Press International, £60, ISBN 978 1 907085 68 0

    For someone like this reviewer, born in the 1950s, race-car-obsessed in the 1960s and having a Ford-driving father, the Ford GT40 is the coolest and most wonderful racing car ever. It achieved this status by what it was, why it existed, what it did and who drove it. And the greatest of all GT40s was 1075, the GT40 that won Le Mans not once but twice.

    This is the GT40 whose Gulf Oil colour scheme is aped by many a replica. It is the car in which Jacky Ickx played mind games with Hans Herrmann at Le Mans in 1969, obliging the Porsche 908 to pass him on the last lap by slowing right down, then outbraking the Porsche at Mulsanne corner, keeping the lead to the flag and scoring 1075’s second Le Mans win by a whisker. It was mesmerising, even on black-and-white TV. Now, here is 1075 in the latest of the Porter Press Great Cars series, number 11. It has followed hefty volumes in similarly luscious, archive-illustrated, deeply researched ‘biography’ format covering famous examples of cars such as a Ferrari 250 GTO, a Lotus 18, an ERA, a D-type Jaguar and two Lightweight E-types.

    For 1075 the author is Ray Hutton, former sports editor (and later overall editor) of Autocar, prolific author and, until fairly recently, president of the European Car of the Year organisation. The first motor sport event he ever covered, as a new staffer at Motor Racing magazine, was the 1968 BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch, won by Ickx and Brian Redman driving, yes, GT40 number 1075.

    In the book’s 320 crisp pages are the story behind the whole GT40 project, race-by-race analysis of 1075’s exploits during its active years of 1968 and 1969 (it won a lot more than #Le-Mans ), and profiles of its eight drivers: Ickx, Redman, 1969’s Le Mans co-winner Jackie Oliver, #1968-Le-Mans winners #Pedro-Rodríguez and #Lucien-Bianchi , #Paul-Hawkins , #David-Hobbs and #Mike-Hailwood . All are great stories in their own right.

    There’s an analysis of the JW Gulf team that built and ran 1075 and its sisters, team boss John Wyer’s wisdom (taken from Autocar) of what it takes to win Le Mans, and a #1968 track test of 1075 by Innes Ireland (from Autocar again). The GT40’s post-racing life is documented, including the time it spent gathering dust at #Gulf-HQ after the glory had faded, and there’s a wonderful delve into 1075’s patinated anatomy today.

    That last section apart, the book is illustrated with period photographs reproduced with a clarity that will take the breath away of those who pored over such pictures in 1960s magazines. I think this is the best Great Cars story yet: GT40 lovers, this is your book.
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    In #1971 , Motor brought together two great sportsracers and ran them on the road. As writer Michael Bowler put it: ‘I thought it might be interesting as well as entertaining’. Here, #Jaguar-C-Type acts as camera car as #Ford-GT40 / #Ford goes flashing past LAT.
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    Ford GT40s Market highlight Buying / #Ford-GT40 / #Ford / #Ford-GT40P

    GT40 expert Tom Shaughnessy ponders the wisdom of selling three examples at the same time.

    At the forthcoming Monterey sales there are three GT40s being offered – two at RM Sotheby’s and one at Mecum Auctions. To my mind, that’s absurd – I don’t know what they’re thinking. It’s simply too much – the market cannot absorb three not-that-special but very specialist cars of the same model in one weekend.

    Sure, one will sell well, but I predict the others will be no-sales or produce disappointing results. That figures because one of the cars is good, one isn’t, and the third is a boy racer machine modified for a specific purpose. Sadly, there is no purpose for a car like that in the US. Maybe it will sell to Europe, but only if enough buyers come over for it. The market for GT40s is a little different there, with different race regulations and so forth.

    The thing is, GT40s are real odd ducks. One day they are hot, the next no one wants to know. A few years back a bad one sold well at Monterey, for $3m – that was all the money and more. So I decided it was time to sell mine at the Scottsdale sale the following January. It failed to get bids there but soon after I sold it privately – for 40 per cent more than I’d have taken on the day at Scottsdale. There’s currently one on offer privately for $3.5m, and it will probably make that. But none of the Monterey cars is likely to get to that figure. This is just a bad marketing plan.

    For my money the best car is the one at the Mecum sale. It’s from a Canadian dealer and has recently been restored. It was also the first road car delivered to North America and has only covered 11,000 miles. And it’s never been offered for public sale before.

    ‘The market cannot absorb three not-that-special but very specialist cars of the same model in one weekend’

    Chassis 1057, up for grabs with RM Sotheby’s at Monterey, was originally green with #Borrani wheels but was repainted red with white stripes and fitted with BRM race wheels during its restoration.
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