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Replica Ford GT40 Used in Ford v Ferrari Movie to Roll across Auction Block

Mihir Maddireddy
Photo credit: Mecum Auctions

From Car and Driver

  • A replica of the Ford GT40 from the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, used in the filming of Ford v Ferrari, will be auctioned in January in Florida.
  • The car was driven by Christian Bale for the movie and will be the main attraction at the January 2–12 event held by Mecum Auctions in Kissimmee, Florida.
  • It was built at Superformance in California, one of two finished in the classic Gulf livery for the movie, and is signed by driver Ken Miles's son and his 1966 crew chief.

Alongside Christian Bale and Matt Damon, one of the stars of the new Ford v Ferrari movie is the Ford GT40, the iconic race car built by Carroll Shelby and driven by Ken Miles at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans to second place, good enough to beat Enzo Ferrari and the rest of his crew from Maranello. We had the opportunity to watch it last week before its initial release and thought it was a great movie, satisfying our need for both amazing racing action and good storytelling. One of two cars used in the movie that were painted in the famed Gulf livery shown here is going up for sale, which should satisfy some lucky buyer's need for automotive nostalgia.

Photo credit: Mecum Auctions

Many of the most wonderful racing scenes in that movie featured the Ford GT40, which Christian Bale's character, Ken Miles, raced in. Bale even went to race school for the role so he could better emulate the legendary British racer. The hero car that ended up crossing the finish line with Bale at the wheel was a replica GT40 built specifically for the movie, and that car is now going to auction this January in Kissimmee with Mecum Auctions. This isn't the first cool car Bale has gotten to drive for a movie: remember the Tumbler Batmobile featured in the Dark Knight trilogy?

Photo credit: Mecum Auctions

The Ford replica was one of two GT40 Mk II cars built for the film by Rich MacDonald's team at Superformance in Irvine, California. Rich MacDonald had reason to be emotionally invested in the project, as his father, Dave MacDonald, was the first driver to score a victory at the wheel of a Shelby Cobra. The first replica is based on Bruce McLaren's black GT40 that crossed the finish line first in 1966 and isn't up for auction. This second replica is finished in the iconic Gulf Blue livery, complete with dual white stripes on the top and sides and the red patches around the headlights. The car is incredibly accurate in even the smallest of details, even if it varies a bit mechanically and structurally from the original GT40.

Photo credit: Mecum Auctions

Structurally, the replica is a unibody that’s made of electrogalvanized steel with a pressed steel roof. Mechanically, the replica is a little different than the original GT40 Mk II. The Superformance replica is powered by a custom Roush V-8 bored to 511 cubic inches. It has an output of 600 horsepower, a figure that's aided by a performance fuel injection system. All the power is funneled through a five-speed transaxle that drives the rear wheels. The original Mk II was powered by a NASCAR-derived 7.0-liter V-8 mated to a four-speed gearbox that was designed specifically for the GT40. Keeping all the power from the Roush V-8 in check are a set of vented disc brakes with Wilwood calipers. Both front and back independent-suspension setups have Bilstein shocks with H&R springs and anti-roll bars. Steering is rack-and-pinion, and the car rolls on Shelby American Halibrand-style wheels. The interior is movie-ready, too, with black Alcantara seats with silver rivets, right-hand drive, Smiths instruments, and a Motolita steering wheel.

If the details aren't enough reason to raise the auction price, it's also been signed by Ken Miles's crew chief for the 1966 race, Charlie Agapiou, and Miles's son, Peter Miles. There's no word on how much the car is expected to sell for, but we can imagine that the movie-star allure of it will fetch decent sum of money—and that its appearance in Florida will draw crowds.

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