1966 Ford GT40 Mk II Coupe

©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Holman-Moody was initially allocated three GT40s for the 1966 season: chassis P1016 (the car offered here), P1031 and P1032. Although the chassis numbers were among the sequence used for production GT40 road and racing cars, they were each built to new Mk II specifications. The GT40 Mk II was the product of Kar Kraft, Ford’s stateside sports car facility, which took the initially British-built GT40 and problem-solved its weaker aspects. The chassis was made stiffer from thicker-gauge steel, and it had stronger engine mountings and featured more advanced suspension with two-way adjustable Koni dampers. Durability was further improved with heavier driveshafts and ventilated Kelsey-Hayes disc brakes.

The Mk II packed the 427-ci big-block V8 that Shelby driver Ken Miles first tested in a GT40 in April 1965, having concluded, “That’s the car I want to drive at Le Mans this year.”

Holman-Moody had gained substantial experience with the engine from NASCAR, and under their guidance the unit generally developed 450 bhp. The setup was complemented by dry-sump lubrication and weight-saving components such as aluminum heads and a magnesium oil pan. The bodywork was subtly modified from the original Mk I GT40s — it was both wider and taller to accommodate larger wheels — and the rear featured extra engine scoops and an adjustable spoiler.

Delivered as bare chassis in 1965 for final assembly by Shelby-American, just eight GT40 Mk IIs were completed and most were swapped and shared between Ford’s three factory teams.

 

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor - %%page%%

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

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