$7million GT40 heads Mecum's auction bonanza in Houston


The $7million shelled out for the 1964 Ford GT40 prototype GT/104 helped propel US auction house Mecum to a mammoth $33.5million total for 765 classics (from a 1000-car catalogue) at its recent sale in Houston.

GT/104 is one of only two examples prepped and raced by Shelby American for 1965 and, while the next-biggest seller came in at a comparatively lowly $725,000, the GT40 was far from the only interesting lot.

That total came for the 1967 Chevy Sting Ray widely referred to as the 'McNamara' Corvette, which has fewer than 3000 miles on the clock having been hidden away – albeit lovingly maintained – for four decades.

The third-priciest car was the 1968 Yenko Camaro RS/SS – Mecum seems to have become the auction house of choice for Yenkos – that amassed $450k.

The biggest shock, however, was the $150k paid for a highly modified 1968 Toyota FJ-44.

Auction-house boss Dana Mecum said: "Our Houston event is one of the fastest-growing auctions on our calendar. The quality of collector cars continues to rise year after year here in Houston, and the people of this great car town are what keep us coming back to the great state of Texas."

The top 10 sellers were:

  1. 1964 Ford GT40 Prototype, GT/104 – $7,000,000
  2. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe – $725,000
  3. 1968 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro RS/SS – $450,000
  4. 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia Coupe – $170,000
  5. 1934 Cadillac Fleetwood V-12 All-Weather Phaeton – $165,000
  6. 1968 Toyota FJ-44 – $150,000
  7. 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Huntington Limousine – $145,000
  8. 1960 Porsche 356B Cabriolet – $145,000
  9. 1970 Plymouth Superbird – $135,000
  10. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible – $127,500.

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Michael Carmichael

The sale of a prototype Ford GT40 that was one of the first 12 produced for $7 million compares favorably with the highest price ever paid at auction for an American car - the sale in 2009 of the world championship clinching Shelby Daytona Coupe for $8.3 million. This Ford GT40 prototype had no racing history, so the price of a car actually used and glorified in competition (unlikely as that might seem as these cars are treasured like religious icons) would be significantly higher. And, there is the aspect of rarity with only six Shelby Daytonas constructed while there were over 100 Ford GT40s and 4,038 Ford GTs. In other words, this seems to be a bullish result for original Ford GT40s, the last true GT that won Le Mans at an average speed that has only been barely exceeded twice in the past 47 years.


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