First run in 1923, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is the ultimate test of automotive endurance and the premier event in the world of motorsports. For four decades, the race was dominated by European manufacturers without a single win for an American-built car. Ferrari dominated the race in the early 60s, scoring six consecutive victories through 1965.
That changed when this Shelby American Team car, driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon won the 1966 24 Hours of LeMans race as a part of a 1-2-3 sweep for Ford that ended Ferrari’s dominance and marked the first win ever for an American car at Le Mans.
With a lightweight fiberglass body riding on a steel chassis, the 1966 GT40 MkII is powered by the legendary Ford 427 cubic inch (7.0 liter) “side-oiler” V8 that churned out an estimated 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque with the rock-solid reliability demanded by high-performance endurance racing.
In the decades after the historic win, this legendary car had a hard life and underwent a number of modifications along the way. Then, in 2014, RK Motors founder Rob Kauffman acquired the car and commissioned Rare Drive in New Hampshire to restore the car back to precisely how it was on the day of the famous race. Known for their award winning work with vintage race vehicles, they completed a painstaking 5000 hour restoration. As a result, this fabled Ford GT40 MkII now appears as it did on June 19, 1966 when it first won LeMans for Ford and for America.