Ford GT40 breaks sales record at auction

August 20, 2012 12:00 AM

The car that broke the world sales record at auction is none other than the American-made 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage. The car sold at $11 million, exceeding the previous record of $10.34 million for a 1931 Duesenberg Model J Long-Wheelbase coupe in 2011. If the GT40 itself isn't impressive enough, its history sure is.

The vehicle began its life as a Mirage track star with best overall finish in 1967 with drivers Jacky Ickx and Dr Dick Thompson at the helm. The following year, due to regulation changes, the Mirage was converted to its present GT40 form. In 1968, the vehicle set a lap record at Le Mans then won the Monza 1000.

Perhaps most notable of all in the car's history is when it was fitted with a mobile camera in 1970 to film "Le Mans" starring Steve McQueen. The roof was removed, windscreen reduced to just a few inches, and the doors were taped shut. The car underwent significant restorations and car repairs in 1983 and 2002.

According to RM Auctions, this vehicle is one of the three lightweight production GT40s built and is one of the two survivors. March 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Ford's GT40 program building mid-engine sports coupes.

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