RM Monterey 2014 Preview – 1965 Ford GT40 Roadster Prototype

Ahh, the joy of discovery.

Discovery? Is that the right word for ‘finding’ something that many knew about before, and which has existed for the last 50 years?


Nevertheless, imagine my surprise and delight upon seeing this GT40 Roadster Prototype on the RM Auctions website today.

Less than a month ago we asked ourselves a hypothetical question: what if there had been a GT40 Can-Am Spyder?

It is great to see that not only is there one, there were 12 made in all. This one has an all-star owner and driver list that includes none other than Carroll Shelby himself. Quite special to see this unique Ford re-entering the market for the first time in years.

But only briefly: it is sure to find a new home this summer at the RM Auctions’ Pebble Beach 2014 event on August 15/16 of this year.


In 1965, Photoshop was but a twinkle in someone’s imagination. But even the world’s most skilled designers of the time had one thing to agree with my drafts process: the regular windshield is too tall when the GT40 becomes a Roadster or Spyder.

This is an unlikely discovery — in the flesh, the GT40’s windshield seems impossibly shallow and steep already.

But without the visual and actual metal of the roof behind it, the look is a bit less desirable than you might imagine with your eyes closed.

My solution was to cut off the top four inches of the glass and round the top edge. Had this GT40 Roadster made it to the racetracks, it is possible the Ford Racing teams would have done the same thing.


Both are remarkable though, in their own ways. The GT40 Roadster is by far the best because it is a real-life example versus just pixel-dust fantasy of my renderings….

Official Details below from RM Auctions.

MONTEREY 15 – 16 August 2014

1965 Ford GT40 Roadster Prototype

The 8th of 12 GT40 prototypes built; a very original example with more than two decades in single ownership; Used by Shelby American for testing and development; Driven by Ken Miles, Carroll Shelby, and Jim Clark.

1965 Ford GT40 Roadster Prototype

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.

He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.

Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.

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