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1968 Ford GT40 Mark I ‘Gulf Oil’

1968 Ford GT40 Mark I ‘Gulf Oil’

1968 Ford GT40 Mark I ‘Gulf Oil’

In 1967, the CSI changed regulations such that a three-litre capacity limit was imposed on prototypes which eliminated the 427 Fords. Fortunately, J. W. Automotive Engineering Ltd. (JW) & Gulf Oil, under the capable direction of John Wyer, saw more potential in the GT40 platform as a Group 4 sports car and extended their GT40 program.

JW modified two of their lightweight GT40s from the 1967 season known as the Mirage M1s. These kept their lightweight chassis, but used carbon-fiber reinforced bodywork that outwardly mimicked the original GT40 Mk I.

In 1968 competition came from the Porsche 908 which was the first prototype built for the 3-liter Group 6.

The result of the 1968 was resounding success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi having a clear lead over the Porsches. The season began slowly for JW, losing at Sebring and Daytona before taking their first win at the BOAC International 500 at Brands Hatch. Later victories included the Grand Prix de Spa, 21st Annual Watkins Glen Sports Car Road Race and the 1000 km di Monza.

1968 Ford GT40 Mark I ‘Gulf Oil’
Nurburgring 100 KM, Nurburgring, Germany, 1968.

A late Le Mans was run in August and was the decider for the International Championship for Makes. With the GT40 win, Ford was again at the top. The winning car, chassis P/1075 repeated history in 1969 by winning Le Mans again.

Featured above is Ford GT40 Chassis P/1075. This is the most important GT40 as it won both the 1968 and 1969 Le Mans 24 hour races. Only 2 cars in history have ever achieved that goal.

1968 Ford GT40 Mark I ‘Gulf Oil’ Gallery

In Detail

type Series Production Car
built at USA
production 3
engine Ford V8 w/Gurney Heads
position Mid Longitudinal
valvetrain OHV, 2 Valves per Cyl
fuel feed Weber 48 IDA
displacement 4942 cc / 301.6 in³
bore 101.6 mm / 4.0 in
stroke 76.2 mm / 3.0 in
compression 10.6:1
power 316.9 kw / 425.0 bhp @ 6000 rpm
specific output 86.0 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 395.35 bhp per tonne
torque 535.55 nm / 395 ft lbs
body / frame Sheet Steel w/Carbon Fibre Reinforcements & Aluminum Roof
wheel type Mirage BRM
front tires 10.30×15
rear tires 13.50×15
front brakes Vented Girling Discs
rear brakes Vented Girling Discs
front wheels F 38.1 x 21.6 cm / 15 x 8.5 in
rear wheels R 38.1 x 27.9 cm / 15 x 11 in
steering Rack & Pinion
f suspension Double Wishbones w/Coil Over Shocks, Anti-Roll Bar
r suspension Double Trailing Arms w/Transverse Top Link, Lower Wishbone, Coil
curb weight 1075 kg / 2370 lbs
wheelbase 2413 mm / 95.0 in
front track 1461 mm / 57.5 in
rear track 1486 mm / 58.5 in
length 4178 mm / 164.5 in
width 1778 mm / 70.0 in
height 1028 mm / 40.5 in
transmission ZF-5DS-25 5-Speed Manual
gear ratios 2.23:1, 1.53:1, 1.21:1, 1.00:1, 0.81:1
final drive 3.44:1
top speed ~338.0 kph / 210.0 mph
0 – 100 mph ~8.0 seconds

Auction Sales History

1968 Ford GT40 Mark I ‘Gulf Oil’

1968 Ford GT40 Gulf P/1074 – sold for $11,000,000. Debut win at Spa 1967 with Jacky Ickx and Dr. Dick Thompson. Extraordinary racing history; ex-David Hobbs, Brian Redman, Mike Hailwood, and Paul Hawkins. The first win for the famed Gulf/Wyer Partnership. Only Gulf team car to win both as a Mirage (’67 Spa) and a GT40 (’68 Monza).

First of three lightweight production GT40s; one of two surviving. Early use of carbon fiber-reinforced bodywork. Famous Gulf camera car used in the epic Steve McQueen film, Le Mans. Distinguished provenance, including Sir Anthony Bamford, Harley Cluxton, and others. Complete with original 1967 Mirage bodywork. Countless books, models, awards, and event participations. Auction Source: Monterey 2012 by RM Auctions