1967 Ford GT40
Famous from new, this well-known GT40 has had a fascinating life, and as one of the original Ford press cars has been freshly returned to its first and purest specification.
Built to the order of the Ford U.S.A. as a road car Mark I, chassis P/1069 was loaned to Performance Cars, an affiliate of Switzerland’s Scuderia Filipinetti, for display at the March 1967 Geneva Motor Show.
First specified in Opalescent Silver Blue, 1069 was resprayed in Metallic Borneo Green for her Geneva debut. As Filipinetti’s Claude Sage held out for unpaid invoices to be settled by constructor J.W. Automotive, she was then “held hostage” in Switzerland for some months.
Returning to the UK, an amended production car record sheet shows Ford U.K. as the “new” original customer, with P/1069 joining the prestigious Ford U.K. press fleet, and registered for road use in July 1968. Featured in Motor Magazine and Autocar, she made a unique second appearance at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1969.
Photos on file show the suited and moustachioed world champion Graham Hill sliding aboard P/1069 for a July 1969 demonstration run, incidentally displaying much better GT40 entry technique than the visiting executive passenger.
From 1971 this GT40 entered distinguished private ownership with Anthony Bamford of JCB, resprayed in the family yellow by friend and racer Willie Green. Willie took P/1069 to the 1971 Monaco Grand Prix, drawing a crowd of admirers and making the run from Le Touquet in eight hours at a velocity better not disclosed.
In another early highlight, P/1069 topped The Motor’s acceleration league tables in January 1973 in testing at MIRA, recording 0-60 mph in four seconds flat and hitting 161.8 mph at the end of the straight, still accelerating through 6,000 rpm in top.
As recorded in an accompanying full report by marque expert Ronnie Spain, an unbroken chain of known private owners followed. First restored by GT40 specialist John Etheridge in the mid-70s, she later saw sparing use under the very long-term ownership of Roger Hedge.
A new chapter opened from 2007, with P/1069 entering historic racing in earnest under the ownership of Conrad Ulrich of Switzerland. This included appearances at Tour Auto, Donington, Goodwood Members Meeting, and the fabulous Whitsun Trophy of the Goodwood Revival. During Ulrich’s ownership, she was given a total restoration and maintained by marque experts Gelscoe Engineering.
Under current ownership, P/1069 has come full circle. Fastidiously returned to her first roadgoing specification, including a colour change back to the original Opalescent Silver Blue, the result is a truly arresting fusion of elegance and athleticism set to an electrifying eight-cylinder soundtrack.
P/1069 was aptly displayed at the Savile Row Concours wearing her new suit, and recently appeared in Classic Cars magazine in a feature highlighting her status as one of the very few roadgoing GT40s – with a tongue-in-cheek visit to the local supermarket.
This GT40 has been a star since her early years in the Ford press fleet, and we know her well having arranged two prior sales. As an exceptional example of Ford’s four-time Le Mans winning supercar, now reborn in her purest form, P/1069 will draw a crowd of admirers and be welcomed to all the outstanding events.