J.W.Automotive Engineering (JWA) was formed in January 1967 with the aim to fill a recent void in the FIA World Manufactures Championship caused by Ford’s withdrawal from the international sports car racing. The new Mirage Lightweight Racing Car ‘M1’ was based on the Ford GT40 concept, with an updated, lightweight, more aerodynamic body. To pay homage to their key sponsorship from Gulf Oil Corporation the Mirage was the first race car to wear the legendary Orange and Blue livery.
While many perceived the ruling of the 3L engine limit for the World Championship for Makes as unwelcome meddling, for JWA it was a welcome opportunity. The thundering 917s and 512s were being cast aside in favour of nimbler 3-Litres such as their new Mirage M6, powered by the legendary 3L Ford Cosworth V8 unit.
This example is the original M6 prototype - chassis M601 - which was raced by JWA-Gulf Racing throughout 1972-73, and successfully driven by Derek Bell at 12 Hours of Sebring, Daytona 24 Hours, 1000km Nurburgring and to first place at Imola 500km. A 2nd place was achieved at Kyalami 9 Hours at the hands of Bell and James Hunt. Following Gulf’s increased involvement with the team’s sponsorship, the car was uprated and rebodied to become the first GR7 in 1974, re-numbered GR701.
Racing continued with podium finishes throughout Europe - this example scored more championship points than any other M6/GR7 constructed. Throughout 1974 and 1975, the car was successfully driven by Bell, Hunt, Ickx and Hobbs. Although not finishing the 1974 Le Mans, numerous other podium finishes were achieved by this motor car throughout the season. JWA retired from the racing scene after its Le Mans win in 1975, and the Mirage collection was sold to a private collector in Arizona.
The car has been a keen participant in historic racing for a number of years, and is eligible for the most prestigious and selective classic motorsport events in the world, including Goodwood Festival of Speed and Spa Classic. A rare opportunity to acquire an iconic classic racing car worthy of any important collection.