A stunning 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf-Mirage racer has set a new world record at the long-awaited Monterey sales this weekend (August 17-18) in California.
The annual Monterey sales are held to conincide with the renowned Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance show, and the entire weekend is undoubtedly one of the most important for classic car collectors in 2012. The 1968 Ford has now cemented its place in history after this weekend's instalment, becoming the world's most valuable US car ever sold at auction. It beat the previous world record, which was set by a 1931 Dueseneberg Model J Long-Wheelbase Coupe at $10.34m in 2011, by 6.3%.
Sporting the iconic powder blue finish with marigold stripe down the centre, the GT40 sold for an impressive $11m, a 37.5% increase on the $8m it was expected to bring. The stunning results seen at the sale were boosted by the car's fascinating past, it having once been driven by the legendary endurance driver Jacky Ickx at Le Mans and starring in the world championships, the Paris-Dakar rally and Spa 1967.
As if this wasn't enough to draw the crowds at Monterey, the Ford also came with its own unique Hollywood provenance - it was used as the camera car for Steve McQueen's 1971 epic Le Mans, where the entire roof section was removed in order to accommodate the equipment required to shoot those high-speed scenes.
The first of three lightweight production GT40s ever made, and one of just two surviving examples, the car began life as a Mirage M.10003, but was later converted to a Group 4 GT40 when a change in the FIA's regulations reduced prototype engine size to three litres and five litres for production. The Ford went on to win the world championships for four consecutive years, continually beating rival Ferrari.
The sale also saw strong results from Ferrari, whose vintage classics dominated the sale, and also for Steve McQueen's Porsche, which was also featured in the Le Mans movie.
Paul Fraser Collectibles will be bringing you more results from the sale, so be sure to check back with us regularly to get the latest news. We also have some great racing memorabilia currently on offer, including this superb Lewis Hamilton signed Formula One jersey.