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Limited-production Ford GT40 Mk II continuations honor Shelby’s success at Le Mans in 1966

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The Bruce McLaren/Chris Amon Shelby American continuation GT40 Mk II. Photos courtesy Superformance.

Ford wasn’t taking any chances in its quest to beat Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966. Thirteen GT40s were entered that year, and the cars occupied six of the race’s top-10 starting positions, including slots one to four. Twenty-four hours later, Shelby American team cars finished first and second, followed by a Holman-Moody GT40 that claimed the final podium spot. On the 50th anniversary of the GT40’s dominance at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Superformance and Shelby American are teaming up to produce a 20-piece limited run of 1966 Shelby American GT40 Mk II team cars, offered in three authentic liveries.

The winning GT40 Mk II (featured in the June 2007 issue of Hemmings Muscle Machines) was driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon. Carrying the number 2 in a white meatball, the car wore black paint, accented by silver stripes down the body and atop the rocker panels. The second-place car, driven by Ken Miles and Denny Hulme, carried the number 1 in a white meatball and wore light blue paint, accented by white stripes (outlined in black) and red front fender highlights. The final Shelby American GT40 Mk II, driven by Dan Gurney and Jerry Grant, carried the number 3 in a white meatball and wore red paint with white stripes.

50th anniversary continuation GT40 Mk II

The Dan Gurney/Jerry Grant Shelby American continuation car.

Despite earning the pole with a lap time of 3:30.6, Gurney and Grant’s race would end on lap 258 (of 360 ultimately completed) with a hole in the radiator. Ford had achieved its goal of beating Ferrari in its own backyard, and GT40s would continue to take victory in the annual endurance event through 1969. Perhaps that explains why a purpose-built racing car remains in such high demand among enthusiasts a half-century after its dramatic victory at Le Mans.

The Superformance Shelby cars are described as continuations instead of replicas, built under license from Safir GT40 Spares and as true to the originals as possible. The steel monocoque of the Superformance cars is said to be interchangeable with the original GT40, and the two cars share 90 percent of the same parts. For the Shelby American GT40 Mk II tribute cars (which will be sequentially numbered from P 2050 through P 2069), even the right-hand drive and right-hand shift of the originals will be replicated.

50th anniversary continuation GT40 Mk II

The Ken Miles/Denny Hulme Shelby American continuation car.

The 50th anniversary models will be available in the black livery of the McLaren/Amon car, the blue and red livery of the Miles/Hulme car and the red livery of the Gurney/Grant car. Unlike the originals, the modern versions will feature amenities such as air conditioning and an adjustable pedal box, making them suited for use on road and race track alike. All will carry gold 50th anniversary Shelby badging, and all will be entered into the Shelby Registry.

The anniversary cars will be sold by Shelby American and its dealer network. To avoid having to comply with safety and emission rules governing automakers, the cars are delivered to dealers as rollers, without engine and transmission, priced from $169,995. For an engine, Shelby American recommends the aluminum 427 FE V-8 available from the Carroll Shelby Engine Company and built with outputs ranging from 550 to 750 horsepower. Most Shelby dealers will handle the installation of engine and transmission, which adds roughly $50,000 to $60,000 to the final price of the vehicle.

While $230,000 isn’t inexpensive, it is still a fraction of the price one would have to pay for an original GT40 Mk II. From an investment perspective, the continuation cars will likely never approach the originals in value, but from a driver’s perspective, the new cars likely deliver no less of a thrill.

For more information on the anniversary cars, visit or