2021 Gooding Pebble Beach Sale (Ford GT40 Announced)

Gooding announced a 1966 Ford GT40 Alan Mann Lightweight for the Pebble Beach 2021 classic car auction during Monterey motoring week.

Gooding announced a 1966 Ford GT40 Alan Mann Lightweight for the Pebble Beach 2021 classic car auction during Monterey motoring week.
© Gooding

The 1966 Ford GT40 Alan Mann Lightweight (Estimate: $7,000,000 – $9,000,000) is the top American thus far announced for the Gooding Pebble Beach 2021 sale. It is one of only two aluminum-bodied GT40s ever built. It was the fourth-fastest car during the 1966 Le Mans Test and is offered fully restored in the Alan Mann Racing colors wearing number 16.

Gooding Pebble Beach Sale 2021

Gooding & Company will hold its traditional Pebble Beach sale on 13 and 14 August 2021 at the Pebble Beach Parc du Concours during the annual Monterey Motoring Week in California, USA. It will be a traditional live auction.

In 2021, Gooding earned $107,045,410 at Pebble Beach selling 115 of 132 lots for a sell-through rate of 87% and an average price of $930,829 per lot.

After Monterey Week 2020 was canceled, Gooding earned $14,497,443 in the replacement Geared Online 2020 auction selling 55 of the 77 lots on offer for a sell-through rate of 71%. Five cars sold for more than a million dollar.

In comparison, at Pebble Beach in 2019, Gooding earned $76,824,740 with a sell-through rate of 77% – 108 of 140 lots offered — and 17 cars sold for over a million dollar each. This was already down on the  $116.5 million earned in 2018 and the record  $129.8 million earned in 2016 at the peak of the market.

1966 Ford GT40 Alan Mann Lightweight at Gooding Pebble Beach 2021

Gooding will offer a 1966 Ford GT40 Alan Mann Lightweight (Estimate: $7,000,000 – $9,000,000) at the Pebble Beach classic car auction during Monterey motoring week in mid-August 2021.

Development of the Ford GT40

The development of the GT40 ushered in a new era of racing and automotive production for the Ford Motor Company, revolutionizing the landscape of domestic competition cars with its innovative presence and performance. In 1963, Ford Motor Company began developing a purpose-built endurance racing car with the ambition of beating Ferrari at the most famous race in the world – the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

With the creation of the GT40, Ford established a new subsidiary led by Le Mans winning team manager, John Wyer. The first GT40s produced by the new team, not yet fully developed into the historic racing icons they are now revered to be, were unveiled in 1964 and campaigned in a variety of international events. To help develop the cars further, Ford contracted three successful private teams and tasked them with perfecting the GT40: Shelby American, Holman-Moody, and Alan Mann Racing. 

Alan Mann Racing and the Ford GT40

Alan Mann Racing, based in Byfleet, Surrey, had found great success in touring car racing with the development of the Ford Cortina, and in 1964, was contracted as a Ford factory team. They attracted a roster of star drivers, and their cars were immediately recognizable for their red and gold liveries.

In late 1965, Ford Motor Company specifically tasked Alan Mann Racing with developing an even more competitive version of the GT40. Having extensively tested an early Mk I GT40, Alan Mann knew how to reduce weight and make various adjustments to the chassis and suspension in order to achieve optimal improvements. Consequently, Alan Mann Racing commissioned Abbey Panels to produce five special GT40 tubs to a new, updated design. They also fabricated lightweight aluminum bodywork for them, reducing considerable weight from the standard fiberglass bodies.

1966 Ford GT40 Alan Mann Lightweight at Gooding Pebble Beach 2021

Gooding announced a 1966 Ford GT40 Alan Mann Lightweight for the Pebble Beach 2021 classic car auction during Monterey motoring week.
© Gooding

The 1966 Ford GT40 Alan Mann Lightweight on offer at the Gooding Pebble Beach 2021 sale, AM GT-1, was the first of just two aluminum-bodied GT40s ever built, as the remaining three tubs ordered by Alan Mann were incorporated into the Mk II program. An exceptionally rare machine, AM GT-1 was completed in early 1966, finished in the iconic Alan Mann Racing livery, and equipped with a highly tuned 289 V-8 engine, five-speed ZF transaxle, Halibrand knock-off wheels, and featuring more than 100 updates over the standard Mk I competition car.

AM GT-1 showed immediate promise in its racing debut at the 1966 12 Hours of Sebring, where it was driven by Sir John Whitmore and Frank Gardner and qualified in 7th position, running well before it was forced to retire with clutch problems. It next appeared at the Le Mans Test in April 1966, where it was the fourth-fastest car behind Ford’s experimental J-Car, a Mk II GT40, and sister car AM GT-2. Ultimately, Ford decided to retire the small-block powered Alan Mann Lightweights and only entered its seven-liter Mk IIs at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Thus, AM GT-1 was sold to Holman-Moody and then passed through the hands of several private owners.

The current consignor acquired AM GT-1 in 1982 after it had been damaged in a road accident, and set about to restore the car to its original splendor. The restoration project was entrusted to famed GT40 expert Bob Ash of Georgia, who restored the car to exacting standards over a period of nearly 15 years. Today, the car appears just as it did at the 1966 Le Mans Test, wearing its classic Alan Mann Racing colors and race number “16.” Its exceptional restoration, completed in 2019, has since been awarded a Second in Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, a near-perfect score at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals, and a special Le Mans award in a competition judged by the Shelby American Automobile Club.

AM GT-1 has never before been offered for public sale and is being offered after nearly 40 years in the hands of one passionate owner.

Ford GT40s at Public Auction

Blue 1968 Ford GT40
1968 Ford GT40 © Courtesy of RM Auctions

The GT40 remains a very desirable nameplate and these iconic racing cars are generally the most expensive Fords at auction. The Ford marque record is $11,000,00 paid for a 1968 Ford GT40 Lightweight at the RM Auctions Monterey 2012 sale. This 1968 Ford GT40 Lightweight won its debut race at Spa driven by Jacky Ickx and Dick Thompson. It was later used as a camera car for the Steve McQueen “Le Mans“ movie. It is still the only Ford ever to have sold for over $10 million at public auction.

More recently, RM Sotheby’s sold a 1965 Ford GT40 Roadster Prototype for $7,650,000 at Monterey 2019 and a 1966 Ford GT Mk II for $9,795,000 at Monterey 2018. The Mk II finished Le Mans in third place.

A result for the 1966 Ford GT40 Alan Mann Lightweight within the estimate of $7,000,000 – $9,000,000 will make it one of the most expensive Fords ever.

Monterey Motoring Week 2021

Most of the traditional Monterey Motoring Week events returned in mid-August 2021 after the cancellations in 2020. Top classic car auctioneers with sales during Monterey Week 2021 included Gooding (Pebble Beach), Bonhams (Quail Lodge), RM Sotheby’s, and Mecum.

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Previous Monterey Week Auction Results

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