The Ford GT40 ranks among the most iconic race cars in automotive history, including its story appearing on the big screen in the film Ford v Ferrari. Now, there's a chance to own one of 30 rare road-legal examples. This one is especially intriguing because it received a restoration from RUF, best known for its work with Porsche vehicles. Mecum Auctions is selling the special machine at its 2024 auction in Kissimmee, Florida, running from 2 through 14 January.

This vehicle is specifically a road-going version of the Mark 1 GT40. These cars have smoother bodies than later racing iterations, including missing the extra intakes on the roof and not having the upper side scoops behind the side windows. The dark blue body is a perfect colour because it somewhat evokes the classic Gulf Blue paint scheme from the racer without copying that iconic shade.

Gallery: 1966 Ford GT40 MkI Road Car Mecum Auction Kissimmee 2024

The auction listing mentions a restoration by RUF with photo documentation. We found this intriguing because that company has such a close relationship with Porsche, including models like the CTR Yellowbird. We reached out to the business for more details.

"[RUF] did indeed restore that GT40 back in 1996 for a special client of theirs," a spokesperson told Motor1. "In fact, they restored all his cars. Though it is pretty rare, RUF is able to restore cars outside of the Porsche realm if a client requests." 

The interior is similarly fascinating. This car is right-hand drive, but the gearshift is on the right side of the driver between the seat and the door, rather than being in the centre like you'd expect. We wonder whether this setup makes climbing behind the wheel difficult.

1966 Ford GT40 MkI Road Car Mecum Auction Kissimmee 2024
1966 Ford GT40 MkI Road Car Mecum Auction Kissimmee 2024

The instrument layout looks straight out of a race car. The tachometer is directly behind the steering wheel, which makes sense for a competition machine. The gauges for things like oil pressure and water temperature surround it. Meanwhile, the speedometer is way over on the left and looks like a complete afterthought.

Power comes from a Ford 289-cubic-inch V8. The engine bay is gorgeous with an intake featuring two rows of shining velocity stacks on top of the Weber carburettors. The black exhaust pipes coil around the powerplant like a nest of snakes. The transmission is a five-speed manual.

The previous owner kept this GT40 for nearly 30 years. At one point, this machine belonged to racing driver Umberto Maglioli who had a career that included competing for the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One team in the 1950s. 

This GT40 only has 13,442 miles on it. Mecum is including a copy of the original build sheet with the vehicle. We look forward to seeing the rare car's price when the hammer falls at the auction.