The Larry H. Miller Total Performance Museum in Utah purchased the 1964 Ford GT40 chassis P-104 that sold for $7,000,000 at the Mecum Auctions event in Houston, Texas, on April 12, 2014. The second-oldest existing Ford GT40 joins the Museum’s collection of five additional historically significant GT40s.
“We are thrilled to be able to add GT40 P-104 to the Larry H. Miller Total Performance Museum collection,” said Greg Miller, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. “My late father, Larry H. Miller, was very passionate about Shelby Cobras and Ford GT40s. He not only shared that enthusiasm with all our family, but with the public as well through the creation of the museum at Miller Motorsports Park. We are happy to be able to add another very significant GT40 to the collection, and we hope that the public will come out and enjoy these cars as my father intended.”
Ford GT40 No. P-104 was built in June 1964. It was the fourth GT40 to be constructed, and the first to use thin-wall chassis tubing to save weight. Just days after construction was complete it made its racing debut in the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it qualified second but failed to finish after an engine fire damaged the car.
The highlight of the car’s career was in the 1965 Daytona Continental, the 2000km predecessor to the 24 Hours of Daytona, where it qualified and finished third. It also raced at Nassau, Sebring, Monza and the Nurburgring. Among the drivers who drove P-104 were Jo Schlesser, Dickie Attwood, Bruce McLaren, Bob Bondurant, Richie Ginther and Phil Hill.
Ford’s GT40 program was initially overseen by Ford Advanced Vehicles in England. After suffering through a difficult first year in 1964, during which chassis numbers P-101 and P-102 were destroyed in crashes, Ford turned the program over to Carroll Shelby, who was achieving international success with his Cobra sports cars. P-104 was the first GT40 delivered to Shelby’s shops in California, followed by sister chassis P-103, and was one of the first racing cars to utilize computerized missile aerodynamics technology and telemetry, thanks to Ford’s Aeronutronic aerospace division. The advancements made by Shelby in developing P-103 and P-104 laid the groundwork for the future success of the GT40 program, which claimed outright wins at Le Mans in 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969.
The Larry H. Miller Total Performance Museum also includes GT40 P-103 (currently undergoing a total restoration), GT40 Mk II No. P-1015 (second place in the controversial 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans), GT40 Mk IV J-4 (winner, 1967 12 Hours of Sebring), P-1074 (one of the three “Gulf Cars” that competed in 1968-69) and one of the six GT40 Mk III street cars, among others. It is the only known collection with one example of all five variants of the GT40 and is also home to Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe number CSX 2299, which won its class at Le Mans in 1964 and at Daytona and Sebring in 1965, as well as many other historically significant Cobras and Shelby Mustang GT-350s.
With the addition of P-104, the Larry H. Miller Total Performance Museum now owns the top three finishing cars from the 1965 Daytona Continental (P-103, CSX-2299 and P-104).
The Larry H. Miller Total Performance Museum, located at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, is open the public at no charge, and is also available as a rental space for corporate and group events.
For additional information, call 435-277-RACE (7223) or visit www.millermotorsportspark.com.
[Source: Miller Motorsports Park; photo: David Newhardt / Mecum Auctions]