A gold Ford GT40 is expected to sell for £9million as the historically-important car goes up for auction this summer.
The was part of a legendary 1-2-3 which famously embarrassed Enzo Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966.
It was developed following a bitter dispute between Henry Ford II and the owner of the Italian sports car firm.
Ford wanted to buy Ferrari, but no deal was done and the American firm – famous for making good value family cars – decided to enter racing and beat the Italians at their own game.
Coming in third place, the car with chassis number P/1016, was like all GT40s just 40 inches high, have been were designed, engineered and developed under Brit Roy Lunn’s direction.
And following a number of setbacks, the GT40 won Le Mans in 1966 as Ford took all three spaces on the podium.
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P/1016, driven by Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson, completed 348 laps and finished third overall for the Holman & Moody racing team.
A Ferrari had won six consecutive Le Mans from 1960, but Ford won the final four races of the decade.
The legendary 1960s racing car, which has a 7-litre V8 engine and is capable of more than 200mph, will be sold by RM Sotheby’s in Monterey, California, in August.
RM Sotheby’s has given it a guide price of around $12 million – about £9m – which will potentially make it the most expensive Ford ever sold publicly.
Alexander Weaver, car specialist at RM Sotheby’s, said: "The status of P/1016 speaks for itself, and if it wasn’t for this car, the history of motor sport as we know it would be very different.
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"The sale of this GT40 represents a real chance for any collector or motor sport enthusiast to own a significant piece of history.
"To feature a car for sale that has played such a pivotal role in such a famous race is very important for us as we prepare for the Monterey auction.
"This Ford has been restored to the condition it raced in, which will be a vital consideration for any prospective buyer.
"Few cars can be considered gold standard, but this GT40 is, and will always be remembered as one of the Fords that finally beat Ferrari."
After the success at Le Mans, chassis number P/1016 went on to race three more times in 1967.
It was later featured in a number of important car collections and at high-profile shows, winning ‘People’s Choice’ at Pebble Beach in California 2003.
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