Chassis no. 2FAGP9CW9LH100005
It is perhaps ironic that Ford, a company which had revolutionized mass production of the automobile, should also have been responsible for three hand-built, limited production Sports Cars of considerable historic significance: the era-defining GT40, the first-generation GT of 2004-2006, and its new-for-2016 second generation sibling. However, whilst the first-generation GT was conceived primarily to commemorate Ford's centenary in 2003, both the GT40 and second generation GT had more clearly defined, competition-focussed objectives.
From its inception, it was evident that the new second generation car had much in common with the GT40 beyond their shared two-door, mid-engined configuration. Both programmes were formulated with the objective of winning the world's most prestigious endurance race, Le Mans, whilst interaction with dynamic, reactive Ford satellite factories - Ford Advanced Vehicles in Slough, U.K in the case of the GT40, and Multimatic Inc. in Markham, Ontario in that of the GT - would be critical to the overall success of both projects.
The GT's carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, aerodynamically efficient carbon-fiber body and relatively unstressed twin-turbocharged 650 bhp Ford V6 Ecoboost motor afforded an ideal platform for a race car; and so it proved, with Chip Ganassi Racing-entered GTs finishing first and third in class at Le Mans exactly 50 years to the day after Ford's maiden win there with the GT40. Significantly, this was achieved before the car had even entered series production in 2017.
This exceptionally presented example left the Multimatic facility in 2020 to the order of a prominent West Coast collector, appropriately finished in the classic American racing colors of white with two blue racing stripes. Generously optioned with Ford's highly desirable carbon-fiber wheel upgrade and a titanium Akrapovic exhaust, the car also benefited from the uprated 2020-specification motor - now boasting some 660 horsepower - as well as marginally stronger bodywork; the latter having been developed to remedy the carbon-fiber buttresses that were prone to flexing and paint cracking, which had afflicted some early production cars.
However, soon after taking delivery the new owner commissioned Detroit-based Camilo Pardo - formerly Chief Designer of the first-generation Ford GT - to devise a unique livery which would simultaneously both personalize the car and reflect its GT40 ancestry. Having previously produced retro-inspired one-off liveries for several first-generation GT clients, Pardo was ideally placed to do the same on the later iteration; an assignment made all the more enticing once contact had been made by a second, Utah-based collector requesting assistance with a similar commission.
Pardo reasoned that Ford's Le Mans win of 1966 would provide a natural choice of backdrop against which to frame such a commission, with both GTs featuring liveries inspired by their illustrious forebears. Inspiration was taken from chassis 1015, the second placed Shelby American-entered car of Ken Miles and Denny Hulme, and the Holman & Moody-entered chassis 1016 of Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson, which finished third. The two resulting GTs, designated 2020 Miles Ford GT and Atomic Gold HM GT, respectively, were unveiled - appropriately alongside both #1015 and #1016 - at the 2021 McCall Motorworks Revival event at the Monterey Jet Center in August 2021. It is the latter Holman & Moody-inspired car which Collectors Garage is privileged to offer for sale here.
Eschewing the use of vinyl “wrapping” for a project of such significance, Pardo evaluated several gold base color options before deciding on the attractive hue of “Atomic Gold”, with which the car was subsequently sprayed. Great care was taken to observe the Le Mans-specific details of #1016 - including the distinctive pink front fender flashes and race number five - and to incorporate them on the new car, albeit sympathetically updated to bring them into a 21st century context. Significantly, Pardo worked exclusively with Axalta Paints, Ford's preferred paint supplier for the GT project, to achieve his express aims.
Operating in conjunction with Rich Brooks - who had also been significantly involved in the construction and development of the 2005/6 GT - and his company The GT Garage LLC, Pardo set about reconfiguring the seat cushions such that a driver of up to 6'5” could be accommodated, whilst a set of five-spoke 20” HRE wheels were also fitted - the latter being bespoke items specific to the Le Mans '66 project. With commendable attention to detail, the spokes of the wheels on this car were painted mid-green, in a respectful nod to the similarly coloured Halibrand items originally fitted to #1016. Significantly, both the factory original specification seat cushions and the 20” carbon-fiber wheels previously fitted also accompany the car as a condition of sale. In fact, it should also be noted that both Holman Moody and Multimatic were impressed with the project and permitted the use of their logos on the car.
Aside from occasional public appearances, such as those at the Shelby American Collection and Monterey in August 2021, this remarkable car has been used only sparingly in the current ownership, having covered just 975 miles from new. Consequently, it remains in predictably exceptional condition. Incredibly rare, beautifully detailed and with direct input from two figures central to Ford's 21st Century GT programme, the Atomic Gold HM GT represents both an aesthetic and technical tour de force and serves as a fitting tribute to Le Mans 1966; arguably the Blue Oval's finest hour.