TOOELE VALLEY, UTAH (September 12, 2012) ? The Larry H. Miller Total Performance Museum, located at Miller Motorsports Park, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Ford GT40 No. P-1074, one of the famous "Gulf Era" cars that were campaigned in major international sports car races during 1968-69 by England?s J.W. Automotive.
It joins one of the world?s foremost collections of significant Fords as well as Ford-related vehicles and memorabilia associated with the late Carroll Shelby assembled by the late Larry H. Miller, a Salt Lake City-based businessman and philanthropist who owned the NBA?s Utah Jazz, the Salt Lake Bees Triple-A baseball team and more than 40 automobile dealerships throughout the western United States and other businesses in addition to Miller Motorsports Park.
"This is a car that Larry would have loved," said Gail Miller, Owner and Chairman of the Board of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. "We?re pleased to be able to add this historically significant vehicle to the existing museum collection that he was so passionate about. This particular GT40 will fit right in with the other GT40s in the collection, and we are happy to be able to share this car with the public."
P-1074 was one of three Mirage prototypes constructed out of existing Ford GT40 chassis by England?s J.W. Automotive (JWA), a partnership between legendary racers John Willment and John Wyer. The cars were built to contest major international sports car races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring, and other non-championship races. The cars were sponsored by Gulf Oil, and were the first racing cars to wear the iconic Gulf Blue-with-marigold-stripe livery. This particular chassis, which was then known as Mirage M.10003, won at Belgium?s Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its debut outing on May 1, 1967, driven by Belgian Jacky Ickx and America?s Dr. Dick Thompson. It was the first victory for any car wearing the now-familiar Gulf colors.
Although M.10003 failed to finish at Le Mans in June and England?s Brands Hatch circuit in July, it competed in non-championship races at Swedish circuits Karlskoga (first place, Ickx, August 13) and Skarpnack (second place, Paul Hawkins, September 24) prior to winning the 1000km of Paris at France?s Montlhèry circuit (Ickx/Hawkins, October 15).