You will never be Christian Bale (or Ken Miles), but you can bid on the GT40 he drove in ‘Ford v Ferrari’

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November 18, 2019 03:04 PM

You will never be Christian Bale (or Ken Miles), but you can bid on the GT40 he drove in ‘Ford v Ferrari’

Pretend to be Christian Bale pretending to be Ken Miles by buying this Superformance GT40 MKII pretending to be a Le Mans race car. Confused yet?

Graham Kozak

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It’s not exactly the GT40 MKII Ken Miles drove in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, but it was driven by Christian Bale playing Ken Miles in the movie about the race. What’s that worth? We have no idea. 

If you’ve already seen Ford v Ferrari or are at least familiar with the history behind it, you know that the winner of the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans was not (spoiler alert) the Ford GT40 MKII chassis P/1015, driven by Ken Miles and Denny Hulme, but rather Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon’s P/1046.
Yet it’s Miles, portrayed by Christian Bale, around which the film revolves. Perhaps fittingly, the car he drives on screen is as much an actor as Bale himself.
Since the real P/1015 is an extremely valuable piece of racing history tucked away in a private collection, it is portrayed by a Superformance-built stand-in in the film. And now that filming has wrapped and the car has done a stint promoting the vehicle at red carpet events and on various television shows, it’s headed to Mecum’s January 2020 Kissimmee, Florida, sale.

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Given the value of authentic Ford GT40s — especially those with racing provenance — using one in the filming of a movie would be practically unthinkable.

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Instead of a vintage car, this Superformance GT40 MKII was used in the filming of Ford v Ferrari.

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The car was driven by Christian Bale, who portrayed driver Ken Miles.

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Given the quality of its kits — in reality, “rollers” missing all but the powertrain — Superformance was a solid choice when it came to sourcing an on-screen hero car for Bale’s Ken Miles.

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Superformance claims the majority of components on its GT40 MKIIs are interchangeable with vintage cars. Of course, components like the engine and brakes are frequently upgraded by builders.

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The interior of this right-hand drive GT40 was fitted with period-correctness in mind. Note the riveted seats.

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It’s powered by a Roush-built 511 cubic inch V8.

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A keen eye might notice two pieces of modern switchgear, including a switch for air conditioning. Otherwise, the dashboard looks suitably vintage.

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What’s this silver-screen Superformance GT40 MKII worth? It’s tough to say, but expect to spend around $150,000 building one of your own.

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The car will cross the block at Mecum’s January 2020 Kissimmee, Florida sale, which will also feature a Mustang from the 1968 Steve McQueen film Bullitt.

Though sold as a kit car (in reality, a “roller” missing the powertrain but otherwise complete), Superformance’s offerings are a long way from the flimsy fiberglass shells of yore; these are high-quality, professionally conceived and executed products. We’ve had good things to say about the company’s Shelby Cobras and Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sports in the past, and back in 2016, Mark Vaughn dubbed the Hillbank Motors-built Superformance GT40s “as close as you can get to the real thing” (without spending seven figures on the real thing, of course).
And they really are designed with ground-up authenticity, rather than a skin-deep resemblance, in mind. According to Superformance, the majority of parts on its kit cars are interchangeable with the original GT40s. In this case, the right-hand-drive cockpit looks largely period correct, but less-visible parts (like the Wilwood vented disc brakes) have been brought up to 21st-century spec.
At its heart is a 511-cubic-inch Roush-built Ford V8. To top it all off, it’s been signed by Ken Miles’ 1966 crew chief, Charlie Agapiou, and Miles’ son Peter.

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So what will it take to put this in your garage? Mecum has not provided an estimate for the car. A nicely finished Superformance GT40 could set you back $150,000, depending on how you build it out. This one seems to have the right mechanical bits and pieces, but it’s the star power behind it that will ultimately make or break the sale.
In that sense, an interesting counterpart to the Bullitt Mustang that’s also heading to Mecum’s Kissimmee auction. Despite Bullitt’s complicated and at times slow-burning plot, McQueen’s performance in the 1968 film—and his ride—became seemingly an entire generation’s shorthand for cool. Everything touched by the actor commands an almost laughable premium when it trades hands, and we don’t expect the Mustang to be any different; you’ll be buying a piece of 20th-century pop culture history, after all.
Ford v Ferrari has been well-reviewed by hardcore gearheads and movie critics alike, but what (if any) impact on the broader culture remains to be seen. Moreover, you’ll be bidding on a car that was pretending to be another car on set, rather than a genuine ’66 Le Mans contender—or, for that matter, the real Ford-built ride of a fictional San Francisco detective.
On the other hand, if Ford v Ferrari is remembered decades hence as one of the greatest automotive films of all time, this Superformance GT40 might be a bargain at any price. And even if that doesn’t come to pass, we can think of worse things to have in your stable.
Get more details on the car at Mecum’s catalog listing for the car.

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Source:https://autoweek.com/article/classic-cars/you-will-never-be-christian-bale-or-ken-miles-you-can-bid-gt40-he-drove-ford-v

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