Prepare to break the bank for these legendary Ford racers

Auto dealership mogul Jim Click is considered as one of the foremost collector of classic Ford race cars in the world. The man’s collection runs deep, but as is often the case of collectors, there comes a point in time where they have to let go of some of their prized babies. That time has come for Click, who is now in the process of auctioning off some prized Ford racers that make up his Ford Performance Collection. The cars will go under the hammer during RM Sotheby’s auction at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this August.

The most notable of these cars – and the most expensive – is a 1966 Ford GT40, chassis number P/1061, that’s one of only 31 Mk 1 GT40s Ford ever created. It doesn’t have the same racing pedigree as another GT40 dominating the headlines these days, like the Le Mans-winning P/1046, but it does hold the distinction of being just one of seven GT40s Ford held on to for promotional use. That said, Click himself has raced P/1061 a handful of times since taking ownership of the car in 1992. Some 24 years later, Click is ready to part ways with his black and yellow GT40 with the car expected to go for at least $4 million.

A pair of Shelby 289 Cobras are also headed to the RM Sotheby’s auction. One of these Cobras, CSX 2473, has quite a history of its own, having been owned by Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) legend Dan Roberts. It also has one of the richest racing careers of any 289 Competition Cobras, a fact not lost on RM Sotheby’s car specialist Alexander Weaver, who described CSX 2473 as “one of the most successful 289 Competition Cobras in history.” Considering it’s status, it’s safe to say that its estimated sale price of $2.6 million is well deserved. The other 289 Cobra, CSX 2326, has been under the ownership of Click on three separate occasions, most recently in 2007. It’s not expected to sell as high as CSX 2473, but with an estimate price of $1.4 million, it’s still tipped to easily eclipse the seven-figure mark.

Other classics from Click’s Ford Performance Collection will join these three jewels in Pebble Beach, including a pair of Kar Kraft Ford Mustang Boss 302 Trans Am Race Cars and a 1966 Shelby GT350, chassis number SFM 6S2363.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why it matters

A lot of people will be breaking the bank to get a hold of these classic Ford race cars. That’s the obvious part of this auction. Less obvious is the actual amounts that these cars will go for. As is the case with auctions of this variety, classics like the Ford GT40 tend to shoot way past their estimated price because collectors will be fighting tooth and nail just to end up on the winning side. Do I see that happening with the GT40? Yes, I do.

As far as the two 289 Cobras are concerned, I’m less certain of that, partly because there are two of them. Granted, one is valued higher than the other, but in the end, collectors effectively have two shots at taking home either one of them, making the sales price prediction a little trickier. It’s the same thing with the two Kraft Ford Mustang Boss 302 Trans Am race cars. One is a 1969 model, chassis number 9F0M148628, that has ties to a lot of American racing luminaries, including Dan Gurney, Pete Revson, George Follmer, and A.J. Foyt. The other one is a 1970 model, ID no. 1-1971, that scored an impressive third place finish in the 1971 racing season. Both cars have merit and history on their side, and the expected $1 to $1.3 million price tag on each of them could vary depending on what a collector deems more important to him.

The last car that Click will be auctioning off is a 1966 Shelby GT350, chassis no. SFM 6S2363. It’s the cheapest of the lot with an estimated price of $450,000. Compared to the five other cars that Click is sending to the RM Sotheby’s auction, this is the bargain of the lot.

If all cars at least hit the top-end of their expected prices, Click stands to earn a whopping $11.3 million. Not bad for a day at the auction.

Ford GT40

1964 - 1969 Ford GT40 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review of the Ford GT40 here.

Press Release

RM Sotheby’s, the world’s largest collector car auction house for investment-quality automobiles, is thrilled to announce a selection of vehicles from the esteemed Jim Click Ford Performance Collection as early highlights for its flagship Monterey, California sale, August 19-20. One of the most notable collections of competitive racing Fords and Shelbys ever assembled, the group slated for Monterey comprises six outstanding vehicles, each typifying the very best of their individual breed.

Jim Click's Ford Performance Collection Headed To Auction
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The Jim Click Ford Performance Collection represents over 25 years of passionate acquisition by lifelong enthusiast, Jim Click, Jr. A third generation automotive businessman, Mr. Click is owner/operator of one of America’s largest automotive dealer networks, with 16 full-service dealerships in Arizona and California. His passion for all things automotive saw him branch into vintage racing in 1991 as a hobby, giving birth to Jim Click Racing, and ultimately, the Jim Click Ford Performance Collection—a handpicked stable of highly qualified, professionally maintained vintage race cars. All have been actively and successfully campaigned by Mr. Click and his friends during their tenure in the Click Collection, delivering countless hours of pure adrenaline and fantastic results. This summer, as Mr. Click downsizes his prized group, RM Sotheby’s has the privilege of bringing six vehicles to Monterey, where they are sure to incite strong interest.

"We’re beyond thrilled to have been entrusted with the sale of the Jim Click Collection in Monterey – the cars that make up the collection are truly some of the best examples on the planet," says Donnie Gould, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. "Jim Click is an avid race driver, a genuine enthusiast, and a big proponent for jumping behind the wheel and using cars as they’re intended. He’s personally driven all the vehicles in his collection—joined by co-driver Mike McGovern—and has been a frontrunner in every race he’s competed in, building on their race-winning heritage. We recently had the pleasure of spending a couple of days on the track with the Click cars and can attest they are all exceptional vehicles – absolute magic! Each has been kept in top racing form, thanks to none other than the legendary Don Roberts, who made them extremely fast and extremely safe. They’re so dialed in, it’s amazing!"

While the sale will no doubt provide a bittersweet moment for Mr. Click, his eyes light up when he thinks of the thrills in store for their next caretaker, as shown in this short video commentary: http://bit.ly/1rVhrV7.

"It’s time for me to let someone else enjoy the cars like I have," says Click. "They are fantastic cars – thoroughly prepared to the extent that we’ve never had a safety issue. Whoever ends up owning them, you’re in for a truly exciting ride. I hope you have at least half as much fun with these cars as I have had over these last 25 years."

For Shelby fanatics, the selection of Jim Click cars is headlined by one of the most successful racing Cobras of all time: the 1964 Shelby 289 ’Competition’ Cobra, CSX 2473. The car’s early history saw it sold new to one of Carroll Shelby’s own employees, James Findlay, who purchased it at a wholesale price, and, as his budget allowed, upgraded it to competition specification, prior to selling it back to Shelby. Its next owner, SCCA legend, Don Roberts, has been intimately intertwined with the car since the sixties, having owned, raced and maintained the Cobra, on and off, ever since.

Jim Click's Ford Performance Collection Headed To Auction
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For Roberts, success behind the wheel of CSX 2473 was immediate. In his debut outing at an SCCA regional event in Tucson, Arizona in November 1966, he finished first in the A-production class. The Cobra was then converted to B-production specification, and over the next two years, Roberts went on to rack up no less than fourteen 1st-place finishes, an enviable record for any racing driver across all categories. In 1968, Roberts was crowned Southern Pacific Divisional B-production Class Champion, a win that qualified him for the American Road Race of Champions at Riverside where he decimated the competition, earning himself the title of B-production Class National Champion.

Roberts briefly parted with CSX 2473 in 1969, only to reunite with the car for the 1972 season. It again proved an unbeatable combination, with Roberts piloting CSX 2473 to back-to-back Southern Pacific Divisional B-Production Class Championship titles in 1972 and 1973, ranking the car a three-time SCCA Divisional Champion. A second brief spell in ownership ensued, with Roberts acquiring the Cobra a third time in 1980. As he had done so often before, he returned to the track in CSX 2473, this time topping the podium four years in a row at the Monterey Historics (1980 – 1983). Although Roberts’ personal ownership of CSX 2473 eventually came to a close in 1984 when he sold it a final time, he has remained no stranger to the machine; CSX 2473 was acquired by Jim Click in 2006 and has been frequently raced at historic events, maintained by none other than... Don Roberts (Est. $2,200,000 - $2,600,000).

"CSX 2473 is, without question, one of the most successful 289 Competition Cobras in history, and it’s certainly fitting to offer it in Monterey, a place where it has enjoyed tremendous success over the years," comments Alexander Weaver, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. "It features an unrivaled period racing history with countless wins to its name, and significantly, has not claimed a single DNF in its illustrious career. Its provenance is further elevated by its long and successful association with racing great, Don Roberts. Ready to return the track, CSX 2473’s racing career is far from over; highly competitive, it’s sure to find itself back on the podium at future historic racing events."

Jim Click's Ford Performance Collection Headed To Auction
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Also slated for RM’s Monterey podium is the 1966 Ford GT40 Mk I, chassis no. P/1061, a highlight of the Click Collection for over two decades. One of just 31 Mark I road cars, the featured GT40 was one of seven retained for promotional use by Ford’s merchandising department - a role that saw it take to the road and used by the company’s Southeast Regional Sales district in 1967 as part of dealership displays, auto shows and demonstration laps at SCCA events. At the end of its time on the display circuit, P/1061 passed through a well-documented chain of enthusiast owners, including noted Australian racing driver, Bib Stillwell, before landing with Jim Click in 1992. In the years since, Mr. Click has actively raced P/1061 across the country where it has proven an excellent competitor, including at such venues as Laguna Seca, Riverside and Palm Springs (Est. $3,750,000 - $4,250,000).

"It’s no surprise that the Click stable includes a GT40 – a true pinnacle in Ford performance," adds Gould. "The key to this car is that it has been ’massaged’ over the past 35 years to make it a fierce competitor. It’s another example of a car within the Click Collection that Don Roberts has worked his magic on, creating one of the best GT40’s that anyone could ever acquire and put on the race track. A true thrill to drive."

The group of six vehicles slated for the Monterey auction is rounded out by:

· the 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra, CSX 2326; sold new to Pennsylvania, this Cobra boasts a long and fascinating history in the Click Collection, having been owned by Mr. Click on three separate occasions over the course of the past 40 years. First coming into his ownership in 1976, CSX 2326 was later restored as a vintage race car by Mr. Click in the early 1990s. It was sold to Chip Connor in 2002 and subsequently purchased back by Mr. Click for a third time in 2007, remaining with him ever since (Est. $1,000,000 - $1,400,000);

· a pair of Kar Kraft Ford Mustang Boss 302 Trans Am Race Cars, representing the iconic 1969 and 1970 model years - a pair of ultimate Ford Performance vehicles and both boasting exceptional provenance. The 1969 model, chassis no. 9F0M148628, was a Shelby team car and is linked to a bevy of great racing identities, including Dan Gurney, Pete Revson, George Follmer and A.J. Foyt, while the 1970 model, ID no. 1-1971, was the Bud Moore team car and successfully campaigned by Peter Gregg in the 1971 season, who drove it to an impressive third overall in the championship that year (Est. $1,000,000 - $1,300,000 each); and,

· the 1966 Shelby GT350, chassis no. SFM 6S2363, the 1970 SCCA B-production Southern Pacific Division Champion, and another example from within the collection with close ties to Don Roberts; it was both prepared and raced by Roberts in period to strong results. The car has been part of the Click Collection since 2002 (Est. $350,000 - $450,000).

Jim Click's Ford Performance Collection Headed To Auction
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The Jim Click Ford Performance Collection will join an exceptional roster of 100 blue-chip collector cars slated for this year’s RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale. A tradition spanning more than 30 years, the annual RM auction, held during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance week, returns to the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, August 19-20.

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