(110 x 90 cm, olieverf op doek)
Completed late in 1961, this is the very first 250 GTO built. It was extensively tested and remained at Ferrari until the summer of 1962 when it was sold to William McKelvy of American racing team Scuderia Bear through Luigi Chinetti. After a promising debut at Bridgehampton, it was successfully campaigned at Nassau where Lorenzo Bandini won the GT class in one race and Charles Hayes in two. Its racing career continued for several more years, and in 1966 it scored a GT class win in the 24 Hours of Daytona in the hands of then owner Larry Perkins and Jack Slottag. Later that year, chassis 3223GT was retired from contemporary racing. With the exception of a decade during the 1990s and early 2000s when it was in Japanese hands, it has remained in American ownership. The current owner acquired the first GTO in 2004 and had it restored to its Daytona class winning configuration.”
I decided to publish a new book on the most fantastic of the 85 editions of the Le Mans 24 hours: that of 50 years again; that of 1967. It was the ultimate battle of the giants with at the start seven factory 7.0 works Fords, two 7.0 Chaparral Chevrolets against eight 4.0 litre Ferraris. From 1958 to 1965 Ferrari had won eight consecutive times the battle for Le Mans. But in 1966 Ford caused a stir by beating Ferrari at La Sarthe. Eight months later the Prancing Horse took its revenge by realising a 1-2-3 on the very American soil: at the Daytona 24 hours race. And in April, at the Le Mans test days, the works Ferraris were again faster than the works Fords. So who should win the 1967 battle for Le Mans: Ferrari or Ford? And what to think of Chevrolets new wing car, the ultra fast Chaparral 2F?
Here is what I already wrote 10 years ago: