William M. (Bill) Wonder passed away on Saturday, January 22, 2022 at the age of 98. Many young GT40 fans may not know about Bill. He purchased GT/103 directly from Shelby American in 1966 (I think) after it was the first GT40 to win a race (1965 Daytona 2000 km., driven by Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby) and finished second at Sebring and third at Monza. Bill raced 103 privately into the early 1970s and kept ownership of it for a number of decades.

Bill was a pilot for American Airlines and a dedicated and extremely competent Gearhead and driver. In addition to GT40 103, that I believe is the oldest original authentic GT40 in existence, he owned and drove a McLaren M8C(?) Can-Am car that Peter Revson had driven in the series and a number of other big engine crazy fast cars.

Bill did most of the work on his cars himself. He lived in Nassau County on Long Island for many years. Soon after I bought GT40 #P1040 in 1978, I trailered it to Bill's shop so he could look it over and tell me what was wrong with it--EVERYTHING!--and what it needed--EVEN MORE THAN EVERYTHING! Bill showed me #103 that he put a 255 CID Ford Indy engine in (which might have been originally tried by Shelby-American) and the Revson Can-Am car. Also in his shop was an original 1963 Ferrari Series 1 GTO that he was storing for a friend and a few other cars that I can't recall the details about now, 45 years later.

Bill and I lost touch for a couple of decades. I remember reading that he sold #103 at an auction for what was at that time the highest price for an original GT40 ever received. By pure luck I stumbled into him at a Ferrari club meet in Pennsylvania in 2019. He had moved from Long Island to a town in PA not far from the club meet. He was in his mid 90s(!) and still very interested in cars, owning a Ferrari 333 SP racer that he was very proud of. We chatted for quite some time. He still remembered my #1040 and its problems when I brought it to his shop. He made my day.

Covid ruined our attempts to get together again, as Bill was not keen on visitors and I wasn't keen on traveling until the pandemic dissipated, which it still hasn't. He was an amazing individual and terrific car guy. GT40 #103 was his most cherished car for decades. He either liked you or wouldn't talk to you. For some reason he liked me. I will remember Bill for the rest of my life. Rest in peace, my friend.

Rich Kruger

Back in the day (early 80's) I was a Mercedes Benz, BMW, Rolls Royce tech at Rallye Motors in Glen Cove on Long Island. One of my fellow techs moonlighted at Mr. Wonders shop and I had the opportunity to tag along a few times. I remember being in awe of the bright orange Mclaren with the injector stacks going this way and that. Thanks for the great memories. Rest in Peace Mr Wonder.
I would like to thank everyone for the well wishes in my fathers passing. It has still yet to hit me fully.

I did have the unique experience of growing up with gt40's and racing my whole life. I wrenched and drove most of the cars including 103 several times and enjoyed the conversion to the Indy quad-cam that my father and I did together.

Thank you!

Jim Rosenthal

I met Bill Wonder several years back, in PA- I had the pleasure of driving up and spending the day there, listening to anecdotes about cars and racing. He raced 103 at Daytona several times; his codriver was Ray Caldwell, I believe. Bill said that 103 was so stable on the Daytona banking that he could drive with one hand and smoke a cigarette with the other. Bill also flew U2 spy planes in the early postwar years and had some great stories about those days as well.

Godspeed, Bill, you were a real gentleman racer.