Please give me an example of a completer serial number for an original GT40 I know that they are at least 4 digits (ex: 10XX) but what ater the numbers/letters that are before and after this chassis number?
Thanks for that list, it certainly doesn't leave much out!
It also reminds me of a great little story I'd love to share. About four years ago, a friend of mine who owned a barber shop in a little town outside Philadelphia told me that one of his customers was an older man that would drive a real GT40 to get his hair cut. "Yeah, right!" was my reaction. My friend said that it was for real, and that this guy had a garage full of old race cars.
Too good to be true, my curiosity got the best of me. My friend told me that this guy welcomed visitors to his garage, so we headed out to see what this was all about.
We knocked on the door, and a teenage boy answered. My friend said, "We heard that the owner here has a bunch of old cars, and we wondered if we could take a look." The boy replied, "Yeah, that's my grandfather, let me get him." A moment later, and a small, white-haired gentleman came out, and said, "Hi, I'm Bill Wonder." I instantly knew that Chassis 103 was near! He walked us past a few other 1960's racecars and a trailer, and there it was; 103, dark maroon, with a patina as if it had come right off the track 40 years ago!!! Behind it was a row of spare engines and transaxles. Ahhh, GT40 heaven!
I know that Chassis 101 was destroyed, and I think I read that 102 is also gone forever. Is Bill Wonder's 103 the oldest GT40 in existense? If so, any idea what it's worth (including race history and spares?) Max.
What a great story ! I luv to hear those kind of stories. I wish it would happen to me someday. It is especially nice when the person such as Mr Wonder shares his stories and collection with other entusiasts.
Thanks Clayton, I have it book marked now.
[ October 29, 2002: Message edited by: Hershal Byrd ]
Yes, it was a great experience, but I must tell you...
When I told Mr. Wonder that I was a GT40 freak, and was interetsed in building a replica, his reply was, "There are real GT40's, and the rest are just silicone."
Pretentious? Slightly, but if I owned a real one (particularly one that I had raced in the 60's), I'd be the same way! Regardless, he was a very nice person. Max.
William Wonder's GT40 has a number of distinctions, and it is interesting that it does not seem to get much attention for them; it probably deserves more...
It has been owned continuously by Mr Wonder since purchase from the Shelby Team in the late 1960s.
It was the first GT40 to win a race- Daytona, I think with Miles and Hulme (?) as drivers.
It began life with a Colotti transaxle and may have had a 256 Cu in engine to begin with, although I am not sure about that.
It reportedly has its original blue interior, evidently these are rare.
IMHO, the owner deserves thanks from all for keeping the car as it has been over the years, not parting with it (there must have been temptations aplenty) and as I understand it continuing to race it in vintage events- ie, using it for its original purpose. Good for him!
I was recently doing some research on GT40s and MaLarens and I ran across this old thread on your web site. I know GT40-103 intimately as I was the 16 year old who's job it was to polish the wheels and fetch coffee for Bill Wonder back in 1966. I was one of the local kids who used to hang out at his garage and do anything possible to help out so we could stick around. You see, if you didn't work you didn't stay! Bill's garage was in Glen Cove, LI and every time I drive by it (it's a Piano store now) it brings back all those memories.
My love for sports cars, and apparently polishing wheels, eventually led me into the business I am in today, manufacturing detailing products here in NY.
I must have done something right because I stayed with Bill as a pit crew member into the 1970s and went to many races with the GT40. My Dad and Bill at one point were co-owners of a McLaren M8C CanAm car which we raced for a few years.
When Bill retired from American Airlines he moved to PA and I completely lost track of him until I ran into him at a car show here on LI last summer, that's Bill seated in the picture below. I recently discovered that he sold #103 and it eventually sold on the auction block for over $2 million!