By now, you've probably read the story of the the ultimate garage find—a unicorn-rare Ford GT40 that sat buried under junk in an inauspicious California garage for 37 years. But how did this priceless piece of sports car history wind up there? The Ford's registration plate helps tell the car's story.
GT40 P/1067 rolled out of the Ford Advanced Vehicles factory in Slough, England on December 23, 1966. One archived FAV workshop photo shows an opalescent silver-blue GT40 (unconfirmed) as P/1067 sitting beside another GT40. Though it's a standard 289ci MkI-spec car, P/1067's MkII tail sections were factory-optioned, and it was sold to one Doug Schulz in Elmwood Park, Illinois. Four years later, the car was acquired locally by Jim Scott, who added Halibrand wheels and had P/1067 repainted in a yellow/black scheme.
Ownership of the canary-colored Ford was transferred to Harley Cluxton (who at one time was also in possession of GT40 , a camera car for Steve McQueen's Le Mans) in Glenville, Illinois circa July 1972. George Walther, father of troubled race driver Salt Walther, purchased P/1067 and made it up as a semi-replica of the Daytona-winning MkII, with competition roundel wheels and No. 98 racing numbers.
Dennis Murdoch, a retired firefighter in Thousand Oaks, California, then came into possession of P/1067 during the mid-1970s, though the details regarding its sale are murky. This appears to be where the car began slowly being piled away as its restoration was abandoned. At one point, Rod Stewart (yes, that Rod Stewart) visited Mr. Murdoch's house as a prospective buyer, but he decided against purchasing the car.
P/1067 reappeared in 2010, when Jay Cushman of the car to an online GT40 forum, claiming it had "virtually every original part," as well as a spare Gurney-Weslake race motor—the same engine type used in the Le Mans-winning GT40s in 1968 and 1969.
After a prolonged bidding war with Cushman, Tom Shaughnessy finally exhumed P/1067. Hopefully, the next 48 years hold better fortunes for this mysterious and odd relic of American racing history.