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Hot Rods The Most Valuable Car Ever Hotrodded?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Stephen 'doc' Watson, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. (mods are welcome to move where appropriate)

    The late Dean Jeffries' Ford GT40 (#109, one of only 5 roadsters) just might be it. Restored to original (even the nose was shortened back to factory specs) it could sell north of $7 million.

    Dean had Howard Gilbert rebuild a Ford Indy 4-cammer for it as one of Howard's last projects before he retired from Foyt. (Hanging out at the shop, I got to watch him build it. Remember, Foyt became the source for them after Ford)

    In the pic below, Dean is fabbing fender liners because he was tired of rock dings when he drove it.

    Read all about it: https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2018/...ut-only-one-raced-in-the-24-hours-of-le-mans/

    dean jeffries28.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  2. patsurf
    Joined: Jan 18, 2018
    Posts: 247

    patsurf

    that prob matches the car he built the manta ray from-some extremely rare italian...
     
  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,536

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Those things sold for 17 to 20K new so if he customized it when it was new it wasn't "the most valuable" but just one of the coolest.
    Summer of 1966 Dad and I cruised up to Lake City Wa to the Ford dealer and they had maybe 4 GT 40's sitting there and a fleet of Mustang GT 350's The GT 40 were high dollar then at 18 K but no where near as revered as they are now.
     
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  4. Except Ford never commercially offered any of its original factory race cars like this one. The story in the link confirms it was the only one of 5 roadsters to compete at LeMans.

    In '66 were you taken with the looks of the GT40's? I sure was.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
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  5. It wasn't built from a two-seat Birdcage Maserati, but I'm not sure anyone has ever confirmed which Maserati it WAS built from.
     
  6. Hutkikz
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 77

    Hutkikz
    Member

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  7. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,264

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    why is this so important? these cars have a lot of status in the car world. but, are not in the least part of the traditional world here. there are some here that are priceless to their owners.
     
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  8. Chopping and swapping on a 50+ year old, multimillion dollar race car might be of interest to someone.
     
  9. From the article: Mantaray is a single seater, based on a Formula 1 car of questionable 1950s vintage: “I really can’t remember what year the Maseratis were built,” Jeffries points out today.

    I'd love to know if anyone has been able to definitively determine which Maseratis they were built from. Maybe from 250's?
     
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  10. I think some retired F1 Maseratis were brought over to run at Indy. Possibly not even with Maserati engines. Jefferies used the leftovers from that.

    I may be wrong.
     
  11. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 25,909

    The37Kid
    Member

    I believe they were two team cars that ran or tried to run INDY. They were rotting away in Dean's father in law or other relatives yard I recall reading years ago. I have a photo of the cars at INDY somewhere.

    Bob
     
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  12. Based on one of these (this is from the 59 race)
    [​IMG]
    Not the prewar Boyle special car which won the race 2 times
     
  13. Hutkikz
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 77

    Hutkikz
    Member

    Another quote from the article.

    "he pirated the best parts from both chassis, then went to work building his entry for the 1964 Tournament of Fame. First thing he did was trash the temperamental Italian engines (“Boy, was that a big mistake! Do you realize how much those are worth today?” Jeffries will tell you now.)."
     
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  14. Thanks so much. Now I can do my homework!

    ".....The tubular chassis was a version of the one used in the 250F Formula 1 race car....."

    "The damaged 420/M/58 was returned to the Maserati factory where it was rebuilt with an eye on entering it in the 1959 Indy 500. The body was modified by Gentilini, who removed the fin mounted on top of the rear fairing. The oil tank was moved to the left, outside of the body, to further improve the weight balance. Finished in red but still bearing Eldorado sponsors, the car was rebadged the 420/M/59 and shipped to the United States. It was entered for Ralph Linguori by Eldorado Racing. Sadly a combination of fuel pick-up problems and limited ability behind the wheel prevented the car from qualifying for the race. This proved to be the last outing for the car."

    (And the Umbrella Mike cars were my all time favs!)

    maserati indy 59a.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
  15. SR100
    Joined: Nov 26, 2013
    Posts: 621

    SR100
    Member

    The Manta Ray was built on a Maserati 4CLT, a supercharged 1500cc 4 cyl. racing car of 1948. By 1963, it was more or less worthless and sitting in his father-in-law's back yard.
     
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  16. Okay, I'l go with that.
    scratch all previous comments
     
  17. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,994

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    How about Ab Jenkins Mormon Meteor built from a new 1935 Duesenberg. Set a record at Bonneville, then had a Curtis Conqueror V12 aircraft engine installed and beat the previous record, then the Duesy engine put back and driven on the street .

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Not doubting you, but can you post a source for that info?

    The 4CLT was driven by Fangio, no?

    Thanks
     
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  19. SR100
    Joined: Nov 26, 2013
    Posts: 621

    SR100
    Member

    It was me misremembering the Tom Cotter Dean Jeffries book. Looking it up, he just says it was a prewar car: "Jeffries' then father-in-law, Darwin Maxson, had a couple of old single-seater race cars lying around in his backyard. They were pre-World War II Maserati Grand Prix cars and Maxson offered them to his son-in-law for free." However, digging deeper, most online sources agree that it was the postwar 4CLT, and a pic from the Vintage-Under-Construction-Photos thread shows that it had the tubular chassis that debuted circa 1948 in the CLT:
    [​IMG]
    There's some good discussion at https://forums.autosport.com/topic/58015-maserati-4clt/.
    As for Fangio, he did drive a 4CLT early in his career, but I don't think this was it. Our own sadly missed Bluto thought that Jeffries used an ex-Prince Bira 4CLT: www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/dean-jeffries-mantaray.324609/page-2#post-3548379.
     
  20. What a great looking chassis!
     
  21. patsurf
    Joined: Jan 18, 2018
    Posts: 247

    patsurf

    as good as linda's-just different....no birdcage look to her--
     
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  22. Offset
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 1,585

    Offset
    Member
    from Canada

    Interesting thread. Thanks.
     
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  23. Thank you, just the kind of info I was looking for.
     
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  24. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 25,909

    The37Kid
    Member

    [​IMG] So I've been wrong all these years thinking these two Maserati's at INDY in 1949 were the cars Dean later cut up, one was an 8 the # 53 may have been a 4. Bob
     
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  25. The postwar Maseratis at Indy were the same prewar ones with different owners,.
     
  26. So, the Boyle cars of '38 and '39 accounted for all the postwar Maseratis running Indy except the '59 car above which failed to qualify?
     
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  27. Damn. Bluto passed ! ??? What the hell. When ? Why ? How ? A damn shame .....
     
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  28. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 25,909

    The37Kid
    Member

    X38, since you are into Maserati were does the Raul Riganti 1940 Indy car fit into things? Was it sold to run INDY after the war? I got to see and watch it run at Lime Rock years ago it was then owned by a member of the Walton family. Bob 75546dba4031c2dd45ae006686d80970.jpg
     
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  29. SR100
    Joined: Nov 26, 2013
    Posts: 621

    SR100
    Member

    I'm not @X38 but the Riganti car was an 8CL (the 32 valve development of the 8CTF). Riganti crashed it in the '40 500 & took the remains home to Argentina. Villoresi drove a new 8CL in 1946. Jenks wrote a history of the 8cyl Maseratis @ Indy for Motorsport magazine which breaks down the different cars' identities & results.
     

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