RK Motors Charlotte earned "Restoration of the Year" honors at the prestigious 2016 International Historic Motoring Awards, in recognition of the painstaking 20-month restoration of P/1046 – the iconic GT40 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.
Almost 4,000 man-hours were spent on the racecar's restoration over a period of nearly 20 months, and no detail was spared, including the hastily painted #2 on the hood with identical dripping paint and the unequal length exhaust pipes at the rear; both characteristics of the original build. That painstaking restoration by Kingston, N.H.-based Rare Drive was chronicled in a seven-part video series, which may be viewed at gt40.rkmotorscharlotte.com.
The GT40 is a testament to stalwart and ingenious engineering and is first American-built car to win endurance racing's most prestigious competition, which had always been dominated by Ferrari. Developed by legendary car builder and racer Carroll Shelby, chassis P/1046 carved its niche in racing history as the first of three GT40s to take the checkered flag and earn podium finishes at the 1966 Le Mans race besting Ferrari in the #1, #2, and #3 winning positions. The 1966 race continues to rank as one of the closest finishes in Le Mans history.
"When we acquired P/1046 and set out to fully restore this legendary racecar, our intent was to be able to share it with the international motorsports community and car lovers everywhere," said Joseph Carroll, President of RK Motors Charlotte. "This prestigious international award is a fitting culmination to the restoration, and helps set the stage for P/1046 to serve as the centerpiece of the RK Collection here in Charlotte. We invite everyone to come see this historic racecar, as well as others in this very special collection."
Launched in 2011, the International Historic Motoring Awards recognize and celebrate the skills and achievements of the worldwide historic motoring industry. The event comprises 14 award categories, which are judged by an international panel of experts.