After driving 700 miles to Salt Lake city (through rain, snow flurries and hail) in my 2005 Ford GT I checked into my hotel and went to bed. The next day I hit the car wash before meeting Doug DeMuro and shooting a video of my car. This was part of a 2005 Ford GT versus 2017 Ford GT comparison Doug was creating for his YouTube channel. After spending a few hours shooting with Doug we traveled to the Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, Utah for the new Ford GT’s press launch opening dinner. A few feet from our table an original GT40 was parked next to a new Ford GT, setting the stage for a celebration of Ford’s multi-generational supercar.
In late April 2017 the much-anticipated new Ford GT was finally going to be available for automotive journalists to drive at its global press launch. Up until that point the only experience most folks, even industry insiders, had with the new Ford GT involved staring at it behind roped off sections of Ford’s auto show displays. I was fortunate enough to actually sit in the new GT at the 2017 Detroit Auto a few months earlier, but that was only for a few glorious, stationary minutes.
When I received notice of the new Ford GT press launch at Utah Motorsports Campus, about 40 miles west of Salt Lake City, I immediately knew how I was getting to the event. As I’ve stated many times, the 2005-2006 Ford GT is one of the best long-distance supercars ever created. It’s quick, it’s comfortable, and its easy going nature places almost no physical demands on the driver. It will even clear 24-plus mpg if you keep it in sixth gear, as 2,000 rpm translates to 80 mph. Plus I was pretty sure I’d be the only journalist showing up to the new Ford GT press launch in his own Ford GT
Last week’s Flash Back Friday featured my 1969 Plymouth GTX, the third car I owned (before I turned 16 and got my driver’s license…) and my first car that actually ran when I bought it. That GTX provided me with a wealth of memories, enough to justify another blog of its own, but as much fun as it was my second car, a 1970 Plymouth GTX, brought me even more joy.
Yes, I owned two GTXs of sequential years, and I even owned both of them at the same time for over a year. I bought my 1969 Plymouth GTX in April of 1985 for $2,200. I bought the 1970 Plymouth GTX in September of 1986 for $4,000. I sold the 1969 GTX in December of 1987 for $2,500, a monetary loss because I’d put an easy $1,000 in that GTX before it left. But I couldn’t justify keeping both of them, and I loved my 1970 Plymouth GTX far more. I kept that one for 24 years.
Yesterday I talked about one of the colors I considered for my new Ford GT. Today I’ll identify the only other paint-to-sample (custom) color I considered: Petty Blue.
Petty Blue is a color Plymouth offered on its vehicles in the early 1970s. It’s called Petty Blue because of its association to Richard Petty, one of the most famous NASCAR racers of all time. If you’ve seen the animated Pixar movie CARS the character “The King” is voiced by Richard Petty and the car represents a 1970 Plymouth Superbird painted Petty Blue.
I have loved this color ever since I first saw it in my early teens. Generally speaking I find blue, in all its hues, the best color for a car. And within the spectrum of blue, Petty Blue is one of my favorite shades. I told this to my Ford GT Concierge and asked for a sample, which Ford provided.
When the sample arrived it further confirmed how much I loved the color. I actually locked my new Ford GT specification with a paint-to-sample Petty Blue shade. But that was on a Friday, and I had until the following Tuesday to change my configuration. On the following Monday I changed my Ford GT color, bailing out on Petty Blue. Why?
I’ve already locked my order for my new Ford GT, but the process wasn’t easy. Ford allows buyers to paint the new Ford GT in any color they want, over and above the 8 factory colors. This means the only limit for new Ford GT buyers is imagination…and the ability to get the correct paint name or code to Ford.
Among the custom colors I considered is a classic Corvette shade called Lynndale Blue. Corvettes have worn some iconic colors over the years, including Goodwood Green, Marlboro Maroon and Tuxedo Black. There’s been some memorable Corvette blues, too, including Marina Blue and Elkhart Blue.
It may seem like my world revolves around the Ford GT, but as mentioned a couple days ago I also own a 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. In fact, it was just over a year ago when I committed to buying a Dodge Demon after driving it at the press introduction. When I made that commitment I knew buying a Demon would pretty much nuke my ability to keep my 2005 Ford GT and get a new Ford GT. There was simply no way to keep all three cars — the math wouldn’t work no matter how creatively I wrote the equation.
The new Ford GT is closely tied to a successful race car that’s already won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. And like most high-performance street cars with a racing pedigree, Ford is encouraging buyers of the new Ford GT to exercise it at closed course race facilities. Among these encouraging factors is a complete set of race accessories designed and engineered by Sparco.
I’ve owned a lot of cars over the past 34 years and I’ve decided I’m going to start featuring them on Flash Back Fridays. Let’s start with my first real car, a 1969 Plymouth GTX
I actually had three cars before I got my driver’s license. Blame my two orders brothers, both certified grease monkeys who averaged owning about 4 cars each during my teen years (when they were in their early 20s). Technically my first car was a primer gray 1966 Dodge Coronet 500 with no drivetrain. The dream was to drop in a 440 and make it a killer street car. Then I found an all-original B5 blue 1968 Dodge Charger R/T and forgot all out the Coronet 500. But the Charger had a seized engine, massive quarter panel rust and no title (bought it for $200 from a salvage yard). I had visions of making it a killer street car before I spotted a 1969 Plymouth GTX on a used car lot while (no joke) coming back from passing my driver’s permit test. Unlike the previous two cars, this one was complete and ran. So while it technically wasn’t my first car, the 1969 Plymouth GTX was my first running car.
On April 5, 2017 the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) held an event in Detroit to celebrate the design and engineering aspects of the new Ford GT. The event was attended by members of SAE, Larry Holt of Multimatic (the company building new Ford GTs) and Ford GT team members, including Raj Nair.
It’s safe to say my identity, both personally and professionally, has been closely tied to my 2005 Ford GT for more than a decade. The car was featured on a long-term blog for 3 years after I bought it, and it’s had plenty of additional updates since. You can read the entirely of this ownership blog on this site (use the “Ford GT Ownership” link to scroll through them all). My Ford GT also made several high-profile appearances in media stories over the years, including this interview on Autoline After Hours, this color correction story on Forbes and this comparison of all three generations of Ford GT on Kelley Blue Book.
As you can imagine, having that kind of shared history with a car is hard to give up, and the reaction I’ve gotten since announcing my Ford GT sale doesn’t really surprise me. “What?! How could you???” is the theme of most responses.