Karl on Cars

Let's Talk Cars, Motorcycles and Other Life-Changing Events

Comparison Test: 2005 Ford GT versus the new Ford GT

It is my obligation as a journalist to provide full disclosure on my relationship to the 2005 Ford GT and the new Ford GT. I owned a 2005 Ford GT for 13 years and put over 30,000 miles on it before selling my GT to Doug DeMuro. I’m also the owner of a 2019 Ford GT. The good news? When I do a comparison between the 2005 Ford GT and the new Ford GT I know from which I speak. The bad news? I’m arguably not the most unbiased person to get your Ford GT information from.

My 2005 Ford GT on its way to the new Ford GT press introduction

Okay, you’ve been warned. Now, let’s talk about the two coolest cars ever made.

The new Ford GT is instantly recognizable as a track weapon

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Two-Wheel Tuesday: 1990 Honda RC30

Honda RC30 by cars
The 1990 Honda RC30 was a limited-product race bike for the street

For this edition of Two-Wheeled Tuesday I’m going to talk about one of the few vehicle’s I’ve let go that I wish I still had. The 1990 Honda RC30 was a very special motorcycle indeed. First, it was only offered for one year in the U.S., and only 300 RC30s were sold that year. This means finding a Honda RC30 for sale, in any shape, is challenging.

Honda RC30 Rock Store
Every time I took my RC30 to the Rock Store it got quite a reaction

If you are lucky enough to find an RC30 for sale you’re likely to find one that’s been heavily modified. These bikes were so capable in stock form that many owners used them as club racers, with all the modifications that come with that duty. My Honda RC30 had less than 10,000 miles and was completely original. I had guys tell me to swap out the bike’s exhaust canister. Not for performance, but to keep it somewhere safe. “If that gets damaged you’ll never find another one.”

Honda RC30 Tank
Every aspect of the Honda RC30 was unique, even its fuel tank design

All Honda RC30s were built at Honda’s race shop (versus a traditional assembly line) and everything from the 750cc V4 engine’s titanium connecting rods to the “Big Bang” 360-degree firing order was done for maximum performance. There were simply no compromises in this motorcycle’s quest for power and performance.

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Ford GT Beauty Shots Series 1

2019 Ford GT Palomar Mountain
A drive up Mount Palomar and lucky timing resulted in this

If the image above looks familiar, it’s also the (current) header on my website. This shot came at the end of a drive up Mount Palomar in San Diego County, which was actually my first serious drive in my 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series. I’ll chronicle that experience soon, but it was a gloomy day to be in Ford’s supercar…until I reached the summit and broke through the clouds. Then it was epic.

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series
My Ford GT on Ortega Highway, with some saturated color thrown in

Anyway, when you have a car with stunning design at the level of the new Ford GT it’s impossible to publish too many photographs. So like a super-sized version of Instagram, I’m going to start doing a regular series of posts that simply show off the New Ford GT’s amazing body lines. The photo above shows my Ford GT in Track Mode with the rear wing deployed. Also a bit of color saturation to emphasize its Liquid Blue.

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Ford GT Mark II: Ultimate Track Toy for Ford GT Enthusiasts

Ford GT Mark II Driving

The Ford GT Mark II is a purpose-built track toy

Ford Motor Company has made a lot of noise with the street and race versions of the modern Ford GT. In race form, the GT has racked up an impressive list of wins at tracks like Le Mans, Daytona, Laguna Seca, Silverstone, Fuji, Shanghai, etc. Over that same 2-year period the street version of the Ford GT has remained a hot commodity in the exotic sports car world.

Ford GT Mark II Profile

The Ford GT Mark II maximizes downforce with unique body work

However, whether in street or organized race trim, the new Ford GT has been configured under a litany of regulations. The street version has to abide by emissions, safety and sound regulations, all of which add weight while restricting power. Even more frustrating, the Ford GTs racing in the World Endurance Championship and IMSA series also face horsepower restrictions and weight penalties, all in an effort to “balance” the GT’s performance against lesser…uh…I mean other…competitors.

Ford GT Mark II Doors

The Ford GT Mark II can be painted in any design the buyer wants

This begs the question: What if Ford built a version of the new Ford GT without any street or organized racing restrictions? What if the company simply took the GT’s basic platform and drivetrain and configured it in a way to maximize performance?

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2019 Ford GT Carbon Series World Debut at SEMA

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series at SEMA

The 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series debuted at SEMA in Leadfoot Gray

I reported on the new 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series when it debuted in Leadfoot Gray at the SEMA show. For that story I simply used the Ford GT press photos, but I was on the SEMA show floor when they pulled the wraps off the Carbon Series, and I captured both photos and video during the process.

 

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My 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series Has Arrived!

2019 ford GT Carbon Series

My 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series emerges from the Reliable carrier.

I first saw the new Ford GT at the Detroit Auto Show, when it made its world debut at the Ford press conference in Cobo Arena. At the time I didn’t know how many new Ford GTs would be made, how much they would cost, or if I could ever get one. Of the last 4 years I’ve learned the answer to the first two questions, and last week I definitively answered the final question.

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series Front Shop

The Liquid Blue with Race Red accents looks as good as I imagined it would.

My 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series arrived on a Reliable truck after hauling it all the way from Multimatic in Markham, Ontario (just outside Toronto). It was a rainy week in Southern California, and the day it arrived the rain fell from sunrise to sunset…except for the 2 hours surrounding my new Ford GT’s drop off. I appreciated not having to run between the detail shop where it was delivered and GT’s cabin. Instead I was able to capture the event on video as you can see below.

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Flash Back Friday: 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE

2018-Dodge-Challenger-SRT-Demon-Lake-Elsinore-Front

The 2018 Dodge-Challenger-SRT-Demon looks almost as good as a Ford GT

My 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is actually the third Dodge Challenger I’ve owned. As featured a few weeks ago, I had a 1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye when I was in college in Colorado. That car was pretty cool, but as fun as it was to drive I always wanted a big-block Dodge Challenger, preferably a 440 or 426 Hemi version from 1970 or 1971.

1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye Front

The Challenger’s body damage was not extreme, but every panel had a noticeable flaw

About 13 years after selling my 1973 Dodge Challenger Rally I found another Challenger while browsing eBay. This was an all-original, one-owner car with every single feature I wanted. First, it was a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE, which immediately makes it a relatively rare and well-equipped car. There were plenty of Dodge Challenger R/Ts produced, and a fair amount of Dodge Challenger SEs were made, too. But there are very few original Challengers that featured both packages in one car.

1970 Dodge Challenger RT SE Front Sunset

My 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE had every factory feature I wanted

Though I didn’t know it at the time, this car was also a Chrysler executive ordered car, which is why it was so loaded with features. When I saw the eBay listing I was thrilled to see this Challenger’s list of factory features: 440 engine, air conditioning, AM/FM radio, rear defrost, rim-blow steering wheel, chrome trim (mirrors and windows) and hood pins. And, best of all, it was painted my favorite vintage Challenger color: Plum Crazy Purple.

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Ford GT: It Looks Good in So Many Shades of Blue

New-Ford-GT-Liquid-Blue-European-Shoot

You simply can’t go wrong with a Ford GT in blue, any shade of blue

Blue is one of my favorite colors for cars. Just about any shade of blue on just about any car is okay by me, and from the looks of how many Ford GT buyers are picking this shade I’m not alone in my preference.

2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S Front Miami Blue

A Porsche 911 Turbo S in Miami Blue further proves my point about blue cars

After much consternation I chose Liquid Blue for my Ford GT. I almost went with a custom color, Petty Blue, but with so many other people picking custom blue colors from the medium, non-metallic Porsche blue family (Mexico, Miami, Riviera) I figured everyone would assume I’d also picked one of those. Paying for a custom color only to have it confused with other customer colors didn’t appeal to me.

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New Ford GT: To Stripe or Not to Stripe…

New Ford GT Front Press Conference

The new 2017 Ford GT is mobbed after its world debut in January 2015

There’s an ongoing discussion among new Ford GT fans: To stripe or not to stripe.

2005 Ford GT Front Stripes

The 2005-2006 Ford GT looks very good with the stripes

The new Ford GT is among the most dramatic vehicle designs ever created. It shows obvious ties back to the original GT40 and the 2005-2006 Ford GT, but it’s a clear break from the past. That past is rife with stripe-bearing Ford GTs, all of them looking quite good with stripes over the hood, roof and engine cover. But does this stripe treatment transfer to the new Ford GT?

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Two-Wheeled Tuesday: Triumph X75 Hurricane

1975 Triumph Trident 1973 Triumph Hurricane

The 1975 Triumph Trident and 1973 Triumph Hurricane are two of my favorite bikes

For a long time, the Triumph X75 Hurricane was my ultimate dream motorcycle. As previously noted, I grew up in a house full of classic British motorcycles. Sure, 1960s and 1970s BSAs and Triumphs weren’t quite as “classic” in the 1980s. They were mostly thought of as old, leaky, unreliable has-beens compared to the more advanced Japanese motorcycles of the day.

1973 Triumph Hurricane Dodge Challenger

The Hurricane’s fiberglass bodywork flowed from its tank to the side panels

But any enthusiast with foresight knew, even back then, these bikes told a compelling emotional story flush with timeless design elements and an engaging man-machine interface. And within the massive spectrum of classic British two-wheelers there were bikes like the Vincent Black Shadow, the Norton Commando and the Triumph X75 Hurricane. I appreciate all legendary British motorcycles, but I personally loved the Triumph X75 Hurricane.

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