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

Month: May 2018 Page 2 of 3

Ford GT Production Numbers, Parts Bin Parts, Fuel Efficiency and Steering Feel

Only about 200 miles were added to my Ford GT in November of 2006. But some interesting GT statistics were reported this month. First, the final production numbers for the 2005 and 2006 models came out (the car’s production ended in October 2006). I also had enough miles on the GT to get a good sense of its fuel efficiency, which was better than anyone (including me) expected.

2005 Ford GT Production Numbers

The final 2005-2006 Ford GT production breakout by color and options

Ford GT Final Production Numbers, By Color and Option

November 2, 2006 at 6,104 miles

With Ford GT production officially ended there is now an accurate assessment of how the GT’s colors and options break down over its two-year run. You can see another version of this data at The Ford GT Forum and, if you’re a fan of these cars, this kind of production number information is fascinating (if you’re not, you likely put us GT freaks in the same category as people who wear Vulcan ears or have a “Mint on Card” version of every Star Wars figure — not that I belong to either of those groups, dammit!).

Ford GT Optional Wheels, Storage Space, Axle Bolts and Rear Bumper

In October 2006 the first serious issue for the 2005 and 2006 Ford GTs surfaced in the form of failed axle bolts. Owners experienced the problem in the form of lost power delivery to the rear wheels when the axle bolt heads sheared off and the axles fell out of place. This often happened as GT owners pulled away from a stop sign or a low-speed parking lot maneuver. After some back-and-form between Ford GT owners and Ford Motor Company an official recall was issued to install stronger replacement axle bolts, but that took several months. The odo crossed 6,000 miles this month.

2005 Ford GT Long Term BBS Wheel

The optional BBS wheels for the Ford GT offer a meaningful weight advantage

Ford GT’s Optional Wheels

October 2, 2006 at 5,789 miles

Like most GTs, ours has the optional BBS wheels. In my opinion the standard wheels actually look slightly better than the optional units, but I’ve always preferred fewer, thicker-spoke designs versus numerous, thin-spoke wheels. The factory wheels use a rather basic six-spoke design that matches well with the GT’s classic shape. The 10 spokes on the BBS wheels border on looking too “busy” for my tastes, plus they’re more difficult to clean…

Ford GT Toggle Switches, Mid-Lite Glass, Gauges and Shifter

After more than a year of ownership my 2005 Ford GT had over 5,700 miles on it. A few quirks had shown up, including gauges that occasionally stopped working and a mid-lite window that required special attention after washing the car. But the GT continued to be one of the best-driving sports cars I’d experienced, with a superb transmission, intuitive steering and the ability to effortlessly devour open road miles.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Switch

The Ford GT toggle switches are a throwback to GT40 race car

Ford GT Toggle Switches

September 6, 2006 at 5,082 miles

The Ford GT team used many of the original GT40’s styling cues on the new model, both inside and out. The dash has a long layout with the tachometer front and center. The seats have “holes” to allow better ventilation for when you’re on your 103rd blast down the Mulsanne Straight. And of course the doors extend well into the roof, making it easier to swing them wide and plop down into the seats during those “running” starts…

Ford GT National Owners Rally I

Ford GT Owners Rally Ford Headquarters

Ford GTs in Heritage livery at Ford World Headquarters

In August of 2006, almost a year to the day after I got my 2005 Ford GT, the inaugural Ford GT National Owner’s Rally was held in Dearborn, Michigan. This would be the first in an annual succession of GT Rallys that have gone on ever since, but it was the only Ford GT National Owners Rally held while the 2005/2006 Ford GTs were in still in production (2 months later, in October of 2006, Ford GT production would end).

Ford GT Owners Rally SSV Tour

Ford GT owners witness the Ford GT assembly process at Wixom

All Rally I attendees were given a complete tour of both Saleen Special Vehicles (SSV) and the Ford Wixom plant. Of course this was the second time I’d been through the process, but I didn’t hesitate to join in and enjoyed one last look at the magic of making these incredible cars. Here is the coverage of the first-ever Ford GT National Owner’s Rally:

Ford GT Seat Comfort, Door Pulls, Detailing Chores and an Owners Rally

One year into my Ford GT ownership and I had almost gotten used to the door design and how to avoid doing the “GT Limbo” as many owners call it. Some complaints about seat comfort had come up, the need to carefully clean each engine vent made for demanding detailing, and a Southern California GT Rally proved fun, even though I went in my 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE. The odometer almost hit 5,000 miles in August of 2006.

2005 Ford GT Seat

2005 Ford GT seat uses a retro design

Ford GT Seat Can Cause Discomfort

August 2, 2006 at 4,820 miles

The question of the Ford GT’s seat comfort has been raised by more than one occupant. Most feel it is fine for at least a few hours of driving, if not more, but some have experienced lower back pain caused by the stiff seam between the seatback panels. To me the claim initially seemed dubious, but once it was pointed out I quickly discovered that, well…yes, that seam can feel a bit intrusive — especially once you’re “looking” for it…

Ford GT Ends Production, Holds a Secret and has Good Ground Clearance

2005 Ford GT Long Term Front

2005 Ford GT freshly washed

My Ford GT’s initial ownership reporting was done on a quarterly basis from September 2005 through April 2006. After April 2006 my ownership updates switched to multiple posts every few weeks.

Ford GT Ends Production

July 24, 2006 at 4,579 miles

Ford GT production will be ending soon. In fact, there’s a Ford GT Rally that will have over 100 GT owners driving (okay, some will be trailering) their Blue Oval Exotics back to Dearborn in mid-August. I’ll be there as well and capture the festivies for a future story (should make for quite a Woodward Cruise). The absence of a Ford GT follow-up model, either in the form of the sleek GR-1 or even the comic-book-like Cobra concept, means this will be the last Ford supercar for awhile…

Ford GT Attends an SAAC Rally and a GT Owner Rally

2005 Ford GTs Long Term SAAC Rally

2005 Ford GTs at a 2006 SAAC Rally

After 9 months of ownership my 2005 Ford GT had 3,500 miles on it. There were no mechanical issues to report but I did attend two Ford-specific driving events with my GT. The first one was set up by the Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC) and the second was a Ford GT owner rally event set up through the Ford GT Forum.

2005 Ford GT Long Term SAAC Owners

2005 Ford GT owners at SAAC Rally in March 2006

I had joined the Ford GT Forum about 3 weeks after getting my car, in September of 2005, and I quickly realized how amazing the Ford GT owner’s group was. After publishing some photos on the forum from the SAAC event there was immediate interest in having a SoCal GT owners rally. This was in March of 2006, and the Ford GT was still very new, so spotting one on the street was quite rare. You can imagine the reaction we got from other drivers with 12 of them parading through Malibu.

2005 Ford GT Paint Flaws, Pacific Coast Highway and the Ford GT Forum

2005 Ford GT Long Term Rear

My 2005 Ford GT shortly after purchase

After 6 months of 2005 Ford GT ownership I’d found a few items to gripe about. The most disappointing flaw was in the paint, where small bubbles were visible near the edge of a couple body panels. At first I planned to have these repaired under warranty (as noted below) but eventually I left them alone. Digging into the car’s factory paint job was more troubling than leaving them alone. And I can confirm that, 13 years later, nobody has ever noticed them and I have essentially forgotten about them.

2005 Ford GT Ownership Introduction

2005 Ford GT Long Term Introduction

2005 Ford GT Long-Term Introduction

About a month after getting my GT I produced the first in a 3-year series of ownership articles and blog posts about the experience. These posts covered the primary aspects of driving the GT on a regular basis, including the reaction it generated from other drivers, dealership experiences and, eventually, a series of performance upgrades and race track testing. Here’s the first of many Ford GT ownership experiences, originally posted in September of 2005:

2005 Ford GT Ownership Introduction

September 30, 2005

VEHICLE TESTED: 2005 Ford GT 2dr Coupe (5.4L 8cyl S/C 6M)
Base MSRP of Test Vehicle: $139995
Options on Test Vehicle: Painted Racing Stripes ($5,350); Lightweight Forged Aluminum Wheels ($3,500); Red Painted Brake Calipers ($750); Gas-Guzzler Tax ($2,100); Destination Charge ($1,250).
MSRP of Test Vehicle: $152945

OK, so no one is sitting around thinking, “Hmmm, I’d like to buy a 2005 Ford GT, if only I could read something about the ownership experience first.” Either you’re already a fanatic of this 550-horsepower, midengine exotic car, or you don’t even know it exists. And if you’re a fanatic then you either already own one or you already plan to buy one — or you really want to buy one and simply don’t have the means.

Ford GT vs GT4, Part Two

Ford GT GT4 Laguna Seca

2005 Ford GT press car at Laguna Seca

Yesterday I introduced a Ford GT vs GT4 story I wrote in 2005. It pitted the virtual world of driving cars in Gran Turismo 4 against the real world of driving the same cars on the same track. Here is the second part of that story:

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