Karl on Cars

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

Month: May 2018

Ford GT vs GT4, Part One

Ford GT GT4 Laguna Seca

2005 Ford GT press car on Laguna Seca’s front straight

Months before my Ford GT arrived in August of 2005 I had a story idea. I thought it would be fun to set up a Sony Playstation console with the (then) latest Gran Turismo 4 driving simulator and see what kind of lap times could be pulled at a virtual Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Then, after driving the virtual lap times I’d take the same cars from the game and drive them around the real Laguna Seca. And because the “hero car” for Gran Turismo 4 was the 2005 Ford GT that car would also be the hero car of the story. (Quick side note: Top Gear did the same story, which might lead you to believe I stole the idea from them. The problem with that thinking is that I did the story 4 months before Top Gear, which, of course, means they stole the idea from me! Wankers…)

I shared this idea with Ford’s PR team in the summer of 2005 and they liked it, so we arranged the use of Laguna Seca on August 29th and 30th of 2005. This was shortly after I ordered my GT, in April of 2005, and months before it arrived on August 23, 2005. But never let it be said I don’t love serendipity. My car arrived less than a week before our scheduled test at Laguna Seca, which meant I could drive my Midnight Blue GT up to Monterey and hang with Ford’s Mark IV Red GT press car (along with several other test cars being driven on a virtual and real Laguna Seca). Following is the Ford GT vs GT4 story that ran in September of 2005.

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My 2005 Ford GT Arrives

2005 Ford GT in Camarillo

My 2005 Ford GT, August 2005

It was late June of 2005 when I saw my Ford GT on the assembly line. It was early in the build process, and I was told it would be at least 2 months before the car was fully assembled and shipped to California. I was hoping to take possession before the end of August, but when my contact at Santa Monica Ford called me on August 22nd and said, “So, Karl, there’s this dark blue Ford GT sitting in my service bay” it still took me a moment to process the situation.

2005 Ford GT First Photo

My 2005 Ford GT’s first photo on August 24, 2005

Remember, this was the culmination of a three-and-half-year journey. It started when I saw the concept GT40 in Detroit in January of 2002, continued with my contacting John Clinard at Ford when the GT was announced for production in March of 2002, and encompassed multiple trips to Detroit and a Michigan race track, plus a driving experience in Northern California, before seeing my Ford GT being produced on the assembly line. Now it was at a dealership less than one-mile away.

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2005 Ford GT Technical Specifications Postcard

2005 Ford GT Technical Specifications Cover

2005 Ford GT technical specifications postcard cover (image courtesy of Ford Motor Company)

The 2005 Ford GT technical specifications were in flux for years before Ford committed to final numbers. Sound familiar? Before the numbers were finally finalized they were available on a heavy card stock postcard with a cool image of the Ford GT (above) on the front and the complete technical specifications (below) on the back. The horsepower number is listed at 500, but the final-final-final horsepower number for the 2005 Ford GT was 550.

2005 Ford GT Technical Specifications

2005 Ford GT technical specifications postcard back (image courtesy Ford Motor Company)

These cards were floating around the auto show circuit and Ford GT dealers throughout 2005 and 2006. But now they’re hard to find. I just checked eBay and only one showed up, with a “Buy It Now” price of $24.99 (glad I saved several of the copies I got for free). These images aren’t a scan of my 2005 Ford GT technical specifications postcard. They come from an original .pdf file from 2005, sized at nearly 3,300 pixels wide at 300 dpi. Click on the images to see them in full-size, easy-to-read glory.

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