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

Month: June 2018 Page 1 of 3

Ford GT Emissions Test

2005 Ford GT Long Term Emissions Test

My Ford GT’s first emissions test took place 6 years after purchase

August 2011: My Ford GT’s First Emissions Test

When you buy a new car in the state of California you don’t have to get an emissions test for the first 6 years after purchase. Because I bought my Ford GT in August of 2005 I had to get my first emissions test in August of 2011.

If my car hadn’t been modified I wouldn’t have given the test a second thought. But The GT Guys had swapped out the supercharger pulley and refreshed the ECU in August of 2007. I still hadn’t dyno’d my Ford GT since the modifications were completed, but it was noticeably quicker in both instrumented testing and seat-of-the-pants feel. Would the modifications make it fail the test?

Ford GT Crosses 20,000 Miles and a Pothole

Just over 5 years after getting my Ford GT it hit 20,000 miles. A 4,000-miles-a-year rate for a Ford GT is pretty good, though I was averaging over 5,000 a year during the first 3 years I owned it. The durability of the Ford GT continues to be its single most appealing aspect (except for the gauges, but at this point that aspect hadn’t reared its ugly head…yet). An unexpected durability test of the GT’s suspension strength occurred in West Los Angeles.

2005 Ford GT Long Term 20000 Miles

My Ford GT crossed 20,000 miles after 5 years of ownership

December 2010: Ford GT Takes 20K Lickin’ — Keeps on Tickin’

Is that Timex reference in the title too obscure for 2010?

Okay, then I’ll state it plainly: my Ford GT turned over 20,000 miles on my drive in to work this morning.

Between the “summer that wasn’t” weather in Southern California this past year, and my weekend schedule in recent months, I haven’t driven the car as much as I normally would. In fact, when I went to fill it up in September I noticed the previous fill-up in the fuel log had happened in…April! The odometer has actually been hovering right below 20,000 miles for most of this year, but it finally crossed that milestone today.

Ford GT versus Dodge Viper

How does a 2005 Ford GT stack up against a 2009 Dodge Viper? I had access to both over a weekend and wrote a comparison of the two striped supercars based on performance, ergonomics and the reaction of other drivers. You might be surprised at my final assessment.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Dodge Viper

Dodge Viper battles Ford GT  in this impromtu comparison

September 2010: 2009 Dodge Viper SRT-10 versus 2005 Ford GT

September 3, 2010 at 18,843 miles

Between a 2009 Dodge Viper SRT-10 and a 2005 Ford GT, which one causes a bigger stir when driving among normal cars. It’s a good question, as both vehicles slot into that narrow field of U.S. exotics produced on a limited basis (relatively speaking in the Viper’s case), and both models are now officially out of production.

They’re also both “stripey!”

Ford GT at Pacific Palisades Car Show and Ford GT Parts

In May of 2009 my Ford GT attended the Pacific Palisades car show, along with my 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE. That month I also used a then-new 2009 Ford Flex as a Ford GT parts runner to haul two GT seats, a headlight, a steering wheel and a rear tire about 50 miles. The Flex had room to spare and drove easily with the extra parts in the cargo area.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Pacific Palisades Car Show

Two classic American shapes teamed up at the Pacific Palisades Car Show

May 2009: Ford GT attends Pacific Palisades Car Show

May 17, 2009 at 18,209 miles

On May 17, 2009 I displayed my car at the Pacific Palisades Car Show next to my 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE. It was a cool, cloudy day in Southern California, but show turnout was large with plenty of spectators circling the Ford GT and Challenger all day long.

Ford GT versus Nissan GT-R

I was able to get plenty of seat time in a Nissan GT-R shortly after they went on sale in the U.S. The car isn’t really meant to compete with the GT, but comparing the two was an interesting exercise. Both are exceptional in terms of performance, but that’s where the similarities end.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Nissan GT-R

My Ford GT sits next to a then-new 2008 Nissan GT-R

January 2009: Ford GT versus Nissan GT-R — Beyond the Numbers

January 20, 2009 at 17,320 miles

It’s not every weekend I have access to both a Ford GT and a Nissan GT-R . In fact, I’d say it only happens about once a month.

But it did happen this past weekend, and I spent enough time in both vehicles to get a sense of their unique character traits. Thus, what follows is my completely unbiased appraisal of how these two supercars stack up.

Ford GT versus Chevrolet Corvette Z51

In October of 2008 I met up with a friend of mine in Central California. At the time he had a 2008 Chevrolet Corvette with the Z51 performance package. Over the course of several hours we cruised the twisty roads between Delano, California and the 14 freeway. We even took the time shoot some video.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Corvette Z51

A Chevrolet Corvette and Ford GT make for a fun pair of American sports cars

October 2008: Ford GT Cruising the Canyons with a Chevrolet Corvette Z51

The Ford GT is the only mid-engine V8 sports car ever made in America, but that doesn’t mean it’s too good to hang with another American sports car icon, the Chevrolet Corvette. A friend of my owns a 2008 Corvette with a manual transmission and the Z51 performance package. While not a Z06 or ZR1, a Corvette with the Z51 package still provides all the performance most drivers can prudently exercise on public roads.

Ford GT Long-Term Test Wrap Up

In September of 2008 the Ford GT’s official long-term coverage ended with the odometer at just over 16,000 miles. This was 3 years after picking the car up with 7 miles on the odometer on August 23, 2005. A review of the car’s ownership experience, including dealer service, repair costs and lifetime fuel efficiency, confirmed the Ford GT as a powerful and reliable supercar with excellent resale value. (Note: I’ll continue adding posts about my 2005 Ford GT, along with increasingly regular posts about the new Ford GT I’ve been allocated, but this entry does a good job of wrapping up the first 3 years of my 2005 Ford GT ownership.)

2005 Ford GT Long Term Wrap Up Rear

The Ford GT proved extremely reliable over 3 years and 16,000 miles

September 2008: 2005 Ford GT Long-Term Wrap Up

At the 2002 North American International Auto Show, Ford Motor Company unveiled one of the most exciting concept cars in the automaker’s 99-year history. In both name and appearance, the Ford GT40 concept lived up to Ford’s hallowed racing legend of the 1960s, yet it seemed an unlikely candidate for production status from an automaker struggling to rebuild its aging product lineup. Eighteen months later, in June of 2003, three production-ready Ford GTs were shown off at the company’s centennial celebration in Dearborn, Michigan. Then, in August of 2005, I purchased a Ford GT and began chronicling my ownership experience.

Ford GT Windshield Replacement

August of 2008 marked 3 years of Ford GT ownership, and the final month of its official coverage in my extended ownership report. I had the windshield replaced to finally deal with the large rock chip it received over a year earlier. After 3 years and 16,000 miles the car had performed nearly flawlessly while providing the most rewarding vehicle ownership experience of my life (and I’ve owned over 20 vehicles).

2005 Ford GT Long Dealership Windshield Replacement

The Ford GT was dropped off at the dealer for a windshield replacement

August 2008: Ford GT Windshield Replaced

August 1, 2008 at 15,978 miles

Since that first, nasty windshield “star” happened to the long-term 2005 Ford GT in December of 2006 it’s picked up a few other love marks in the front glass. That’s the bad news.

The good news is Santa Monica Ford has a company that can replace the windshield without removing the entire front clip. I know of another Ford GT owner who had this performed at the same dealership and the process was performed with no complaints or issues.

So this week my Ford GT was dropped off at Santa Monica Ford at about 7:45 a.m. to have the windshield replaced and the slight buzz in the driver’s door panel (coming from the loose aluminum door panel trim ring) addressed.

The windshield was already paid for last year, but I’d held off on the replacement because I knew a Denver run was coming and it seemed foolish to put in new front glass before such a trip. Fortunately for me, Santa Monica Ford was willing to let me “store” the windshield in their parts department for 15 months (thanks guys!).

I was called by the service manager a little after 3 on the same day and told the car was done (both the windshield and the door panel adjustment). The door panel adjustment was free and related to an earlier TSB for the trim ring fasteners that Santa Monica Ford performed last year. And the cost of replacing the windshield? A cool $140 (on top of the $700 I paid for the windshield last year). Sure beats the original figure of $1,500 in labor I was given when it involved removing the front clip.

I must confess that a close inspection of the area around the windshield revealed some scratches in the clearcoat that weren’t there before, so the company Santa Monica Ford used probably could have (and should have) been a little more mindful of covering the surrounding areas with cloth. But the actual windshield installation looks solid, and the price was certainly right. We’ll see how it holds up after the next car wash.

It should be noted this month marks three years since I purchased my Ford GT, so the warranty is about to end. At 15,978 miles I’ve certainly put it through a solid ownership regimen of daily commuting, performance testing, track duty, aftermarket mods and even a 2,400-mile road trip.

I’ll post a 3-year ownership assessment soon, and if any Ford GT owners out there have useful information to add based on their own experience please post it here.

Ford GT Road Trip from Los Angeles to Denver

July of 2008 was a big month for my Ford GT. I planned a road trip to Denver for my 20-year high-school reunion, and what better way to arrive than in the only mid-engine V8 sports car ever built in America? I had to get new tires, do a thorough wash and wax, and get very creative in packing, but the car delivered my wife and I to Denver and back in flawless style — all while delivering impressive fuel mileage, too.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Reunion Tire Change

The Ford GT’s tires needed replaced before a long trip

July 2008: Where the Ford GT’s Rubber Meets the Road Trip

July 3, 2008 at 13,441 miles

With a 2000-plus-mile road trip approaching in less than 2 weeks it was time to address the GT’s tire status. It was clear the rears needed replaced. They seem to average about 7,000 miles, and the odo was at 13,400 on the second set. However, the fronts were original, and hadn’t quite reached the wear bars.

Ford GT Stays Cool and Gets a Wash and an iPod

The Ford GT collected some bugs in June of 2008 during its return from the high desert and Willow Springs Raceway. It got a thorough cleaning after this trip and before I installed an iPod cable to allow iPhone charging without sucking up the GT’s sole power point. But I still couldn’t get the iPhone to talk to the Ford GT’s aftermarket JVC head unit.

2005 Ford GT Grille bugs

The Ford GT was bugged during its drive back from Willow Springs Raceway

June 2008: A Ford GT Study in Cooling…and Entomology

June 2, 2008 at 13,356 miles

One of the few running changes in the Ford GT’s 2-year production run was the removal of the front grille. It happened in late 2005, and it was done to increase airflow to the radiator for improved engine cooling. With my long-term 2005 Ford GT being about 3/4 of the way through the first year’s production (number 1456 out of approximately 2000) it still has the front grille.

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