Karl on Cars

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

Month: June 2018 Page 2 of 3

Ford GT Gets a Nintendo Wii, Plus Track time

In May of 2008 I took the GT on two driving adventures. The first was a local Best Buy adventure, where what started as a purchase run for a Rock Star wireless guitar controller turned into a Nintendo Wii purchase (plus the wireless guitar purchase). This put the Ford GT’s storage space to test. The other adventure was on the Streets of Willow race track, where I was able to stretch the GT’s legs without changing a thing from its street set-up.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Wii

The Nintendo Wii fit in the GT’s storage area, but I had heat concerns

2005 Ford GT: Wii!!!!!!!

May 5, 2008 at 13,100 miles

What started out as a simple Best Buy run to see if they had any wireless Rock Band guitars for the Xbox 360 turned into a Wii run — all in my Ford GT.

After seeing said wireless guitars on display at the store entrance I casually asked about the availability of a Nintendo Wii. This question has been met with a quick, “Nope, none in stock” over the past 18 months, but on this particular day the store employee said, “Let me check” and returned with hushed instructions to “Go to register 8 and tell them your name.” I think the Wii is still rather hard to get, but an order had apparently just come in. As I was buying mine I saw another guy at the next register getting his.

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Ford GT Fuel Gauge, Exhaust System and Fabulous Fords Car Show

In April of 2008 I tested just how optimistic the Ford GT’s fuel gauge is. Turns out it’s pretty optimistic, as it was well below “E” when I finally got to a station and I still only put 15.1 gallons into its 17.5 gallon tank. I also had the factory exhaust system swapped out for the Ford Racing/Borla system by the GT Guys. Then I took it to the Fabulous Fords car show.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Fuel Gauge

Running on empty doesn’t mean you’re out of gas in a Ford GT

April 2008: Ford GT Running Below Empty

By Karl Brauer, April 7, 2008 at 12,454

I’m the worst when it comes to driving with low-fuel lights on. My wife hates it. Ironically, she’s gotten pretty bad (good?) at it herself (I’ve trained her well).

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The Ford GT School

In March of 2008 I participated in a specific racing school meant for Ford GTs. It was taught by Neil Hannemann, the Ford GT’s chief engineer, at Willow Springs Raceway. If you’ve got a car with a lot of horsepower this track will allow for some pretty high speeds. The Ford GT was capable hitting 140 mph on the back stretch…if I was willing to push it that hard. Here’s the story that ran in March of 2008.

2005 Ford GT Willow Springs

The Ford GT School offered dedicated instruction at Willow Springs Raceway

“Hello, Auto Claims division? Yes, there was this event called ‘The GT School’ that involved driving my 700-horsepower Ford GT at speeds up to 140 mph at Willow Springs International Raceway. But Turn 9 is a little tricky. It’s this decreasing radius corner….”

This conversation never actually took place, but I heard it inside my head about 50 times during my nine hours at The GT School. In truth, my insurance company would have simply laughed and hung up had I called to make a claim about wadding up my $150,000 Ford supercar on a racetrack. Most insurance companies have a specific disclaimer, usually deeply buried in the policy, that shields them from coverage for “competitive driving events” or “racing activities” or similar behavior.

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Ford GT Reflections at 12,000 Miles

When my Ford GT crossed 12,000 miles in March of 2008 I took a moment to “reflect” on how the car was performing and holding up. My assessment? Pretty damn well. The car had recently completed a Ford-GT specific “GT School” at Willow Springs with zero mechanical issues (while providing a helluva good time). Given the reputation exotic cars have for being high-maintenance money pits the GT was proving quite the wonderful exception to this rule.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Reflection

After 12,000 miles it was time to “reflect” on my Ford GT ownership experience

March 2008: Ford GT Reflections at 12,000 miles

By Karl Brauer, March 21, 2008 at 12,240 miles

My 2005 Ford GT has crossed 12,000 miles on the odometer. The last 1,000 miles rolled up slowly, as the weather in Southern California for most of January and February wasn’t GT-friendly (seemed like the worst weather showed up Friday afternoons and cleared out Sunday nights for awhile there…).

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Ford GT at Sunset, with a Capless Fuel System, and above 150 mph

The wintery weather that was holding up my enjoyment of the Ford GT in December and January finally cleared, a bit, in February of 2008. It set up a great sunset shot along PCH north of Malibu (8 years later this shot remains the background image on my iPhone). I also discussed the convenience of the capless fuel system, the lack of front tire wear, and the tire pressure warning sticker — for driving over 150 mph.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Sunset

A lovely sunset shot on PCH emphasized the Ford GT’s stunning shape

Ford GT at Sunset

February 11, 2008 at 11,710 miles

It was starting to feel like we should gather the animals two-by-two in “sunny” Southern California. But with January now a dreary memory it seems the weather that draws and/or keeps most of us here finally returned last week. While my Ford GT is fully capable of being driven in bad weather, it’s not wise given the car’s traction-challenged nature — even on the driest of days. The mods to the engine that now give it a zero-to-60 time of 3.5 seconds also mean you want warm pavement, warm tires and a prudent right foot…

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2005 Ford GT Window Sticker

2005 Ford GT Window Sticker

My 2005 Ford GT window sticker

What was the original price of a 2005 Ford GT? Most people have a general sense of “around $150,000” but few people can tell you exactly what they cost. To remove all mystery around a Ford GT’s price I present my own 2005 Ford GT’s window sticker.

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Ford GT Axle Bolt Recall, That’s Not a Recall

In January of 2008 Ford issued an official “Customer Satisfaction Program” to replace all Ford GT axle shaft bolts, free of charge. This offer applied to original and subsequent Ford GT owners. The program came after more than a year of back-and-forth between Ford and Ford GT owners, and while the program wasn’t dubbed a “recall” it ultimately amounted to Ford acknowledging the problem. A bit overdue? Yes, but better late than never.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Axle Bolt Recall Notice

Ford announced a “customer satisfaction program” to replace faulty axle bolts

Ford GT’s Axle Bolt Fix — Don’t call it a recall!!

January 7, 2008 at 11,640 miles

After first hearing about axle shaft bolt failures on Ford GTs in October of 2006, and then having them replaced by The Ford GT Guys in August of 2007 (at my own expense) Ford Motor Company is now offering an official “Customer Satisfaction Program” to replace these bolts free of charge. The program offers to replace the axle shaft bolts and washers, even if they’ve already been replaced with aftermarket parts, free of charge. And this offer applies not only to original Ford GT owners but all subsequent owners as well.

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Ford GT: Drive It and Enjoy the Fuel Mileage

I celebrated hitting 11,000 miles on the Ford GT’s odometer this month, which translates into approximately 100 miles a week since I bought it in August of 2005. That’s not a lot of driving for a Honda Accord, but it’s massive miles for an exotic and it made me very happy to realize the car was being driven as its engineers intended. I also noted the Ford GT’s impressive lifetime fuel efficiency of 16.72 mpg, which is impressive for a car turning zero-to-60 in 3.5 seconds.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Driving No Bubble Wrap

Putting a Ford GT in bubble wrap is a crime against great engineering

Ford GT Rule #1: Drive it! No Bubble Wrap Allowed!

November 2, 2007 at 11,000 miles

First rule of new-performance-car ownership: DRIVE IT! I know too many people buy cars like this and essentially bubble wrap them. What are you saving it for? A rainy day? Retirement? The second wife?

Our long-term Ford GT just turned over 11,000 miles after 27 months in service. For the math challenged (that would be me), this translates to an average of just over 400 miles a month, or 100 miles a week. Yes, this one gets driven.

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Ford GT Competes in Car Show and Gets Quicker from Engine Modifications

October 2007 was another slow month for driving the Ford GT. There was some action in the areas of car shows and acceleration testing. Both events occurred this month, with my first-ever official car show entry resulting in a second place trophy. And we finally tested the Ford GT, post horsepower modifications, to see how much quicker it was from zero-to-60 and through the quarter mile. Thankfully, it gained in both areas…

2005 Ford GT Long Term Westlake Car Show

My 2005 Ford GT entered its first official show in Westlake, California

Ford GT Competes in Car Show

October 9, 2007 at 10,820 miles

I’ve never entered a vehicle in a car show. I like attending shows, but the idea of competing in them never really appealed to me. This past weekend I entered the my Ford GT in the 22nd Annual Westlake Village Auto Show. As an automotive enthusiast heading toward my fourth decade it was probably past time.

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Ford GT Upgraded JVC Head Unit and Engine Parts

There wasn’t a lot of action for the Ford GT in September of 2007. Only about 10 miles were added to the odometer, with some brief comments about the upgraded audio system and a reminder that it still needed to be re-tested for acceleration to see how much the performance upgrades had improved its zero-to-60 and quarter-mile acceleration. Thankfully, those upgraded did indeed make a difference, but we it wasn’t confirmed until next month.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Display Screen

The JVC head unit continues to make the Ford GT feel more advanced

2005 Ford GT: Aftermarket Audio System Still Rocks

September 7, 2007 at 10,789 miles

After six months and 3,000-miles the verdict on the aftermarket JVC audio head unit (KD-NX5000) is near universal approval. The ability to enjoy Sirius satellite radio, hard disk music, Bluetooth/hands-free phone operation, DVD audio and videos, MP3s and detailed navigation guidance make the GT nearly as technically advanced as, say, an LS 600h. The single best items are the “tilt-able” face place that cuts glare and reflections, along with the bright, clear screen display. Sticking points remain too frequent Sirius signal dropout (especially in canyons or along the coast) and kludgy Bluetooth connections between the unit and a cell phone (you can always get it to work eventually, but it takes too much fumbling each time a new phone has to be paired)…

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