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

Month: June 2018 Page 2 of 5

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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