Karl on Cars

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

Month: September 2018

Flash Back Friday: 1969 Plymouth GTX

1969 Plymouth GTX Karl Brauer

Yes, that’s me next to my first real car, a 1969 Plymouth GTX, circa 1985

I’ve owned a lot of cars over the past 34 years and I’ve decided I’m going to start featuring them on Flash Back Fridays. Let’s start with my first real car, a 1969 Plymouth GTX

1969-Plymouth-GTX-Karl

Hadn’t quite mastered the “pose next to car” stance in 1985.

I actually had three cars before I got my driver’s license. Blame my two orders brothers, both certified grease monkeys who averaged owning about 4 cars each during my teen years (when they were in their early 20s). Technically my first car was a primer gray 1966 Dodge Coronet 500 with no drivetrain. The dream was to drop in a 440 and make it a killer street car. Then I found an all-original B5 blue 1968 Dodge Charger R/T and forgot all out the Coronet 500. But the Charger had a seized engine, massive quarter panel rust and no title (bought it for $200 from a salvage yard). I had visions of making it a killer street car before I spotted a 1969 Plymouth GTX on a used car lot while (no joke) coming back from passing my driver’s permit test. Unlike the previous two cars, this one was complete and ran. So while it technically wasn’t my first car, the 1969 Plymouth GTX was my first running car.

1969-Plymouth-GTX-Burnout

When I first purchased the GTX it had a white vinyl top and slotted mag wheels, both of which I hated

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New Ford GT Celebrated at Society of Automotive Engineers Event

New Ford GT SAE Le Mans Race Car

In April 2017 SAE celebrated the technical aspects of the new Ford GT

On April 5, 2017 the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) held an event in Detroit to celebrate the design and engineering aspects of the new Ford GT. The event was attended by members of SAE, Larry Holt of Multimatic (the company building new Ford GTs) and Ford GT team members, including Raj Nair.

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Ford GT Owners Rally 11 in Austin, Texas

Ford GT Owners Rally 11 Yellow New Ford GT

The Ford Performance booth housed a Triple Yellow new Ford GT

In September 2016 the Ford GT Forum hosted the 11th annual Ford GT Owners Rally in Austin, Texas. Austin is one of my favorite towns, so having a really good excuse to go there was fine with me. Austin is also home to one of America’s better track facilities, the Circuit of the Americas (also known as COTA), which made it a great excuse to bring my car.

Ford GT Owners Rally 11 COTA Entry

Over 70 Ford GTs lined up to enter COTA for a parade lap during Owners Rally 11

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How Could I Sell My 2005 Ford GT???

It’s safe to say my identity, both personally and professionally, has been closely tied to my 2005 Ford GT for more than a decade. The car was featured on a long-term blog for 3 years after I bought it, and it’s had plenty of additional updates since. You can read the entirely of this ownership blog on this site (use the “Ford GT Ownership” link to scroll through them all). My Ford GT also made several high-profile appearances in media stories over the years, including this interview on Autoline After Hours, this color correction story on Forbes and this comparison of all three generations of Ford GT on Kelley Blue Book.

2005 Ford GT After Sale

“How could You??!” That’s the general reaction after selling my 2005 Ford GT

As you can imagine, having that kind of shared history with a car is hard to give up, and the reaction I’ve gotten since announcing my Ford GT sale doesn’t really surprise me. “What?! How could you???” is the theme of most responses.

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I Just Sold My 2005 Ford GT to Doug DeMuro

After 13 years and 31,232 miles I’ve sold my 2005 Ford GT to YouTube maestro Doug DeMuro. Doug and I have done a couple videos together, including the launch of the new Ford GT last year and a review of my 2018 Dodge Demon earlier this year.

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New Ford GT Drive Modes

Ford GT Drive Modes

The new Ford GT features five drive modes for a wide range of driving conditions

The new Ford GT features five drive modes to handle everything from rain to going 216 mph (hopefully not at the same time). I’ve driven the new Ford GT in each of these modes and the breadth of vehicle settings and driving characteristics offered by these five drive modes is pretty amazing. Of course many cars offer multiple driving modes, but the transformation the GT goes through when switching modes is unique, even by modern supercar standards.

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Ford GT Le Mans Winner at 2017 Detroit Show

Ford GT Le Mans Winner Detroit Auto Show Race Car

A grimy Ford GT race car sat in Ford’s booth at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show

Beyond the debut of a new Ford GT in Liquid Red there was another special car in Ford’s booth at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. It was the 2016 Le Mans-winning Ford GT race car driven by Joey Hand, Dirk Muller and Sebastien Bourdais. It was covered in dirt and displayed several scrapes and breaks throughout its body panels. Many people wondered why the race car would be displayed at the Detroit Auto Show looking so beat up and grimy.

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New Ford GT at 2017 Detroit Auto Show

New Ford GT Detroit Auto Show Liquid Red Front

The New Ford GT debuted in Liquid Red at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show

At the 2015 Detroit Auto Show the new Ford GT debuted in Liquid Blue (still one of my favorite colors for the car). A year later the new Ford GT showed up for the first time in Frozen White in Detroit, and looked stunning yet again. For its third appearance at the Detroit Auto Show the new Ford GT debuted in Liquid Red.

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Ford GT Race Car at CES

Ford GT Race Car CES

The Ford GT race car looked stunning at Ford’s CES booth

At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, also known as CES, the Ford GT in full race trim was on display at the Ford booth. It was the number 68 Ford GT race car, driven by Sebastian Bourdais, Joey Hand and Dirk Muller for the 2017 race season, and despite all the colorful technology that headlines every CES the Ford GT stood out and caught the attention of everyone walking by Ford’s booth.

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Making the Ultimate Ford GT Parts Run

2005 Ford GT Transit Parts

My Ford GT, and over 100 Ford GT parts, just before being loaded for shipping

When I got my Ford GT in August of 2005 I quickly realized something was very different about this car versus all the 1960s muscle cars I’d owned over the previous 30 years. The GT was a brand-new car, and that meant replacement parts were readily available for it. After struggling to get parts for my Plymouth GTXs and Dodge Challengers I reveled in the idea I could get anything I wanted for the Ford GT by simply calling on my local Ford dealer. 

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