Karl on Cars

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

Month: May 2019 Page 1 of 2

Flash Back Friday: 1970 Plymouth GTX

1970 Plymouth GTX Front Burnt Orange

The clean styling of the 1970 Plymouth GTX made it my favorite year

Last week’s Flash Back Friday featured my 1969 Plymouth GTX, the third car I owned (before I turned 16 and got my driver’s license…) and my first car that actually ran when I bought it. That GTX provided me with a wealth of memories, enough to justify another blog of its own, but as much fun as it was my second car, a 1970 Plymouth GTX, brought me even more joy.

1970 Plymouth GTX High School Burnout

This car provided a lot of joy during my high school years

I actually owned both GTXs at the same time for over a year. I bought the 1969 Plymouth GTX in April of 1985 for $2,200. The car was far from mint, but it was complete and ran fine, which makes that price seem all the more amazing 33 years later. I bought the 1970 Plymouth GTX in September of 1986 for $4,000. The ’70 was in near mint condition and all original with just one repaint. I sold the 1969 GTX in December of 1987 for $2,500, which was a monetary loss because I’d put an easy $1,000 in that car before it left. I couldn’t justify keeping both of them on my high school car budget, and I loved my 1970 Plymouth GTX far more. I kept that one for 24 years.

1970-Plymouth-GTX-1969-Plymouth-GTX

Owning two GTXs in high school was a bit nuts…and expensive

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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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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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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

This blog has well established me as a car lover. I have always loved them and still do. I don’t think there’s anything better than taking a look under a bonnet of a car, cleaning it up and get it running like it used to do. Sites like landroverbar make it easier than it used to be for people to know where to find the best carburetor cleaners or other car-fixing essentials. But today I’ve decided to have a little throwback today. 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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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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2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition in Gulf Livery

2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition Front

The 2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition features optional exposed carbon fiber roundels

As promised, here are some images of the new 2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition in Gulf Livery. This color combination, paying homage to the famous Gulf Livery worn by the 1968 and 1969 Ford GT40s that won Le Mans, will be available for the 2020 model year GT, too. Only a limited number of new Ford GT buyers will be allowed to purchase this Gulf Livery Heritage Edition, and I’m not one of them.

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Ford GT Heritage Editions: Paying Homage to Ford’s Le Mans-Winning Past

2017 Ford GT Heritage Edition

The 2017 Ford GT Heritage Edition was available in gloss or matte black.

If you’re a new Ford GT fan you already know the company has been making a “heritage” edition of the Ford GT every year since it was introduced. The first year new Ford GT Heritage model paid homage to Bruce McLaren’s GT40 win at Le Man in 1966. I reported on the debut of this black-and-silver new Ford GT 2 years ago during Monterey Car Week.

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