Karl on Cars

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

Author: Karl Brauer Page 1 of 16

Flashback Friday: 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S

2009 Porsche 911 Carerra S St Patricks Day

My 2009 Porsche 911 Carerra S in gorgeous German Racing Green

If you’re a genuine sports car fan you already know the historical significance of the Porsche 911. Introduced in 1963, with an air-cooled “flat 6” horizontally-opposed engine located over the rear axle, the Porsche 911 is the most iconic sports car in the history of sports cars. It’s been made for the longest continuous timeframe (nope, that other sports car you’re thinking about missed model year 1983…), and the 911’s basic shape/proportions have never wavered, despite seven generations of 911 and a switch from an air-cooled to a water cooled engine in 1999.

Porsche 911 Carerra S Driving

My 911 was one of the best-driving, most-dependable cars I’ve ever owned.

It was this combination of facts that led me to purchase a 2009 Porsche 911 Carerra S in 2014. This was about a year before the new Ford GT was shown in Detroit. I had no idea that car was coming, and I was looking for an alternative to my 2005 Ford GT, which was and always will be an amazing car. However, I wanted a more well-rounded sports car, suitable for the mean streets of Southern California. That meant only two pedals (my 2005 Ford GT answered my manual transmission needs), a comfortable ride and, in a pinch, the ability to carry more than two people.

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Ford GT Beauty Shots: Series 2

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series Front Door Open alex-tics

Even in harsh sunlight the new Ford GT can produce a stunning photograph

For this second series of Ford GT Beauty Shots we’re going to look at a group of photographs taken by a local car photographer known as LA Exotics. His instagram handle is @laocexotics, and if you want to see more images like this, of just about every modern supercar ever made, check out is feed.

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series Rear Door Open laocexotics

Dramatic doors are part of the new Ford GT’s trademark look

I like how he positioned the car and his post-production editing. As you’ll keep hearing me say, the new Ford GT in Liquid Blue is one of the best colors I’ve seen. which probably explains why it’s the most popular color people are ordering their new GTs in.

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Comparison Test: 2005 Ford GT versus the new Ford GT

It is my obligation as a journalist to provide full disclosure on my relationship to the 2005 Ford GT and the new Ford GT. I owned a 2005 Ford GT for 13 years and put over 30,000 miles on it before selling my GT to Doug DeMuro. I’m also the owner of a 2019 Ford GT. The good news? When I do a comparison between the 2005 Ford GT and the new Ford GT I know from which I speak. The bad news? I’m arguably not the most unbiased person to get your Ford GT information from.

My 2005 Ford GT on its way to the new Ford GT press introduction

Okay, you’ve been warned. Now, let’s talk about the two coolest cars ever made.

The new Ford GT is instantly recognizable as a track weapon

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First Drive of My New Ford GT: Palomar Mountain

It took awhile to get my 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series fully wrapped in paint-protection film, but when it was done I had an easy first drive target: Palomar Mountain.

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series Palomar Front

The sun was still shining when I first got to the top of Palomar Mountain

Palomar Mountain is about 80 miles from my house, and depending on the time of day and the day of the week it can be a pain to get there. But the new Ford GT is a very capable track car, which means the only way to really enjoy it on public roads is to find that magic combination of twisty asphalt and minimal traffic. I’ve taken other highly capable cars on this route, making Palomar Mountain an obvious choice on my first free weekend with my new Ford GT.

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series Palomar Clouds

The images I captured on Palomar Mountain might be the best I’ll ever get of my Ford GT

The route includes a stretch on Ortega Highway in south Orange County, another potentially worthy road for a Ford GT. But traffic is almost always an issue on Ortega Highway, creating a difficult (though not impossible…) opportunity to exercise the GT. After Ortega highway it’s down through Lake Elsinore, onto the southbound 15 freeway and then exiting at California route 76 going east. Most of this drive has great scenery, but the real fun doesn’t happen until arriving at the base of Palomar Mountain.

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2019 Ford GT: Fully Wrapped with Paint Protection Film

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series Fully Wrapped

My 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series after being fully wrapped by Envious Detailing

I’ve discovered the beauty of Paint Protection Film, or PPF, over the past 2 years. As a means to protect paint on specialized cars, like my 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series, paint protection film can eliminate damage from small rocks or flying debris, and even greatly lessen damage from larger items that may impact your vehicle.

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series Paint Protection Film Door

Properly adding paint protection film to any car requires care and precision.

Paint protection film also helps avoid the inevitable dings and scratches that occur on every vehicle, even if it sits in a supposedly safe area and isn’t driven regularly. How many times has a belt buckle or a button on a pair of jeans rubbed against a parked car in a garage or at a show?

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series Paint Protection Film Wheel Well

Paint protection film wraps around body panels to ensure complete coverage

I try to be very careful with my Ford GT Carbon Series, but I know it’s going to be subjected to everything from excited cars fans at the local Cars & Coffee to my family members walking past it in our cramped 3-car garage. Knowing it has PPF helps me relax, a little, when I consider these circumstances. And while a Ford GT is an obvious candidate for this kind of protection, it makes sense for any specialized vehicle with potential long-term value or appreciation.

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Ford GT Beauty Shots Series 1

2019 Ford GT Palomar Mountain
A drive up Mount Palomar and lucky timing resulted in this

If the image above looks familiar, it’s also the (current) header on my website. This shot came at the end of a drive up Mount Palomar in San Diego County, which was actually my first serious drive in my 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series. I’ll chronicle that experience soon, but it was a gloomy day to be in Ford’s supercar…until I reached the summit and broke through the clouds. Then it was epic.

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series
My Ford GT on Ortega Highway, with some saturated color thrown in

Anyway, when you have a car with stunning design at the level of the new Ford GT it’s impossible to publish too many photographs. So like a super-sized version of Instagram, I’m going to start doing a regular series of posts that simply show off the New Ford GT’s amazing body lines. The photo above shows my Ford GT in Track Mode with the rear wing deployed. Also a bit of color saturation to emphasize its Liquid Blue.

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The New Ford GT: How to Fully Appreciate Its Capabilities

New Ford GT Black Orange Comparison Shoot

The new Ford GT is more capable than most drivers will ever know

I’ve driven a new Ford GT on multiple occasions, including its press introduction in April of 2017 and during the Kelley Blue Book Ford GT comparison test in May of 2018. During that comparison test we took all three generations of Ford GT to Lake Elsinore on Ortega Highway in South Orange County.

New Ford GT Overlook Roadhouse Comparison Shoot

Our shooting location took us out along Ortega Highway for 2 days in a row

Ortega Highway, also known as State Route 74, is like many roadways in Southern California. It’s a twisting two-lane ribbon of pavement that could, theoretically, offer an amazing sports car (or motorcycle) experience. I say theoretically because Ortega Highway, like most California roads, is overrun with traffic congestion most of the day. And night. But after the final day of shooting the Ford GT comparison I drove the new Ford GT back to Irvine on Ortega Highway, and the roadway was uncharacteristically useful…

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Ford GT: A Comparison of Three Generations

Ford GT Generations Lookout Comparison Test

Bringing together three generations of Ford GT is a rare opportunity

In May of 2017 Kelley Blue Book performed a comparison of the three generations of Ford GT, meaning the original Ford GT40, the second-generation 2005-2006 Ford GT, and the new Ford GT. I arranged the comparison test using the black-and-orange West Coast Ford GT press car, plus my 2005 Midnight Blue Ford GT and a Gulf livery Superformance Ford GT40 from their local offices here in Irvine, California.

This wasn’t the most original idea — it’s been done a couple times by other publications — but just because something has been done doesn’t mean it can’t be done again, and better.

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Two-Wheel Tuesday: 1990 Honda RC30

Honda RC30 by cars
The 1990 Honda RC30 was a limited-product race bike for the street

For this edition of Two-Wheeled Tuesday I’m going to talk about one of the few vehicle’s I’ve let go that I wish I still had. The 1990 Honda RC30 was a very special motorcycle indeed. First, it was only offered for one year in the U.S., and only 300 RC30s were sold that year. This means finding a Honda RC30 for sale, in any shape, is challenging.

Honda RC30 Rock Store
Every time I took my RC30 to the Rock Store it got quite a reaction

If you are lucky enough to find an RC30 for sale you’re likely to find one that’s been heavily modified. These bikes were so capable in stock form that many owners used them as club racers, with all the modifications that come with that duty. My Honda RC30 had less than 10,000 miles and was completely original. I had guys tell me to swap out the bike’s exhaust canister. Not for performance, but to keep it somewhere safe. “If that gets damaged you’ll never find another one.”

Honda RC30 Tank
Every aspect of the Honda RC30 was unique, even its fuel tank design

All Honda RC30s were built at Honda’s race shop (versus a traditional assembly line) and everything from the 750cc V4 engine’s titanium connecting rods to the “Big Bang” 360-degree firing order was done for maximum performance. There were simply no compromises in this motorcycle’s quest for power and performance.

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Ford GT: It Looks Good in So Many Shades of Blue

New-Ford-GT-Liquid-Blue-European-Shoot

You simply can’t go wrong with a Ford GT in blue, any shade of blue

Blue is one of my favorite colors for cars. Just about any shade of blue on just about any car is okay by me, and from the looks of how many Ford GT buyers are picking this shade I’m not alone in my preference.

2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S Front Miami Blue

A Porsche 911 Turbo S in Miami Blue further proves my point about blue cars

After much consternation I chose Liquid Blue for my Ford GT. I almost went with a custom color, Petty Blue, but with so many other people picking custom blue colors from the medium, non-metallic Porsche blue family (Mexico, Miami, Riviera) I figured everyone would assume I’d also picked one of those. Paying for a custom color only to have it confused with other customer colors didn’t appeal to me.

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