Karl on Cars

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

Category: Ford GT

My First Drive In The New 2005 Ford GT

2005 Ford GT Early Test Car

2005 Ford GT Early Test Car

By October 2003 it had been almost 2 years since the Ford GT40 concept debuted at the 2002 Detroit Auto Show. At this point GT enthusiasts knew the car would be called the “GT” and not “GT40” due to a legal battle with Safir GT40 Spares (a company that owned the rights to the term). We also knew the car was suffering delays in development. Challenges related to the Ford GT’s paint process, central fuel tank and aluminum suspension pieces had delayed its production, though three prototype versions of the GT (one red, one white, and one blue), were presented in June of 2003 at Ford’s Centennial Celebration.

Those three prototypes, dubbed 2004 Ford GTs, were one-off models used to engineer the final 2005 production versions. Their prototype nature made them worth over a million dollars, each, and the white one also happened to be Bill Ford Jr’s personal car. I didn’t know if I’d ever get to drive these prototypes, but then my primary Ford GT contact, Alan Hall, called to say I could drive them (except Bill’s) at Gingerman Raceway, a track in Western Michigan. I actually had a prior commitment in Las Vegas the night before, which meant a red-eye flight to Detroit, followed by a 3-hour drive from Detroit Metro Airport to Gingerman Raceway. Ford was kind enough to leave me a Ford SVT Focus at the airport, but I was running on empty when I got to the track. Thankfully, the sight of multiple Ford GTs racing around Gingerman instantly restored me to peak energy. This was the first time I’d seen the GT outside a static show display.

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A New 2005 Ford GT is in Development

Ford GT40 Concept Clay Design Front

Ford GT40 clay design work-in-progress (Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company)

Once I knew Ford was producing a new Ford GT (in March of 2002) I followed the car’s progress very closely. I’d already let my Ford contacts know I wanted a GT, but there was no guarantee I’d have any better shot at one than the thousands of other car fanatics chomping at the bit. Actually, despite the car’s stunning looks and unique mid-engine V8 design I was surprised how many people didn’t know the Ford GT was coming. But that would change soon…

Ford GT40 Concept Design Review

Ford GT40 concept design review (Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company)

In the meantime I kept in close contact with my friends at Ford, listening for any updates on development progress. I even flew to the Ford GT’s development center in Dearborn and interviewed several members of the design team. Here is the original text from an August 21st, 2003 story:

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Awesome Ford GT40 Concept Debuts…Now What?

Ford GT40 Concept Car

Ford GT40 Concept Car in Gulf livery. (Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company)

When Ford debuted its GT40 concept at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2002 it completely stole the show. Nobody knew it was coming, and nobody (including yours truly) thought Ford would actually build a production version. It was less than 6 months after the September 11th attacks. A new level of uncertainty had gripped the nation. Car companies didn’t know what the economic fallout would be. GM’s “Keep America Rolling” campaign started a few weeks after the attack, with major price cuts that actually kept Americans visiting dealer showrooms versus locking up their bank accounts. Most automakers joined the effort, the government instituted several automotive tax incentives, and 2001 ended up being a healthy year for new car sales. But could Ford, a company that was already struggling financially in the early 2000s, really afford to build a single-minded, low-volume sports car?

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I Get to Buy a New Ford GT!

Ford GT Allocation Letter

New Ford GT Allocation Letter

It seems fitting to launch this site with a post about receiving an allocation for a new Ford GT. Ford has only committed to to building approximately 1000 of these unique vehicles over a 4-year production run, with only around 750 available in the U.S. Getting approved was not easy, but I had an 11-year/27,000-mile history of being an original 2005 Ford GT owner helping my case for a new Ford GT allocation.

This site will describe my ownership history with my 2005 Ford GT, which really began in January 2002. It will also chronicle my experience of ordering, receiving, owning (…and paying for…) a new Ford GT. I have over a thousand photos and over 100 ownership blog posts from the last 11 years, plus quite a few videos documenting everything I’ve seen and done since Ford unveiled its yellow GT40 concept car at the 2002 Detroit Auto Show. I’ll be posting all of them here over the next few months while also reporting on my impending purchase of a new Ford GT.

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