Only about 200 miles were added to my Ford GT in November of 2006. But some interesting GT statistics were reported this month. First, the final production numbers for the 2005 and 2006 models came out (the car’s production ended in October 2006). I also had enough miles on the GT to get a good sense of its fuel efficiency, which was better than anyone (including me) expected.

2005 Ford GT Production Numbers

The final 2005-2006 Ford GT production breakout by color and options

Ford GT Final Production Numbers, By Color and Option

November 2, 2006 at 6,104 miles

With Ford GT production officially ended there is now an accurate assessment of how the GT’s colors and options break down over its two-year run. You can see another version of this data at The Ford GT Forum and, if you’re a fan of these cars, this kind of production number information is fascinating (if you’re not, you likely put us GT freaks in the same category as people who wear Vulcan ears or have a “Mint on Card” version of every Star Wars figure — not that I belong to either of those groups, dammit!).

Here are the actual production numbers by color:

2005:
Color……………….Count
Sonic Blue……………1
Gulf Blue……………..1
Yellow………………..97
Satin Silver……….156
Black………………..238
Midnight Blue….265
White……………….503
Red…………………..766

2006
Body Color……….Count
Yellow…………………75
Midnight Blue…..190
White………………..222
Black…………………292
Heritage Blue……343
Red……………………348
Tungsten Silver….541

A few interesting points that are obvious after looking at these production numbers:

1. The bulk of GTs have the “upgraded” McIntosh audio system (too bad…)

2. Tungsten was the “hot” color for 2006

3. Heritage GTs are not particularly rare

4. If you have a yellow, strip delete car with standard wheels, standard audio and black brake calipers, you have one rare GT!

2005 Ford GT Long Term Window Switches

The window switches and door lock buttons in the Ford GT come from the Ford parts bin

Ford GT Parts Are Sometimes Shared with Other Ford Models

November 7, 2006 at 6,129 miles

Certain people — we’ll call them automotive journalists for discretion’s sake — can get pretty riled up on parts bin sharing. If you buy the “premium” version of a vehicle and it has the same switchgear or interior panels as a “lesser” version from the corporate stable you might feel jipped, or at the very least mislead. This happens a lot between the various divisions of certain brands, and Ford isn’t immune to it. The GT’s interior features a wide array of original items (gauge cluster, toggle switches, steering wheel, seats, etc.), but several items also look like they could have been pulled from a Ford Focus…

In fact the steering column was pulled from a Ford Focus, and the window switches look like they came from a Mustang. However, the steering column both tilts and telescopes (ensuring comfort for a wide range of driver sizes) and the window switches work fine (though no one-touch action there). It would be great if the GT’s interior was totally unique to the car, but it’s probably unrealistic to expect that when a company like Ford builds an exotic. Color me moderately riled, at best.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Fuel Gauge

The Ford GT fuel gauge doesn’t drop as quickly as you might think

Ford GT Fuel Efficiency Better than Expected

November 9, 2006 at 6,140 miles

Having just updated the fuel log on the Ford GT I must say I’m impressed. It’s not going to earn any carpool lane stickers, but over the course of it’s first 6,000 miles the car is averaging almost exactly 16 mpg (16.02, to be exact). So far its single best tank is 19.3 mpg and its worst is 13.6 mpg (but it felt really good through turn five on that one…).

That number inspired me to check some other long-term fuel logs for comparison…

The Jeep Commander’s lifetime average (before its untimely demise…) — 13.76. Kia Sedona — 16.48. Toyota FJ Cruiser — 17.50. Mercedes-Benz R500 — 16.09. We’ve only put a few tanks in the SRX so far, but it’s around 15.7. One could argue those cars all have more utility than the GT, but one could also argue the GT offers a bit more driving pleasure. With EPA estimates of 13/21, and no efforts whatsoever to try and maximize fuel economy, I’ll take 16 mpg without even grumbling.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Service Points

The Ford GT’s service points are easy to reach

Ford GT has Easy-to-Access Service Points

November 13, 2006 at 6,155 miles

When speaking to the engineers on the Ford GT design team they told me it was a goal of theirs to keep the car from being a nightmare in terms of service points. Opening the car’s rear hatch you quickly realize they succeeded. The bulk of the major service items (oil, water, brake fluid, etc.) are quite easily reached without major contortions or the removal/repositioning of anything else (unlike, say, a Ferrari). The mid-engine design necessitates a few compromises, such as battery access (it’s underneath the front cargo liner), but checking and adjusting the major fluids in this car is a breeze. Thanks for making GT service so easy Ford.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Steering Wheel

The steering wheel in the Ford GT offers great styling and feedback

Ford GT Steering Feel Makes for Easy Handling

November 20, 2006 at 6,212 miles

Unlike most mid-engine vehicles, the Ford GT is actually quite forgiving from a “drifting” perspective. Now I’m not suggesting owners casually go out and try to get the car “slideways,” because it can — and will — get away from you if you don’t know what you’re doing. Just check out wreckedexotics.com and click on “Ford GT40” if you don’t believe me. But compared to the typical mid-engine vehicle the GT is easy to manage, even when the rear end steps out…

Much of that comes from the car’s excellent chassing tuning, but the precise and communicative steering system also helps out. Even the steering wheel itself holds up its end of the bargain. The diameter of the wheel is perfect for gripping when it’s time to rapidly, yet prudently, change directional input. And because it resides on a tilt and telescoping steering column it’s also easy to position for maximum control. Ford even did a commendable job of styling the wheel — not an easy task in the age of mandated airbags.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Pier

The Ford GT looked good on the Santa Barbara Pier

Ford GT Visits the Santa Barbara Pier

November 27, 2006 at 6,225 miles

Over the holiday weekend I got a chance to drive the Ford GT with the better half. That rarely happens because it’s a two seater, which means we can’t bring the kids. Which means we have to arrange a baby sitter, which means making phone calls and aranging schedules, which–

“Oh, you go and I’ll just stay home!”

Yeah, that’s about how the process usually goes when discussing a ride in the GT. But with my folks in for the holiday all we had to do was say, “We’re going out for a drive…Don’t let the kids kill themselves or each other.”

We drove up the coast to Santa Barbara and then headed out onto the pier. It was late, and the pier was almost totally deserted, which made getting this shot very easy.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Pier Bird

A standoff with a seagull tested the Ford GT’s patience

There was also the occasional seagull wandering the boardwalk. Every time I stopped to let one cross in front of me the bird would invariably stop and hang out in the glow of the HID headlights. Maybe they liked the heat? That or the feeling of being in the spotlight (gulls have always struck me as self absorbed). Either way, it was a great reminder of how much fun the GT can be — if you’ve got a babysitter.