The wintery weather that was holding up my enjoyment of the Ford GT in December and January finally cleared, a bit, in February of 2008. It set up a great sunset shot along PCH north of Malibu (8 years later this shot remains the background image on my iPhone). IĀ also discussed the convenience of the capless fuel system, the lack of front tire wear, and the tire pressure warning sticker — for driving over 150 mph.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Sunset

A lovely sunset shot on PCH emphasized the Ford GT’s stunning shape

Ford GT at Sunset

February 11, 2008 at 11,710 miles

It was starting to feel like we should gather the animals two-by-two in “sunny” Southern California. But with January now a dreary memory it seems the weather that draws and/or keeps most of us here finally returned last week. While my Ford GT is fully capable of being driven in bad weather, it’s not wise given the car’s traction-challenged nature — even on the driest of days. The mods to the engine that now give it a zero-to-60 time of 3.5 seconds also mean you want warm pavement, warm tires and a prudent right foot…

Lose any one of those ingredients and you’re asking for trouble.

But trouble was the last thing on my mind as I drove up PCH last Friday afternoon and caught a postcard-perfect sunset. After nearly a month undercover the GT seemed as happy to be out as I was driving it. BTW, what look like mountains on the horizon are actually the Channel Islands about 20 miles off the coast between Ventura and Santa Barbara. You can only see them from the mainland on clear days. Throw in a little Peter Gabriel/Solsbury Hill on the radio and all seems nearly right with the world.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Capless Fuel Nozzle

The Ford GT’s capless fuel system migrated across Ford’s entire model line

The Ford GT’s Capless Fuel System Gets Real

February 18, 2008 at 11,793 miles

Beyond being “the pace car for an entire company” the Ford GT was supposed to preview upcoming technology that would eventually make it to lower-priced, volume sellers. One of the highly touted features on the GT back in 2005 was the “capless refueling system” that doesn’t require a separate twist cap. Sort of like the keyless entry system on many modern cars, the GT’s capless system still catches me off guard. It’s great when I go to fill the vehicle because it removes a step in the process.

Just slide the nozzle into the fuel tube and squeeze. But when the pump clicks off and I remove the nozzle there’s still a momentary sense of needing to replace the “cap” rather than simply shutting the external fuel door.

Driving (and fueling) the GT more often would likely remove any residual force of habit related to gas caps, and owners of the 2008 Ford Explorer or upcoming 2009 Ford F-150 will likely get used to the system quickly. Beyond removing the extra step at gas stations (and the possbility of forgetting/losing the cap) this design is supposed to reduce the escape of gasoline vapors and the chance of setting off your check engine light by not tightening the fuel cap sufficiently. The future is now.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Tire Pressure Sticker

For those times when you want to go over 150 mph, Ford offers some advice

A little guidance for those 150+ mph Ford GT runs

February 22, 2008 at 11,830 miles

We’d all like to think automakers are looking out for our best interests. Maybe they ensure that our car’s doors unlock in the case of a rollover. Maybe they have a telematics system to automatically call emergency services if an airbag deploys. Maybe they provide a warning light if our window washer fluid gets too low…

Well, god bless those folks at Ford, they want to make sure our GT’s tires are properly inflated. As this tire pressure warning sticker in the driver’s door jamb clearly states, we should inflate the Ford GT’s Goodyear Eagle F1s to 40 psi “when driving over 150 mph.”

Good to know.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Tire Wear

The GT seems to be going through rear tires about twice as fast as front tires

2005 Ford GT: Where’s the Tire Wear?

February 25, 2008 at 11,878 miles

The rear tires on our Long-Term Ford GT were replaced at 7,000 miles. The official reason for replacement was a large metal shard that skewered the driver’s side rear tire during a freeway drive, but the tires had less than a couple hundred miles of useable/safe life left, so at least the road debris didn’t destroy a new pair.

At that time I took a close look at the front tires and figured they had another couple thousand miles left. Maybe at around 9K they’d have to go…

Well, the GT is about to turn over 12,000 miles and the front tires are fully functional. In fact, they still look like they have “a couple thousand miles left.” It’s downright weird. Like a rubberized version of Dorian Gray or something. Maybe I just need to help move things along by hitting a track or something, but at this rate the rear tires will need replacing — again — before the fronts wear out.