In May of 2008 I took the GT on two driving adventures. The first was a local Best Buy adventure, where what started as a purchase run for a Rock Star wireless guitar controller turned into a Nintendo Wii purchase (plus the wireless guitar purchase). This put the Ford GT’s storage space to test. The other adventure was on the Streets of Willow race track, where I was able to stretch the GT’s legs without changing a thing from its street set-up.
2005 Ford GT: Wii!!!!!!!
May 5, 2008 at 13,100 miles
What started out as a simple Best Buy run to see if they had any wireless Rock Band guitars for the Xbox 360 turned into a Wii run — all in my Ford GT.
After seeing said wireless guitars on display at the store entrance I casually asked about the availability of a Nintendo Wii. This question has been met with a quick, “Nope, none in stock” over the past 18 months, but on this particular day the store employee said, “Let me check” and returned with hushed instructions to “Go to register 8 and tell them your name.” I think the Wii is still rather hard to get, but an order had apparently just come in. As I was buying mine I saw another guy at the next register getting his.
This was all great…until I remembered the original purpose of the trip — the Rock Band wireless guitar. Either item could be squeezed into the GT without issue, but both? After trying out the Wii in the front cargo area, and confirming it would actually fit (along with a Wii Zapper and a second controller) I remembered how hot it gets up there. The thought of finally scoring a Wii only to fry its innards on the drive home had me putting it in the passenger footwell — the area I’d intended for the guitar. But I was happily surprised when the guitar fit perfectly behind the driver’s seat, leaving enough room for me and my 9-year-old son.
The ride home was calm; the home gaming environment has been anything but.
2005 Ford GT: More Track Time
May 15, 2008 at 13,322 miles
Here’s a shot from yesterday’s Willow Springs track time with my Ford GT between turns 2 and Turn 3. I drove the car 100 miles up to Willow with no plans to track it (the facility was rented for another purpose), but at one point I noticed the empty racetrack and the fully-fueled GT sitting in the parking area. Hmmm…
Once upon a time Enzo Ferrari had a vision of his customers driving their Ferrari on public roads to the track, racing it on the track (and winning), and driving it home — all with minimal “set-up” between street and track duty. The early 250 GTs and GTOs were capable of doing just that, and the bar he set with those cars is what many a manufacturer has tried to emulate ever since.
Without even switching tires (as I did for The Ford GT School a few weeks back) the Ford GT was happy to run around The Streets of Willow for 10-plus laps in 90-degree weather. It didn’t have as much grip on the street tires, but the car’s balanced nature meant I could tip-toe up to the point of breakaway — and beyond when the mood struck me — with minimal risk and major fun. The temperature gauge got as high as I’ve seen it get, but that was still only 3/4 of the way up, with a good chunk of space between the needle and “the red zone” (glad I had the Ford Racing trans-axle cooler installed last summer).
The Ford GT is really too much car for this track, even in stock form. With increased performance from the smaller supercharger pulley, ECU reflash and upgraded muffler the GT couldn’t really stretch its legs here. But leaving a GT in the parking lot of an vacant race track is almost criminal — especially when the GT is this track-ready (even in full “street” trim).