When I was told I’d “made the list” to get a 2005 Ford GT, in April of 2004, I didn’t know exactly when I’d take delivery. At that point I was just happy to be getting a car. But after a year of waiting I’ll admit, I was getting antsy. The delays to the car’s production due to paint issues, the “ship-in-a-bottle” central fuel tank design and the extruded aluminum suspension pieces were well known to Ford GT fans and industry followers. By spring of 2005 cars were slowly trickling into dealerships, and any GTs not snapped up by dealer principals were going for $250,000-plus on the open market.
Then in mid-April 2005 I received paperwork from Ford asking me how I wanted my GT configured. The car’s base price started at $139,995, and of the four options offered I knew how I wanted all four of them configured. “Yes” on the painted racing stripes ($5,350), “yes” on the BBS lightweight aluminum wheels ($3,500), “yes” on the (red) painted brake calipers ($750), and “no” on the optional McIntosh audio system ($2,100). I actually liked the McIntosh audio head unit, but the large subwoofer that came with it was mounted between the seats, blocking the view of the supercharger on the other side of the rear cabin glass.
However, the one thing I hadn’t figured out, even a year after I knew I could order the car exactly as I wanted, was which color to choose. Eight colors were offered and I knew I wanted my GT in either blue or white. I’m a huge fan of blue cars, but the Ford GT’s Midnight Blue was so dark I was afraid it would dampen the car’s beautiful lines. White would solve that problem, though I wasn’t typically a fan of white cars. All of my Ford contacts told me to order it in Midnight Blue, assuring me the color looked great. But I just couldn’t commit, and I had only seen one blue GT in person during my brief drive of the 2004 prototypes, and that was 18 months earlier in October of 2003.
By mid-May I had to make my choice, and my Ford contact said, “Look, let’s mark it as Midnight Blue on the order form for now, just so I can get your car in the system. It won’t be built until late June, and before then there’s another Midnight Blue GT coming to Santa Monica Ford. I’ll tell you when that one arrives and you can check the car out in person. If you really don’t like blue we can change the color right up until the assembly process begins.” That sounded good to me so I agreed, and sure enough my Ford contact called me when the other blue GT arrived at the dealership a couple weeks later. I raced over to see it immediately after hanging up the phone, and it only took about 5 seconds of looking at that Midnight Blue GT sparkling in the dealer showroom. The words “it’s going to be blue” quietly spilled from my mouth. Decision made.
After placing the order I did get one call from a salesman at Santa Monica Ford, just before he submitted it to the factory. “Hi Karl, it’s John over at Santa Monica Ford. I noticed you didn’t check the McIntosh audio system on your order form. Did you miss that one? Want me to check it off for you?” The salesman couldn’t believe I didn’t want every option, clearly convinced it was a mistake. I took a deep breath and said very clearly (and a bit forcefully), “No. NO McIntosh! I do not want the optional audio system.” I was going to try to explain my issues with the subwoofer and how it blocked the view of the engine and made the cabin feel cramped, but I didn’t want to confuse him with details. “Okay,” he said, “I just wanted to make sure.” I guess that was better than him assuming I wanted the option and tacking it on without asking.
Knowing the car was ordered, and ordered correctly, made me feel much better. Now I just had to wait for it to be built and delivered. Better yet, my Ford contact was going to call me when it was going down the line, so I could visit the GT at the plant and take a few pictures…