Karl on Cars

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Tag: Owners Rally

Ford GT Owners Rally 12: Old and New Ford GTs, Plus a Mustang Shelby GT350R

Ford GT Owners Rally 12

A collection of over 80 Ford GTs attended Owners Rally 12

In August of 2017 another gathering of Ford GTs and Ford GT owners came together in Park City, Utah. While this was the 12th Ford GT Owners Rally, it was the first to feature new Ford GTs alongside 2005 and 2006 models. I had every intention of driving my 2005 Ford GT to this rally. After all, it was the same road trip I’d made in my GT just 4 months earlier to attend the new Ford GT press launch.

2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R Grille

A Mustang Shelby GT350R is the perfect alternative to a Ford GT at this rally

Sadly, after planning to drive the GT my schedule shifted and I couldn’t afford the 2 extra days to make the trip up and back. I quickly purchased airplane tickets and wondered what kind of rental car I’d be stuck in while following GTs through the mountains of Utah. Then I had an idea. What if I contacted Ford and asked for one of the new Shelby GT350Rs? I hadn’t driven one yet, and I’d be showcasing the Shelby to a highly-targeted demographic of likely customers.

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Ford GT Owners Rally 11 in Austin, Texas

Ford GT Owners Rally 11 Yellow New Ford GT

The Ford Performance booth housed a Triple Yellow new Ford GT

In September 2016 the Ford GT Forum hosted the 11th annual Ford GT Owners Rally in Austin, Texas. Austin is one of my favorite towns, so having a really good excuse to go there was fine with me. Austin is also home to one of America’s better track facilities, the Circuit of the Americas (also known as COTA), which made it a great excuse to bring my car.

Ford GT Owners Rally 11 COTA Entry

Over 70 Ford GTs lined up to enter COTA for a parade lap during Owners Rally 11

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Ford GT Owners Rally 10: Back in Detroit

Ford GT Owners Rally 10 Ford World Headquarters

More than 100 Ford GTs assembled in front of Ford’s World Headquarters

On August 25th, 2015, exactly 10 years and 2 days after I picked up my Ford GT at Santa Monica Ford, the 10th Annual Ford GT Owners Rally kicked off in Detroit. My car had just completed a full mechanical refurbishment with the GT Guys before getting a full color correction and detail at Esoteric Detail in Columbus, Ohio.

Between the mechanical and cosmetic treatments my GT was feeling as “new” as it had in years when I pulled into Ford’s World Headquarters for a gathering of over 100 Ford GTs. Ford was kind enough to block off the parking lot in front of its headquarters so only Ford GTs could park in it.

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Ford GT Owners Rally in Vegas and New Vacuum Gauge

Ford GT Rally Vegas

A Ford GT Owners Rally in Vegas meant an opportunity for GT service

By October of 2014 I had been staring at a dead vacuum gauge for over 2 and 1/2 years. I purchased a new vacuum gauge shortly after my original gauge died, but I only trusted The GT Guys to install it. Unfortunately, they’re based 2,300 miles east of Los Angeles, near Detroit, so getting The GT Guys and my GT in the same place at the same time isn’t always easy.

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Ford GT Modified by Ford GT Guys before Owners Rally and Ferrari Swap

In August of 2007 my Ford GT got its first serious aftermarket upgrades (beyond the audio head unit I swapped out months earlier). The upgrades included more power, a short-throw shifter and a transmission cooler. The car also attended the second annual Ford GT Owners Rally in Newport Beach, though it didn’t complete the event because a failing shock had it banging over bumps. I also noticed some rubbing between the rear clamshell and the body above the side scoops. The odometer crossed 10,500 miles this month.

2005 Ford GT Long Term Spa Treatment

The Ford GT spent a day getting upgrades to its power and performance

Ford GT Gets Serviced by Ford GT Guys

August 1, 2007 at 10,058 miles

My Ford GT just spent a day in the spa-like, caring hands of The GT Guy. Rich and Dennis were part of the original team that maintained various Ford GTs during development and pre-production testing. They’ve done everything from replacing oil filters to rebuilding wrecked Ford GTs from the frame up. You might say these guys know a thing or two about working on the GT.

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Ford GT Seat Comfort, Door Pulls, Detailing Chores and an Owners Rally

One year into my Ford GT ownership and I had almost gotten used to the door design and how to avoid doing the “GT Limbo” as many owners call it. Some complaints about seat comfort had come up, the need to carefully clean each engine vent made for demanding detailing, and a Southern California GT Rally proved fun, even though I went in my 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE. The odometer almost hit 5,000 miles in August of 2006.

2005 Ford GT Seat

2005 Ford GT seat uses a retro design

Ford GT Seat Can Cause Discomfort

August 2, 2006 at 4,820 miles

The question of the Ford GT’s seat comfort has been raised by more than one occupant. Most feel it is fine for at least a few hours of driving, if not more, but some have experienced lower back pain caused by the stiff seam between the seatback panels. To me the claim initially seemed dubious, but once it was pointed out I quickly discovered that, well…yes, that seam can feel a bit intrusive — especially once you’re “looking” for it…

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Ford GT Attends an SAAC Rally and a GT Owner Rally

2005 Ford GTs Long Term SAAC Rally

2005 Ford GTs at a 2006 SAAC Rally

After 9 months of ownership my 2005 Ford GT had 3,500 miles on it. There were no mechanical issues to report but I did attend two Ford-specific driving events with my GT. The first one was set up by the Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC) and the second was a Ford GT owner rally event set up through the Ford GT Forum.

2005 Ford GT Long Term SAAC Owners

2005 Ford GT owners at SAAC Rally in March 2006

I had joined the Ford GT Forum about 3 weeks after getting my car, in September of 2005, and I quickly realized how amazing the Ford GT owner’s group was. After publishing some photos on the forum from the SAAC event there was immediate interest in having a SoCal GT owners rally. This was in March of 2006, and the Ford GT was still very new, so spotting one on the street was quite rare. You can imagine the reaction we got from other drivers with 12 of them parading through Malibu.

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