Buyer's Guide: Ford GT - Recreating Le Mans Adventures

Courtesy Ford

Missed your chance to participate in the Ford-Ferrari battles that defined the ’60s-back when Detroit took on Europe’s best and beat them at their own game? Well, you can recreate those dreams with the help of a Ford GT.

When the model arrived, retro-styled cars were fully in vogue. Volkswagen’s New Beetle helped usher in that trend in 1998; Ford gave us the retro Thunderbird in 2002, the same year that they teased the world with a GT40 concept.

Its styling came straight from Mulsanne, with the production version, simply called the Ford GT, arriving for 2005 and lasting through the 2006 model year. Power came from a supercharged, dry-sumped, 5.4-liter V8 making 550 horsepower along with 500 lb.-ft. of torque.

I’ve got 20,000-plus miles on mine,” says Bill Warner, founder and chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation. “The problem is, it is hard to drive below the legal speed limit. Also, storage space is limited, but I put two hang-up bags behind the seats and a roll of clothes on the floor of the passenger side when I travel.”

The initial retail price was $139,000, but Ford soon bumped it up to $149,000. Just 4038 copies were built, and they never depreciated. RM Sotheby’s sold eight examples during the 2018 calendar year, and the prices ranged from $259,250 to $357,000.

Even 13 years after it was built, it still draws thumbs-up and positive comments,” Warner adds.

Why You Want One

■ For something so fast (zero to 60 takes about 3.5 seconds) it’s surprisingly civil to drive. The A-pillars interfere a bit with outward visibility, though.

■ Like the original GT40, the Ford GT’s engine is placed lengthwise behind the cockpit.

■ Only one transmission was offered for this model, a six-speed manual.

■ Ford never backed a race effort, but privateers Robertson Racing put one on the Le Mans podium in 2011. They now show and vintage race the cars.

■ Top speed in stock form is said to be north of 200 mph. Johnny Bohmer built one that will touch 300 mph while remaining street-legal.

FORD GT SHOPPING ADVICE

OUR EXPERT

JOSEPH “GT JOEY” LIMONGELLI

Ford GT author and expert

 

They’re all bulletproof, even all these years later. The maintenance is basically the same as an F-150 pickup truck. The engine and tranny are bulletproof. There’s no electric damping, no electric steering. There’s no traction control in that car.

The engine, transmission and rear were the same through both years. There were no changes; there are no engine options.

The only two recall concern: are the airbags and the half-shaft bolts. The original half-shaft bolts were very thin. By law, you can call up the Ford dealer with the VIN. Both of those are logged into the system.

From VIN 1000 (mid-2005) to early 2006 were the best Ford GTs built. They shook out the early issues. In March of 2006, the world started blowing up and Ford started letting people go. A large percentage of the original build team was soon gone.

One pre-production car had a crack in a lower control arm, so they stopped production of all new GTs and had handmade billet armsmade. From the first cars up to about VIN 1600 (very late ‘05) the cars have billet control arms. To get a set today, because Ford never made them, is $25,000-if you can find one. It’s all about originality.

The 2006 Gulf special-edition car had a $10,000 premium. At the time, a letter went out stating that this would be a possible hard sale. And now, a Gulf goes for $450,000 to $500,000 with no miles on it.

Earlier cars from the beginning up to VIN 1600 or so had front grilles. They don’t make that grille. If it’s missing, that’s a telltale sign that it’s been hit.

The first batch had an issue with some of the cranks not mating up to the block-maybe 200, 300 cars, tops. Less than 10 percent of the cars needed a Speedi-Sleeve.

RESOURCES

Ford Performance Parts 
performanceparts.ford.com

The GT Guy 
(734) 658-9498
thegtguy.com

GT Joey 
gtjoey.com

SVT Store 
(570) 321-9940
svtstore.com

Sold: 2005 Ford GT

■ Two owners and less than 500 miles from new.

■ Sold for $324,000 by RM Sotheby’s at its Monterey sale.

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