By now, you most likely have seen the movie Ford vs Ferrari, and if you haven’t I highly recommend you watch it, great film. The movie centers around the creation of the Ford GT-40 to race against Ferrari in the famous Le Mans race, designed by Carroll Shelby himself. While the movie takes place in the year 1966, the Ford GT40 design didn’t see mainstream production as a consumer street car until 2005, branded simply as the Ford GT. With demand outweighing supply, these cars were trading hands for premium dollars during their two-year run before it ended with just above 4,000 units being produced – TOTAL.
The rear-wheel-drive Ford GT holds a 5.4L V8 supercharged engine that is mid-rear-mounted and all aluminum-alloy to help cut down on weight. Delivering a power output of 550 horsepower and 500 pounds of torque all being handled the old-school way with a manual six-speed transmission. The top speed of this American beast is 205mph with a quarter-mile time of 11.8 seconds and able to get from 0-60mph in just 3.3 seconds. The car is impressive even now, so imagine how it ruled back in 2005-2006 when the supercar game was a fraction of what it is today.
In December I found myself the owner of a beautiful red-on-black 2006 Ford GT that had been completely upgraded with a bigger Whipple supercharger, tune, exhaust, HRE wheels, and blacked out white heritage stripes. I know, I know, the enthusiasts and collectors wouldn’t touch this car with a nine and a half foot pole, but to me, I wouldn’t want a GT any other way. I am blown away by the experience it brings and the attention it receives from onlookers, making it quite possibly the best “third” supercar to add to my collection.
Even though I had driven Ford GTs prior to owning the one I have now, I have to admit, this car is unlike anything I have experienced with a traditional “exotic”. While I am not the biggest fan of American muscle, I have to say the Ford GT has found a place in my top 10 drivers cars.
The GT is incredibly race-car centered. It drives like a Mustang Cobra, but with no traction control. Once the supercharger kicks in under full throttle you could go sideways in any of the first three gears. Contrary to its size driving the GT is like driving a cup car, very light.
The visibility in the GT is awful. You can not see a thing out of the rearview mirror thanks to the back of the car housing the monstrous supercharged V8 engine. The blind spots thanks to the a-pillars being about three sizes too big both in width and height.
The gauges: (oil temperature, speedometer, RPM gauge, fuel gauge, etc.) while placed right in front of you are hard to read due to steering wheel placement/design. There is also zero storage in this car. I mean: no glove box, no center console, and just enough trunk space to hold a small duffel bag, maybe. On the inside there is only a bungee pouch behind both seats for a few pieces of paper.
The clutch and shifter placement are excellent and create a very engaging driving experience and since visibility is poor, an aggressive style must be taken in order to take the GT in and out of highway traffic. Brakes, while good, are not as exciting/responsive as the cars of today with carbon-ceramic brakes.
The Ford GT as a whole has a very analog and mechanical feel to it, this means that the experience is raw and exciting for true drivers… But does not instill as much confidence for today’s modern drivers who are used to electronics and stability control units that enable a smoother driving experience while creating incredible speed and braking power thanks to technology – not so much the skill of the driver.
Ford GT Common Problems
Unusual, but due to the size of the doors, a common compliant more than problem is the fact that most of these cars can’t fit in some garages and many people experience the lowness of the car first hand if they try to get out of the car without opening the GT doors to their full 90-degree angle. There’s also a risk of “head bumping” on the top of the doors.
There are some recalls that plague the early generation Ford GT’s, and since these cars are collector quality, be sure to inquire with the seller if these recalls have been done or not before purchasing the vehicle. There are multiple airbag recalls that you can be a bit more cavalier with, but the one suspension recall needs to be done NO matter what as they pose a safety threat if there is a failure on the road.
- Suspension: Front: Control Arm: (Recall #04V604000)
On certain vehicles, the upper and lower control arms may have casting imperfections at the end of each arm that may result in the arm fracturing.
- Air Bags: Frontal: Driver Side Inflator Module (Recall # 15V319000)
The affected vehicles are equipped with a dual-stage driver frontal air bag that may be susceptible to moisture intrusion which, over time, could cause the inflator to rupture.
- Air Bags: Passenger Side Frontal: (Recall # 17V024000)
These vehicles are equipped with certain air bag inflators assembled as part of the passenger frontal air bag modules used as original equipment or replacement equipment. In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger frontal airbag, these inflators may rupture due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to absolute humidity and temperature cycling.
- Air Bags: (Recall # 14V787000)
Upon deployment of the passenger side frontal air bag, excessive internal pressure may cause the inflator to rupture.
- Air Bags: Passenger Side Frontal (Recall # 16V384000)
These vehicles are equipped with certain air bag inflators assembled as part of the passenger frontal air bag modules, and used as original equipment or replacement equipment. In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the front air bags, these inflators may rupture due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to absolute humidity and temperature cycling.
Ford GT Cost of Ownership/Maintenance
Keep in mind that if you are owning this car it should NOT in any way be your daily driver or even your weekend warrior. This is the type of car you buy to keep as an investment piece and enjoy in very short and sweet bursts.
Keeping that in mind, one of the beautiful things about Ford GT ownership is that maintenance is relatively low because these are more collector-grade cars and with this fact, not many miles are put on the models, resulting in very few scheduled maintenances.
If your GT does end up needing an oil change, fluid flush, the cost will be nowhere near what it would be on any level of exotic as this car is a FORD, which means all parts are American and common as a penny on the ground.
However, one thing to note. I know there are some of you out there that are going to read this and ask, what if we track it?
If you track this car, PLEASE NOTE that the car’s paint needs to be clear bra’d to avoid ANY chips as this IS a collectible car. Maintenance on this car needs to be performed to a T after any track day: brake pad replacement, tire check, fresh oil, and trans fluid flush.
Ford GT Model Year Changes
First Generation (2005-2006)
No changes made during the two years of production.
Second Generation (2017-Present)
In 2016 Ford announced the revival of the Ford GT for the 50th anniversary for when the GT won the 1996 24 Hour of Le Mans. This car however has seen the modern ingenuity changes that most supercars posses out of the box. The once all motor car is now a twin-turbocharged Ford EcoBoost 3.5L V6 engine that is tuned to generate a power output of 647 horsepower and 550 pounds of torque. And while the old GT shared many components with the Mustang, this generation GT is more closely related to a Ford F-150 truck. Thanks to the technological advances, the GT now has a 10.8 quarter-mile time, able to get from 0-60mph in 3 seconds flat, with a top speed of 216mph.
Aside from the obvious engine advancements, the body style is also updated. To say it looks like something out of a Tron movie would be completely accurate. The car is still incredibly sleek and low to the ground like it’s predecessor, however it is much more aerodynamic, angular, and aggressive. The rear is perhaps where the most modern advancements have been made. With a rear air brake being incorporated, with dual exhaust coming out directly in the middle of the read bumper beneath the airbrake.
A recent developed has also come to light, while originally in 2016 Ford announced that only 1,000-second men Ford GT’s would go into production, but another 350 additional models have now been added to production that will now stem into 2022.
Ford GT Options
Keep in mind, the Ford GT came into production in the early 2000’s, back before manufacturers had option packs that carried onto four pages and would cost almost as much as a base model when fully configured.
And considering that this is Ford and not Ferrari, option pickings have and always will be incredibly slim.
There are four options that you can get on the Ford GT,
- Stereo: McIntosh Audiophile System with Single CD- $ 4,000
- Wheels: 18” Front/19” Rear BBS Forged Aluminum Upgrade- $ 3,500
- Painted Racing Stripes- $ 5,350
- Painted Caliper
- Gun Metal Gray- $ 750
- Red- $ 750
Best Ford GT To Buy
If you are looking for a Ford GT to own than you are going to want to go with 2006, 4 OPTION car. Any of the heritage colors are preferred as well: white/blue/red but not mandatory. But having all four of the options (and, bonus, both sets of wheels) will appeal more to any collector that could potentially buy the Ford GT from you once you’re done enjoying it.
The Ford GT is an American classic with so much history behind it’s frame, that any car enthusiast can’t help but to enjoy it. Even now as I drive my Ford GT out on the highway and to car shows, this car that is nearly 15 years old gets more looks than a McLaren 720S, Lamborghini Aventador SV, and Porsche GT2RS combined. It is also perhaps one of my favorite drivers’ cars as it is all motor and a six-speed, a very different experience than my usual technologically advanced, dual transmission, paddle shifter exotics.