Dream Garage: Ford GT
Photos courtesy of Ford
The retro car design revival spearheaded by the 1998 Volkswagen New Beetle resulted in a mixed bag of new cars on the market. Chrysler PT Cruiser: bad. 2005 Mustang: good. Plymouth/Chrysler Prowler: great design, poor execution. In the middle of all this, Ford released a new version of the legendary GT40 road car from the 1960s, and in the process made one of the coolest supercars of the last 20 years. The Ford GT featured a mid-mounted supercharged 5.4L V8 later used in GT500 Mustangs, and developed a Ferrari F430-beating 550hp. A six-speed manual was thankfully the only transmission offered, and in true Ford fashion, the power stayed the hell away from the front tires. Although wider and taller than the original GT40, the Ford GT was still low as hell compared to its contemporaries, and the ducktail spoiler pushing down on the 315mm-wide rear tires helped keep the car glued to the ground. Other than the scaled size, the Ford GT was practically identical to its ancestor; it’s one of the reasons secondhand GT prices routinely go for more than the original sticker price.
The throwback theme continued on the inside; although the deep bucket seats are leather rather than cloth this time around, they still carry the ventilation holes where the driver’s butt goes and still plant the driver inches above the pavement. Old school switchgear operates secondary functions, but that’s where GT40 touches end on the interior (the old car was little more than a street legal race car and as such, carried few creature comforts). The rest of the cabin uses extensive use of aluminum and composite materials to achieve a modern look. The center tunnel is made of magnesium, and the fuel cell lies underneath due to collision and weight distribution benefits.
The visual package suggests a high performance sports car, and the Ford GT doesn’t disappoint. 0-60 arrives in a negligible 3.5 seconds, and top speed exceeds 200mph. The specs show that the GT was able to run with the Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari F430, and the Porsche Carrera GT at a fraction of the price.
Not that the price was insignificant, however. The MSRP carried a sticker just shy of $150,000, although demand was so high that many GT owners paid a fair amount above that to secure the car. The Ford GT will never be a Future Classic, because it is one of the very few modern classics whose market price exceeds the original. I couldn’t find a single GT for less than $175,000 at the time of writing, and many were listed north of $200K. Incredible exterior design, a modern interior, and 550hp make this a supercar worthy of the Dream Garage, and that’s where it stays today.