Dream Garage: Ford GT

northamerica fordgt

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.

fordgt northamerica

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.

Ford GT Tops 140 mph In Race-Inspired Super Bowl Ad

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.


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About Cameron Rogers

Cameron Rogers is the founder and lead writer at Downshift Autos, the only automotive blog on the Internet*. Born in the back of an AMC Gremlin, Cameron vowed to never let this extraordinarily embarrassing detail define him, so help him God. He drives a GTI but absolutely will not shut up about it if somebody asks. He will not hesitate to let people know that no, they shouldn't get a Porsche 911 when a Morgan 3 Wheeler is so obviously the superior choice. He is obsessed with the seats of a Carrera GT and the steering wheel of a Fisker Karma. He once sat in the driver's seat of a Tesla Model S, his greatest accomplishment to date. He is just now realizing that writing an autobiography, however miniscule, in the third person is odd and unnerving. *As of this writing, Cameron has been informed that there are, in fact, many websites and blogs centered around cars and car culture. He regrets his grievous error.

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