By independent automotive journalist David Neyens
Producing a feeling at the 2002 North American Worldwide Automobile Display in Detroit, Michigan, the gorgeous GT40 idea auto celebrated Ford Motor Company’s historic centenary and recalled its 1-2-3 victory more than Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. However, instead than simply serving as a present day throwback to earlier glories, the new principle automobile confirmed the venerable automaker’s formidable layout and engineering prowess. Rooted in a compact accumulating of Unique Vehicle Workforce (SVT), Ford Racing and Ford Advertising and marketing staff in 1998, the automobile that would soon enter production as the Ford GT was intended as a significant, objective-created sports activities auto to greatly enhance Ford’s impression and demonstrate the company’s broad knowledge in the effectiveness field. To say that the discussion team and the designers, engineers and contractors who collectively brought the modern day Ford GT to fruition satisfied their objective would be a gross understatement.
Rooted in Ford Motor Company’s longstanding tradition of translating its futuristic notion cars to production reality, the modern Ford GT’s lineage traces not only to the heroic GT40 of the 1960s but also draws from the lots of advanced layout and engineering ideas put forth by the GT90 and V12 Indigo clearly show automobiles of the mid-1990s. Credit history for the 2002 GT40 notion car or truck goes to Camilo Pardo, head of Ford’s “Living Legends” studio less than then Ford Style Chief J. Mays. A rolling showcase of Ford Motor Company’s style and engineering prowess, the GT40 was permitted for even more progress to creation-all set standing in the spring of 2002. Legalities before long forced a name improve to basically “Ford GT,” but the level was obvious – the new auto would electrify Ford enthusiasts in all places and at the time once more set the world’s finest supercars on the defensive.
A major player in the job yielding the creation-ready Ford GT was racer/producer Steve Saleen, who hosted Ford engineering, marketing and style teams at Saleen’s Southern California services for a thirty day period of discussions, underneath the strictest secrecy. All good cloak-and-dagger functions have appealing codenames and Ford’s prepared new supercar was no exception, with the Ford GT undertaking cryptically codenamed “Petunia.” In the autumn of 2002, just 100 days following software kickoff, the 1st “workhorse” Ford GT prototype was finished and operational. By May possibly 2003, the initial a few autos ended up concluded in time for the Ford Motor Company’s centennial festivities.
Conceived as an ultra-significant-performance sports auto for the highway, nonetheless devoid of any racing pretensions, the creation-completely ready Ford GT’s engineering and construction ideas were however reliable with these of contemporary stamina-racing automobiles. Powering the new GT was a mid-mounted, lightweight alloy V8 engine displacing 5.4 liters and that includes a Lysholm twin-screw supercharger, DOHC 32-valve cylinder heads and opposition-form dry-sump lubrication. Generating 550 brake horsepower, the motor was paired with a 6-velocity gearbox/rear transaxle produced by Ricardo, a provider of racing transmissions for intercontinental stamina racing. All-independent coilover suspension and massive ventilated Brembo 4-wheel disc brakes rounded out the GT’s advanced mechanical offer.
Built working with place-age materials and development approaches, every single GT highlighted a robust but light-weight aluminum spaceframe chassis mounting super-plastic-formed aluminum body panels and an aluminum-over-carbon motor protect. Manufacturing was concluded alongside 5 distinct levels, with initial assembly by Norwalk, Ohio’s Mayflower Car Systems paint used by Saleen Specific Autos in Troy, Michigan motor assembly at Ford’s Romeo, Michigan, engine plant and, last but not least, engine and transmission set up and inside finishing at Ford’s Wixom, Michigan, plant. Notably, the Ford GT was the final motor vehicle project done at Wixom.
Though capable of truly blistering effectiveness, including a 209.1-mph blast with one of the exam cars at Italy’s Nardò circuit, the Ford GT is also renowned for its relieve of operation, which includes a disarmingly gentle clutch feel. The interior pays homage to the original GT40, but is much much more relaxed, with leather-trimmed carbon-fiber seats, electric energy home windows and air conditioning. All these attributes came about from the now-famous enhancement and tests system applied to the GT by Ford’s SVT ahead of it was considered ready for sequence production and sale to the general public. Of training course, the GT’s raison d’être was extreme performance, with the car’s abilities honed to perfection less than the watchful eye of none other than Carroll Shelby, who, in conjunction with Ken Miles, whipped the authentic 1960s GT40 into a Ferrari-beater. Offered the intensive 1960s “Ford vs Ferrari” rivalry, it will come as no shock that the engineers at Maranello intently eyed the Ford GT with fantastic desire. In reality, a person example was procured new by Ferrari of North The usa, Inc., and subsequently exported to Italy, lending credence to the idea that Ferrari obtained a late-generation Ford GT to study and examine.
In accordance to printed sources, only 4,033 examples of the Ford GT were being manufactured in all, which includes 2,022 and 2,011 developed for the duration of 2005 and 2006 respectively. Showcasing exceptionally very low mileage, the two 2006 styles scheduled to cross the auction block at the future Scottsdale Auction offer an all-too-rare glimpse into how these present day legends were being when new.
The initial GT is #537 of the 2,011 illustrations constructed for 2006. In addition to becoming a person of only 75 generated that calendar year with Speed Yellow paint and obligatory Ebony Black leather-based seats, it is just one of just two with the manufacturing facility stripe delete. Just 16 actual miles have been traveled at the time of composing. Choice solutions include a McIntosh CD stereo and lightweight BBS forged alloy wheels. Documents contain a Window Sticker, unique acquire invoice, Ford GT certification and hurt-free of charge CARFAX report.
Completed in Tungsten Gray, the next 2006 Ford GT is a just one-owner illustration that remains in exceptionally authentic and unmodified situation with just 1,123 precise miles at the time of crafting. In addition to preventative servicing done in accordance with Ford Motor Enterprise criteria, it also positive aspects from storage inside of a local weather-controlled facility while not in use, together with the luxurious of carpeted floors underneath it.
Each individual of these collector-grade examples of the Ford GT will promote with No Reserve at the January 21-29, 2023, Scottsdale Auction, furnishing an electrifying possibility to set up or increase your selection of iconic fashionable classics. Sign-up to bid now.