Written by independent automotive journalist David C. Neyens
LOT #1335 – 2005 FORD GT – NO RESERVE
To any automotive enthusiast with a pulse, the Ford GT of 2005-06 continues to stand as a more than worthy successor to its legendary forebear. While clearly paying homage to the all-conquering GT40s that conclusively beat Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966, the Ford GT of 2005-06 was a totally new design with advanced engineering, construction and materials throughout. Rooted in early design sketches penned by Camilo Pardo in the “New Edge” theme that resulted in the GT90 concept of 1995, the new GT soon progressed through the GT40 concept car, unveiled to acclaim at Detroit in January 2002. A rolling showcase of Ford Motor Company’s design and engineering prowess, the GT40 was greenlighted during the spring of 2002 for development to production-ready status. Legalities soon forced a name change to simply “Ford GT,” but the point was clear – the new GT would electrify Ford enthusiasts and put Ford’s old archrival Ferrari on the defensive once again.
A major player in the project yielding the Ford GT was specialty performance car manufacturer Steve Saleen, who hosted Ford engineering, marketing and design teams at Saleen’s southern California facility for a month-long session to discuss bringing the car to production, under the strictest secrecy. All great cloak-and-dagger operations have interesting codenames, and the new Ford supercar was certainly no exception, with the Ford GT project codenamed “Petunia.” In the autumn of 2002, just 100 days after the program kick-off, the first “workhorse” Ford GT prototype was completed and operational. By May 2003, the first three cars were completed in time for the Ford Motor Company 100th anniversary festivities.
While the new GT was strictly a road car without racing pretensions, construction and bodywork was worthy of the latest endurance racers, including an extruded aluminum spaceframe at its core. Powering the new GT was a mid-mounted supercharged, fuel-injected 32-valve 5.4-liter V8 engine assembled at Ford’s Romeo, Michigan, facilities. Featuring lightweight alloy block-and-head architecture and competition-type dry sump lubrication, this potent mill was factory-rated at 550 brake horsepower. Power was delivered by a 6-speed gearbox/rear transaxle from Ricardo, supplier of transmissions for international racing. All-independent suspension and huge vented Brembo 4-wheel disc brakes rounded out the mechanical package.
Production commenced in June 2004 and the last GT was completed in September 2006. According to published sources, only 4,033 examples were produced in all, including 2,022 and 2,011 built during 2005 and 2006, respectively. Demand far outstripped supply, with early cars selling for substantial premiums over the basic manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) and prospective buyers vying for vehicle-production slots. As always, there is far more to the story, including a 211.89-mph test run conducted in March 2004 at the Nardo circuit in Italy, making the Ford GT the fastest vehicle in Ford history to that point. In addition to its performance credentials, the 2005-06 Ford GT caused Ferrari to take close notice, with one GT having been purchased new by Ferrari North America and shipped to Italy in 2007, reputedly for evaluation – the sincerest form of flattery among automotive competitors!
Title: LIVING LEGENDS: The 2005-06 Ford GTs Are Steeped In History
Sourced From: www.barrett-jackson.com/Media/Home/Reader/living-legends-the-2005-06-ford-gts-are-steeped-in-history/
Published Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2021 15:10:54 +0000
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