It’s really a little too obvious to start a story such as this by referencing the classic late sixties battles between Ford and Ferrari but there really is no other way, culminating as it did with those famous Le Mans victories for Ford in the four years from 1966-1969. Indeed, perhaps surprisingly, three designations of the GT40 won over those four years, the Mk II in 1966, Mk IV in 1967 and Mk I in 1968 and 1969. Ask almost any racing fans what is the most recognisable car and colour scheme from historic racing and I can virtually guarantee that the Ford GT40 of the Le Mans winning era, especially one painted in that classic blue and orange Gulf Racing livery that so evokes the sights, sounds and smells of an almost mythical motor racing era.
Ford themselves then surprised the motoring world 20 or so years ago when, back in December 1994, they released the incredible GT90 concept car. With an estimated 720 bhp, 6.0 liter quad-turbocharged mid-engine V12, five-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension, and four wheel ventilated disc brakes, it was obvious to all that Ford hadn’t just plucked the car’s performance and astonishing lines from mid air, but had drawn heavily on both their racing heritage and modern racing know how. Put all of this experience together and you arrive at the angular lines and stunning specification that marks out a mid nineties concept supercar, now close your eyes for a minute and imagine the impact that the GT90 had on the car buying public of the time. Stunning, but unfortunately another false dawn for those wishing Ford to take the plunge and create a viable production car promising the same outrageous looks and performance.
And then we get to 2005, and the promise of a limited run of just 4500 all new Ford GT40’s with a shape and feel even more reminiscent of those blue and orange, snarling beasts of legend. Incredibly, the Ford was actually around four inches taller than the original sixties car, measuring 44.3″ and yet, to the casual observer, could easily pass for a forty year old car instead of one freshly painted and rolled off it’s thoroughly modern production line. An incredible trick that Ford managed to pull off superbly well.
I love the look of the 2005-6 Ford GT40, the deeply louvred bonnet harking back to the GT90 and GT40 before that, whilst the long, wide and low slung body work flaring out, over and around those 19 x 11.5″ alloy wheels stops you in your tracks if you’re lucky enough to see one. It’s not just a great looking sports car though, remember this was a full production model with a 3 year, 36000 mile warranty. Ford certainly hadn’t tried to save development cash on the engine either with the GT40’s 5.4l V8 delivering 550bhp at 6500rpm and 500 ft-lbs torque at 3750 rpm. This was an engine that didn’t just launch you up the tarmac, it threw you forward with the accuracy and explosive power of an American Football Quarterback in the final few minutes of the Super Bowl.
Let’s not forget also that the GT40 of 2005 offered such luxuries as a Rockford Fosgate premium brand stero system, alloy and leather trim on the center console, gearstick, steering wheel and door cards, remote keyless power door locks, heated and powered mirrors and air conditioning. In a supercar, a supercar that can reach a claimed 205mph. Such was the demand for the Ford they were initially selling at well over the asking price of $149,995 and those lucky enough to be able to afford one were falling over themselves to get to the front of a very, very long queue. With so few GT40’s being made, a figure of 4038 often being quoted, and the glorious looks and performance on offer, their value is virtually guaranteed, a quick scan of AutoTrader showing two examples, the cheaper of the two, a Ford GT 5.4 2dr with 350 miles only, on sale at £274,995 and the second Ford GT 5.4 2dr with just 40 miles on the clock, on sale at £324,950.
For what you’re getting though, MotorMartin genuinely thinks that this offers pretty good value for money. Just think about it for a moment, this is a car with limited availability, unbelievable looks, incredible power and handling and a quite phenomenal amount of racing heritage behind it. This is a car that has both young and old alike dreaming of the day when they see one on the road and hear it’s visceral, beating heart as it roars past.
MotorMartin wants one so bad it hurts.
Where will you go?