By on August 22, 2013

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While I personally find the Ford GT based GTR1 that Galpin Auto Sports will be selling for a million dollars rather inoffensive, a number of the Best and Brightest expressed some distaste for styling of the 1,000+ horsepower, twin turbo 225 MPH (estimated) supercar. Even some of those that didn’t necessarily dislike the GTR1 said they still preferred the looks of the GT. I happen to agree. As a matter of fact, this is going to sound like heresy to some folks, but I think the Ford GT is even a better looking car than the original Ford GT40.

Remember, the original was designed to win races, not for aesthetics. Camilo Pardo’s design of the GT improves on the GT40, at least to my eyes. YMMV. Fortunately for those of you who like the way the Ford GT looks the Mustang Owners Club of Southeast Michigan (MOCSEM) held its Mustang Memories show in the parking lot of Ford’s world headquarters in Dearborn a couple of weeks ago. While it’s possibly the biggest one day Mustang show in the world, with about 800 pony cars of every stripe (wouldn’t that make it zebra car?), Mustang Memories is open to any Ford powered vehicle and the show was host to a Ford GT reunion. I was told that at least 40 GTs were present, but in addition to the ones parked in a row, I also spotted a handful of others at vendor displays.

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When you go to a car show with hundreds of cars, you have to decide which cars you’re going to shoot pictures of, and which cars don’t hold your or your readers’ interest. I joke that my rule is “no ’57 Chevys or ’69 Camaros”. With close to a thousand Mustangs, do I really need to get pics of another factory built late model Shelby GT500, albeit customized and personalized… just like almost every other Mustang at the show?

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While the Mustang Memories show had a plethora of customized cars there was also plenty of original bodywork.

I’m no fool, at least some of the time, so I know when to bend my rules. I have lots of photos I’ve taken of a couple of real-baby-seal 1969 Camaro ZL-1 cars that were on display at local shows, and at Mustang Memories I likewise took shots of Henry Ford II’s personal K-code preproduction Mustang with a one-off leather interior.

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While I took photos of only some of the Mustangs at the show, I made sure to get my *usual sequence of photos for each and every one of those Ford GTs at the show. Interestingly, a lot like the Ford Mustangs in the show, many of the Ford GTs were also tuned, customized or otherwise made personal by their owners. A number of the cars in the show, GTs included, had vanity license plates. One plate was TWIN61S, which I assume is a reference to the use of two 61mm turbos. Another read 123IN66, which was hard to decipher at first. The owner wasn’t around and none of the folks sitting nearby had any idea what it meant. Then I saw how Carroll Shelby had signed the engine compartment (right next to Jack Roush’s autograph). Carroll signed it “1-2-3 in 66″ Carroll Shelby and I realized it was a reference to the original Ford GT40 sweeping the podium at the 1966 LeMans. Shelby managed that team for Ford.

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If you like the GTR1, think of these cars as its inspiration. If you find the Galpin supercar hideous, though, think of this post as an optical palate cleanser (there I go mixing metaphors again).

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I bet the trailer’s tires are V rated.

*My esteemed colleague Murilee Martin has spoken of the regular sequence of photos that he takes of his junkyard finds. My own sequence includes 3/4 shots from all four corners, side, front and rear views, a shot or two of the interior, and anything else that I think is a distinguishing feature on the car or will make a nice 3D photo. Speaking of 3D, if you want to, you can check out the Ford GTs in stereo here.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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42 Comments on “You Say You Prefer The Ford GT To Galpin’s GTR1?...”


  • avatar
    danio3834

    There were also no less than 6 GTs in a random parking lot last Friday on Woodward. I don’t stop to admire just any car, these things are pure automotive sexiness. I’d say Ford got the styling just right.

    Red with white stripes, please.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      I’ve always preferred the white with blue stripes, though I imagine it’s more of a pain to keep washed.

      I really feel like the GT was the nicest-looking design to come out of Ford that whole decade.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      +1 – A timeless paean to the original, without looking retro or dated. Drop dead gorgeous, and like yourself, there’s always a crowd gathered around one in a parking lot.

      I’ll take the dark blue with white stripes, please.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Mmm graphite looks good on there. The graphite with lighter grey stripes would be my favorite. Stock wheels, because they’re special.

    And I was like OMG WHY TRAILER HITCH. That’s not right!

    There’s a pretty red (late 60s?) T-Bird in the background of the photo towards the end with the black F-150 present. Matching red wheels!

  • avatar
    skakillers

    I love the trailer! I wonder if the owner uses it to take trash to the dump or get plywood at home depot. I hope so, I’d love to see that driving around.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    Gulf livery for me, please. The hell with it: Gulf livery on my cars, my bikes, my living room…

  • avatar
    fredtal

    Wouldn’t you really rather have a real race car?

    • 0 avatar

      You can’t drive a real race car on the street in traffic and you certainly can’t use it as a daily driver. If you look through the photos, you’ll see a car with a plaque mounted speedometer on the roof. That GT has been driven 100,000 miles. I’ve spoken to lots of GT owners and while few use it as a daily driver, they say that it can be driven daily. It might be the most practical supercar. Unlike a Ferrari, routine service and maintenance isn’t going to run into four or five figures.

      Compare the 100,000 mile Ford GT to that Lamborghini Gallardo that a guy drove into the ground at the same mileage.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    Good timing. Just last weekend I had the annual surreal experience I driving around the Monterey peninsula during Pebble/Concorso/Quail/auction week. My friend and our sons at one point actually muttered the words… “Nothing special, it’s just another red 458 Italia.” Only at Pebble Beach.

    However, we saw one Ford GT, red with white stripes, and we were all excited to see and hear it on the road. Perhaps it is the car’s relative rareness that sparked out interest but I still think the combo of historic influences and brutally handsome styling will always be fresh.

  • avatar
    racer193

    I really like the look of the galpin car, the thing of it is that one would have to sacrifice an original GT to get the galpin car and that just isnt right and my head just cant understand how somone would do such a thing. Maybe if the galpin car was created using parts developed from the real deal (suspension and structure where recreated) then I could get it through my head.Why would anyone wanna rebody a gt is beyond me.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    With all deference to the Boeckmann’s and Galpin Ford, my local and respected dealer, for the cost of the GTR, how close to owning instead both a new Ford GT and an original Ford GT could one come. That would be my direction with the same cash.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    I don’t see the appeal of these cars, except maybe being a way for the Viagra/Low-T crowd to one-up their neighbor who just bought a new Shelby.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      So no room for people who actually like an American sourced mid-engine high performance car? For real car guys this is something special. I think you’ll find the Viagra/Low-T crowd drawn to more exotic fair that their stoned pick-up dates from the local “gentleman’s club” would more easily recognize.

      At least Galpin will separate the poseurs from the real GT fans.

      • 0 avatar
        FJ60LandCruiser

        Aside from a few oddities from back when people gave a damn about LeMans, America has no culture of exotics or supercars.

        Our sports car culture is built around loud, cheap, easily modified muscle cars. And why I’d buy a new Boss 302 over a Shelby any day (and why I was sad to see it go).

        And that’s why when you scratch the surface on cars like Vipers, Vettes, and even the GT you start to see imperfections and flaws–they just aren’t what we Americans do best.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      The two cars are a study in contrasts, commonality of their engine notwithstanding. The Shelby was never more than a breathed-upon Mustang in fancy clothes with a fat profit margin. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. But the GT, created as a money-losing tribute to a moment in history that resonates deeply (especially with those of us who actually remember 1966 and 1967), was a gift to all of us whether we could even hope to own one or not.

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      The Ford GT took a big slap in the face when Ford decided to put 662 HP in a Mustang. That’s more than 100 HP over the Ford GT. That makes the GT much less special than it was before.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    The truth is, the best looking GT ever is the GTX1 which was an open-top conversion of the Ford GT done by Genaddi design… I believe only 30 were built… I truly think it is one of the most gorgeous car’s of all time. Right there with the Lamborghini Miura

    http://www.autoblog.com/2006/03/23/first-ford-gtx1-going-on-the-barrett-jackson-block-in-palm-beach/

    • 0 avatar
      suspekt

      and please check out this listing… much much better then the GTR1 and probably will outrun it too:

      http://www.dupontregistry.com/autos/search/DRauSearchDetails.aspx?itemid=1866085

  • avatar

    Dark blue with white stripes for me. Love that combo.

    The GTR1 looks more like a bar of soap with XK8 headlights, but the headlights are actually decals a la Hot Wheels.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    The local car show features a graphite GT every year that I’ve gone, and it always draws a crowd. I really can’t blame people for flocking to a car that proved America could make a real supercar.

  • avatar
    AlmightyPants

    I was walking past a parking lot a couple of years ago and there was a brand new Maserati GranTurismo, probably the prettiest car being made today. But then, a little ways away, there was a Ford GT. I must say, the Ford GT is actually better to look at than that Maserati. Pictures just can’t do that car justice.

  • avatar
    Signal11

    Gotta agree with Ronnie on the GT being better looking than the original GT40.

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    ….. I’ll take mine in any color please. I would love to legally take one of these past 200 MPH. My late dad’s dream car and I certainly can’t blame him, in fact I very much agree with him.

  • avatar
    7402

    The Ford GT is one of the most beautiful cars so far this century. But you cannot appreciate its true beauty until you see one in the rarest combo of all — no stripes or decals at all. I have seen only one like this–a yellow one back when they were new–and the understated look of no stripes, not even the side stripes, beats a striped car hands down.

    FWIW, said Ford GT was ordered and driven by middle-aged woman.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    “Remember, the original was designed to win races, not for aesthetics.”

    It was also designed before wind tunnels were common, and actually produces frontal lift at high speed!

    http://www.seriouswheels.com/cars/top-2005-Ford-GT.htm

    Beautiful cars, both the GT and GT40. The Galpin, not so much.


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