By on June 29, 2016

Ford GT, Image: Ford

The Internet is full of reasons why people want be on the coveted Ford GT waiting list, but there’s a reoccurring theme: said individual bleeds Blue Oval Blue, they own (insert Fords here), they’ll promote the Ford GT within the motorsports community and—whoa dude—check out their mad marketing skillz and/or social media reach.

While I don’t have the means, my cancer-killing brother does. His application story isn’t about the final submission, it’s about what wasn’t submitted.

Brother: As I fill out my application, I’m seeking inspiration via the colors available in the Ford GT Configurator. The selection is limited, so I’m kinda leaning toward the Blue.

Me: I like that color since it matches our Essex Continental (i.e. a 1989 Lincoln Continental Signature Series with the Essex V6) too. Those two blue-toned, V6-powered Fords would look great together, in a shark and pilot fish kinda way.

Brother: (awkward silence)

Me: No dude, the Essex Continental is a great pilot fish. The fact that 3.8-liter Essex Mustangs perform respectably in 24 Hours of LeMons endurance races is a fine endorsement of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost’s potential at the 24 Hours of LeMans. And today’s road-going Essex Continentals are only appealing to scrap metal buyers. Soon they’ll match the Ford GT’s rarity level. 

Brother: Well…

Me: I haven’t finished convincing you! The pilot fish is great because, much like the limited-production Ford GT, the 1988 Continental’s demand far outstripped supply. It rode high on the Taurus’ success. It wasn’t until 1989 when production satisfied demand. Lincoln hit a sales record for this reason: peep this Wikipedia article that I totally didn’t edit.

10356331_10152134605808269_8516495041929125421_n

Brother: And the Essex Continental went down hill after 1989. So how would this pilot fish perform, in terms of the head gaskets and air suspension?

Me: It’ll be a great Ford GT pilot fish for the long haul. It has the revised head gaskets, decked heads and coil springs all around. The ride/handling of this independently sprung mini-yacht is better than any Lincoln we own, an ideal transport module for six Ford GT fans. That’s the angle: it’s how you sell FoMoCo on the fact you deserve a spot on the list.

Brother: Uh, yeah … so, anyway, I’m finishing up my Ford GT application. I need to know all the Ford products in our possession, past and present.

Me: (Rattled them off for the last 30+ years) Can you use them all?

Brother: No, I must pick the most relevant ones.

Me: Okay, so the pilot fish goes first. Don’t let down the two guys in this super copyrighted picture I dare not post. You gotta flaunt your Blue Oval six-shooter cred in the faces of other’s applications, right?   

Brother: That’s a pretty convincing photo, but …

While my pilot fish concept was thoroughly brilliant, he took another route on his application. A wasted opportunity, as this could’ve been the best Ford GT application to grace the decision maker’s desk(s). Too bad about that. 

[Images: Ford Motor Company, © 2016 Sajeev Mehta/The Truth About Cars]

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44 Comments on “The Ford GT Application and the Pilot Fish...”


  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    If they have time for this stupid application and essay nonsense, they should have just auctioned off each one built, and then you would know – we’re currently bidding on #12 from the production run.

    • 0 avatar

      You can’t put a price on good PR…probably.

    • 0 avatar
      doctorv8

      Auctioning the cars off is exactly what they are trying to avoid. Their goal is to get the cars into hands of enthusiasts who are going to drive them the way they were built to be driven.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Waves hand!

        If only Ford was willing to loan one or two out so I could avoid things like a pesky car payment and my home state’s property tax ( that last one is a pain 7 years later and I still rent my GT500 from the state for about 500 bucks a year and the 15’GT was a priviledge averaging about100 bucks a month! )

        The use as intended bit would be easily met, I could daily a Ford GT and ring it out at a few close by tracks as well as take road trips in it although I think the use as intended bit there would unintentionally be broadened.

        You here that Ford! I’m your man, just well you know not even remotely in the income bracket to put some cash down for deposit.

        Speaking of, one of the local dealers says they are getting a GT ( I guess the dealership owner is filling the app – certainly has the cars covered ) and already plan to mark it up a bit more than its MSRP.

  • avatar
    jjster6

    I saw a GT mule the other day in Detroit. Manufacturer plates and all. I’m not a FORD guy but I want one. Wow, what a car. I’d jump through the hoops to get one assuming I had the cash (I don’t).

    As for potential owners bleeding the blue oval, the Ford Mustang is to a Ford GT like the Chevy Camaro is to a NASCAR. They don’t share a single part, a manufacturing process, or even a factory. The GT is an extremely low volume, nearly hand built supercar that has a Ford decal on it.

  • avatar

    I’m not sure what the production limit of the GT will be, but these cars are going to be outsold more than 5: 1 by everything Lamborghini and Ferrari makes and they’ll never be worth any real money till about 20 years from now – to a handful of owners.

    ANOTHER WASTED EFFORT: just like the Dodge Viper.

    That’s right: I’m talking bad about the Viper.

    DISOWNING IT LIKE THAT DEFORMED BASTARD TYRION LANNISTER!!!

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      That “wasted effort” won the 24 Hours of Le Mans the first time out. Winning Le Mans is its entire reason for being.

      Why would Ford care whether or not they become valuable collector cars?

      • 0 avatar

        My Hellcat won the Atlantic Avenue dash by going 90mph in a 25mph zone in just 1080 feet.

        WHAT’S YOUR POINT?

      • 0 avatar
        Drunkonunleaded

        I’m a shameless Ford fanboy, but that was a hollow victory if there ever was one. It wasn’t an impressive “win” by any stretch of the imagination.

      • 0 avatar
        forzablu

        I’m a Ford guy if there ever was one, and I went to Le Mans specifically to see this happen, and was in the paddock when they won…but this was a hollow marketing win if there ever was one…really disappointing to realise that they had sandbagged the whole season eventually to ensure getting the W @ Le Mans

        • 0 avatar
          raph

          Yeah, if only that BoP crap would have been left in the dumpster. I’m a Ford man as well but I’d love to have seen Ford, GM and Ferrari battle it out as well in a true testory of man and metal.

          Unfortunately I suppose that’s the world weconomy live in where to much money is at stake and a dump truck full of the stuff just mysteriously makes it to a back door and poof! LeMons victory 50 years later to commemorate the original.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            I can’t bring myself to care about BoP racing. It’s just expensive bracket racing. To me, the true winner is simply the one who was placed at the biggest disadvantage relative to the base specs.

            Does anyone have a chart of those details for Le Mans 2016, similar to this one from 2013:

            theoutsidepass.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/balance_gte.jpg

            The way I see it, at that point in time, the Corvette had the best chassis, the 458 had the best engine, and the 991 and 458 had the best aero.

            I found one from February 2016, and the naturally aspirated engines can’t even be compared to the turbo ones. They have completely different rules. Is it truly impossible to have a performance specification that can apply to both turbo and naturally aspirated engines. Would a common restrictor favor the naturally aspirated engine or the turbo engine? What about limiting fuel flow?

            fiawec.com/wpphpFichiers/1/1/ressources/Image/2016/News_Fevrier/GTEBoP.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Limited production does not equal sales failure. I know its a very difficult situation to understand, but when you say you’re only building 500 a year, you’re probably not too worried about landing on the best sellers list. This isn’t a Fusion.

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      If you limit production, then yes, things with less limited production will sell more. That’s kinda how numbers work.

      As for the whole value argument, I’d argue that most “mainstream” Italian supercars also require a decent amount of time to appreciate. Also, consider the last Ford GT. That’s been appreciating since it was released. I can’t imagine an even better performer with a legit track record to back it up will have any problem going up in value in much less that 2 decades.

      • 0 avatar
        Drunkonunleaded

        Appreciating since its release? Perhaps you missed when dealers were selling them well below sticker? They were a sales flop initially, and only began to appreciate in the past few years. “No story” examples have become increasingly hard to find, and the sports car pricing bubble expanded prices rapidly.

        • 0 avatar
          SlowMyke

          I did miss when the GT was selling below sticker. Regardless whether that’s true or not, it started appreciating within it’s its first decade of existence. Just using it as a point that the new GT won’t take long to appreciate. And yeah the bubble helps everything too. Can’t wait for that to go away though.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        SlowMyke – my son was watching a Jay Leno video and the interviewer was puzzled as to why he didn’t own any old Ferrari’s. He talked about cost to buy and operate plus when he was young there were plenty of used one’s around but in his mind they were just expensive worn out sports cars that were even more expensive to fix. He even mentioned some old Cadillac’s that him and his buddies would buy for cheep just to beat up. Those same cars are worth a fortune now. He’s a car guy but collects based on what he thinks is cool and/or different as opposed to what will be worth 25 million in 20 years.

        • 0 avatar

          Leno is also put off by what he calls the “bu!!shi!t” involved in buying a Ferrari. He’s not the only high end car guy who doesn’t like how Ferrari plays favorites.

          FWIW, Leno has no modern Lamborghinis. Two Espadas, two Miuras, a 3500GT, but nothing new. He does, however, have three McLarens, a F1, a MP4 and a P1.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Ronnie Schreiber – Jay Leno seems like an unassuming laid back guy. I’d love to spend a week hanging out with him.

    • 0 avatar
      doctorv8

      20 years from now? Do you see what the current Ford GT’s are doing in the market? And this car is going to be much rarer; they made 4038 of the old GT.

      Also, even if the LeMans victory doesn’t mean much to you, the performance is going to rival million dollar supercars on a roadcourse.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The previous GT has largely appreciated in value, which is astounding for any automobile, but I’m not sure how it will fare in the distant future. This GT may fare better in the short and long term due to rarity but another factor will be will there be a third generation down the road rarer and more popular than this one?

        Another thing to remember is rarity does not always equal value.

        “When our own Brock Yates tested one of the first U.S. models in 1987—he nicknamed it the “Rambo Lambo”—the LM002 was $120,000 to start, or about a quarter-million bucks in today’s dollars. According to Hagerty’s, the average price of an LM002 hovers around $95,000. The red 1989 model you see here recently sold for $122,000, and it’s unlikely to bring much more than that at auction.”

        http://blog.caranddriver.com/own-the-rambo-lambo-immaculate-1989-lamborghini-lm002-headed-to-auction/

        Per Wiki, only 328 examples were produced between 1986 and 1993.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamborghini_LM002

        • 0 avatar

          The problem with comparing the FGT to the LM002 is that the FGT’s market ranges from high end super car fans all the way down to anyone that loves anything Ford.

          Considering the limited supply and the unlimited demand from Focus to Ferrari fans, I don’t see depreciation being a big problem. Unless the world economy collapses after Brexit.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Those are very good points on buyer diversity and brand availability/accessibility. I agree the Ford GT has more going for it than the LM002 ever did, but my point in referencing it was rarity/exclusivity does not always equal future resale value.

        • 0 avatar
          doctorv8

          28 Cars,

          You might wanna recheck what LM002’s are selling for these days. Please let me know if you find one for $120k; I’ll take it.

          http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/Lamborghini/LM002

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            This is what displayed for me:

            Sorry, we couldn’t find your dream car.
            But we can let you know as soon as one is available. Just save this search and set up alerts with My Autotrader.

            Here are some which are mostly overseas:

            http://www.finecars.cc/en/find/list/index.html?request%5Bwhere%5D%5Bmake%
            5D=lamborghini&request%
            5Bwhere%5D%5Bmodel%5D=
            lm002&request%5Bshow%5D=1

            The C&D blog article I cited was published Dec 16, 2014 and here is the first American offering of the above six:

            http://www.finecars.cc/en/detail/car/422345/index.html?no_cache=1&ret=63

            Between the end of 2014 and now, LM002s did not appreciate $150K+ its just a NJ collector/dealer/mafioso looking for dumb money.

            The most reasonable of this list is priced at 105K EUR, which at current exchange rates is $116K and change.

            http://www.finecars.cc/en/detail/car/12034/index.html?no_cache=1&ret=63

            I figure 4-5K in shipping and as an MY91 is just coming into legal US import status. Go buy it.

        • 0 avatar
          doctorv8

          I just cut and pasted my own link, and it worked fine. Two different LM002s in two different states are currently advertised at 400k/440k. I’ve got a buddy at Lamborghini Houston that sold another one last year locally for upwards of that.

          Have you seen what Countaches go for now vs 2 years ago? The appreciation is real.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Hah! I guess Viper guys need a shirt that says ” I drink gas and I race things… thats what I do”.

      Anyways, too bad about the Viper what an unapologeticly American sports car.

      I think it’s biggest problem was the cost which FCA remedied a bit plus it had the Corvette to compete against which could be had with 9/10ths the performance for half the price.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Sorry, but what the hell is a pilot fish?

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    I want a floor-shift 1994 Conti. I hate the 3.8L engine, but its a unique car with a ride that is unmatched for its size.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve learned to love the 3.8, not that hard if you like 5.0 Windsors I guess. They are pretty easy to like after the redesigned head gaskets are installed.

      I’d avoid the floor shifting Contis, the console is from the bubbly Taurus and looks totally out of place on a boxy dash, not to mention it doesn’t even touch the dash.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        The console is not from the “bubbly” Taurus, its from the 93-95 Taurus (which was not the oval bodystyle). I am perfectly fine with it in my 95 Taurus, and loved the few 94 Conti’s I drove with it.

        I appreciate how the 3.8L turned thousands of people away from Ford products forever. I always hear about “revised” this and that for the head gasket issue, but it was never fully solved. Add that to the high likelihood of bottom end trouble (knocking) and it belongs on the same list as the Chrysler 2.7L V-6 and the Olds 350 Diesel V-8. Pure garbage that brought shame to Ford/MOPAR/GM fans, respectively. Ford’s 2.8/2.9L “Cologne” V-6s are awful, too.

        I’ve seen many, many head gasket/cracked head (and block in this case) on the famous toyota 22re and also on the 3.4 V-6. But oh no, they all run 965975994379085346 miles with no problems and the ones you see on craigslist that say “170k miles, engine rebuilt 50k miles ago, needs head/block/gasket/whole engine” are just imaginary, probably put out there by frustrated Chevy Corsica owners. Examples: http://seattle.craigslist.org/search/cto?query=toyota+head+gasket+4Runner&hasPic=1&min_price=100&max_price=2000

      • 0 avatar

        Yes that’s correct, I don’t know why I said the bubble Taurus when I meant the more rounded 2nd Gen. I still don’t like its rounder shape and tacked on design (doesn’t meet the dash nicely) because it looked cheap for a Luxury car back then while the column shift one is pretty classy.

        The first Gen Taurus console woulda been better. Probably.


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