By on June 9, 2017

2004 Ford GT trio - Image: Ford13 years ago, Ford introduced a stunning V8-powered supercar. It was not affordable.

At roughly $150,000 — or $188,000 in 2017 dollars — the 2005 Ford GT was out of my reach. More than likely, the 2005 Ford GT wasn’t on your shopping list, either.

But because its price placed the reborn Ford GT in the realm of attainability, nearly 3,600 GTs found homes between the end of 2004 and early 2007. Sure, a lot of them spend much of their time parked in garages. Many scarcely move. And it’s not as though a Ford GT is daily commuter in mid-winter Des Moines.

But because of that Blue Oval badge and value-oriented pricing — hey, the GT cost a lot less than a Ferrari F430 — the Ford GT was common enough and American enough and crazy enough to be The People’s Supercar.

The new Ford GT, on the other hand, is a $450,000 beast with a pair of missing cylinders, disappointing noises, and such exclusivity that spotting one in the wild will be virtually impossible outside supercar havens in SoCal and South Beach.

Forgive me, but I prefer the old Ford GT.

The new, 647-horsepower Ford GT will be quicker. Its monocoque construction is obviously more modern. The new GT’s hydraulic active suspension is surely a wonder. The aero package will be more refined. Its racing connections are instrinsic. The hand-built assembly of a new Ford GT is a nine-day journey in that supercar bastion of Maranello Markham, Ontario.2017 Ford GT - Image: FordBut the new Ford GT, like many a modern performance car, doesn’t have a manual transmission.

The new Ford GT is so snobbish you had to apply to get one.

The new Ford GT’s F-150 Raptor-related 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine (the old Ford GT’s 5.4-liter V8 was F-150-related, too) is a V6.

V6s are fine. V6s are good. V6s can be great. But Automobile says, “The engine can sound coarse and produces a fair amount of drone if allowed to dawdle along at low-to-medium revs in a relatively high gear, and history will not remember it as an all-time orchestra.” Indeed, after the intoxicating noises of the previous Ford GT, the new GT’s sounds are hardly the stuff of which dreams are made.

On an even more subjective level, I consider the new Ford GT’s lengthy midsection to be awkward; its mouthy front end is too in keeping with 2017’s addiction to massive grilles. The overall appearance isn’t generic supercar, but it’s more in-your-face and less obviously pretty.

Perhaps all of this irrelevant. Ford will eventually sell its 1,000 Ontario-built GTs, no matter how I feel about it. (12 have found U.S. homes so far, according to Ford’s sales reports.) Perhaps the opinion of an individual who will never own a Ford GT, probably never drive one, and may not even see one is lacking validity.

Yet what made the previous Michigan-built Ford GT so great was the degree to which Ford made a world-beating supercar at a world-beating price. Impressing us at $150,000 is far more difficult than wowing us at $450,000.

To the pre-teen sitting in the back seat of his mom’s Camry, the 2005 Ford GT he saw flash by his window said something about Ford. That kid looked at Ford and saw an American company that was building a more audacious car — a more visually impressive car, a louder car, perhaps even a faster car — than the supercar elite.

That occurrence, that 11-year-old who saw a GT rumble by, was more than four times more likely than the new Ford GT making an appearance alongside your mom’s RAV4. The new Ford GT is a masterpiece, no doubt. But for $450,000, isn’t a masterpiece assumed?

Ford’s accomplishment with the 2005 GT was therefore more significant. Then again, drivers did suffer concussions after heads struck door frames before every drive, so maybe the old car wasn’t that great. Moreover, if TTAC relations want to let me drive the new GT, I’ll accept the offer.

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

[Images: Ford Motor Company]

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45 Comments on “Heresy: I Like the Old (New) Ford GT a Lot More than the New Ford GT...”


  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Agreed. I’ve seen (old) GTs around on occasion, on the streets. $150k supercars are still in the realm of “probably will see a few here and there” here in affluent parts of Chicagoland. $450k isn’t, and it’s irrelevant to most enthusiasts as a result except for magazine racing.

    • 0 avatar
      notapreppie

      I actually saw one down in quasi-rural Champaign, IL back in 2006. A bunch of co-workers were crossing the street from our office to a Thai restaurant and spotted it parked on the street out front.

      Our crowd attracted the owner who showed us the engine and answered all manner of (likely annoying) questions. It made my whole week.

      Sadly, the used price on those V8 GTs now STARTS at over $250k for one that hasn’t been turbo’d or converted to a track-only car.

      In Chicago, where Bently, Aston, Lambo and Ferrari spottings are weekly-to-monthly occurances, I doubt I’ll see either GT any time soon.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “a pair of missing cylinders, disappointing noises”

    -2017.exe

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    If you’re a track guy, the new car will run rings around the old one….no contest.

    For cruising around, though, I’ll stick with the 2005 as well. Don’t ever plan on selling mine.

    • 0 avatar
      4drSedan

      Easily the old (new) GT. A modernized take on one of the most gorgeous cars ever made. Also, what’s that blue foot-shaped car in the second picture…Koenigsegg? Just kidding I think it is the new (new) GT.

    • 0 avatar
      Tele Vision

      A guy in town here had his painted in the olde Gulf colour scheme. Looks fantastic.

  • avatar
    SD 328I

    The old (new) Ford GT was a retro-mod exercise for customers.

    The new Ford GT was only built because Ford was required to make them for racing homologation rules.

    The new GT wasn’t designed for customers, it was designed to go racing. The high cost probably just covers design and production costs, probably little to no profit in it at all for Ford.

    As for the V6, it was the best size engine and power combination for their racing car for the series they are racing in. A V8 would be a compromise to the overall design of the car.

    I guess they could have done what Glickenhaus did with their car, they offered the V6 turbo for racing and a V8 for their civilian model. But the engine bay is so small on the GT, they probably couldn’t fit a V8 without compromising the aero.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “it was the best size engine and power combination for their racing car for the series they are racing in.”

      So how do you explain the C7.R, 488 GTE, or AMG GT3?

      • 0 avatar
        Malforus

        The response is obvious.
        Chevrolet, Ferrari and Mercedes don’t make the GT, Ford does.

        Ford evaluated all the engines in their stable and determined that the 3.5 Twin-Turbo was better than the competition, which in my mind is the Voodoo Flat Plane 5.2.

        So flat plane 5.2 526 hp and 429 lb. vs. 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque (In Raptor application).

        Now obviously mileage may vary but in most forced induction scenarios for racing, the production engine is a difference species than the tune used in a racing vehicle. Hense the 647 HP, 550 Lb-Ft quote.

        So there you are, its easier to make more power and torque using the boosted motor so they went with what they could do.

        Now the obvious other question is “Why didn’t they make a boosted voodoo?” That’s a great question and I am going to assume they were bang against the vertical dimension constraints of the car.

        However I also imagine its a lesson learned to use their GT to demo their continued dedication to next generation forced induction rather than create a unicorn engine on their already rare pegasus engine.

      • 0 avatar
        SD 328I

        All those cars are based on street cars, none were designed to be race cars from the ground up, the Ford GT was. Its been optimized for the aero and motor combination it has now, and has succeeded very well.

        It should be noted all these cars get balanced regularly, so that’s another variable. The racing spec Ford GT makes 100hp less than the street car.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “and has succeeded very well”

          It’s competitive in its classes against the “based on street cars” competition.

          We’ll see how next weekend goes.

          • 0 avatar
            SD 328I

            Sure, but as mentioned they BALANCE the cars depending on their performance during the season.

            As an example, the Ford GT has 100hp less than the civilian version to make it “fair”.

            That’s the way GT racing works, this allows many different car makes to race in the same series.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      A turbo engine was more expedient for fooling the regulators into allowing them to have the fastest car at Le Mans. They were able to crank it up after sandbagging the testing.

      But it also makes sense for promoting their Eco-Boost lineup.

      Regardless, I’ll take the old one.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I love the way the mid ’00s one looked as well. It was a perfect “videogame/wall-poster” super car that a kid could dream of owning some day.

  • avatar
    ZCD2.7T

    Right there with ya, Mr. Cain.

    When I saw the new GT in person at the Chicago Auto Show, I was underwhelmed.

    More heresy: The Acura NSX was there, too, and I (and my companions) all preferred its looks to the GT. Time has not altered my opinion.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    “…. a pair of missing cylinders, disappointing noises…”

    Welcome to our future now, regarding everything from the Ford GT to Cadillac CT6, and throw in the smaller displacement but augmented (weakly) by turbocharger mills such as the ones on many plain commuter vehicles (even Honda, a formerly conservative company with a steady eye towards quality/durability has abandoned ship and gone down turbo he!!, furthering what has been their precipitous slide from anvil-like reliability to MEHaverageOcracy)

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      One thing I’ll give Maserati and Alfa credit for is that they actually made their turbo V6 engines sound good.

      Those brands always had abysmal quality, so adding the turbos probably doesn’t hurt them.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    I feel the comparison is less interesting than their common name would suggest.

    It is tough when the old Ford GT was so good…revered…timeless…the design and engine gurgle bridge the 40 years of racing heritage in a blink.

    But I commend Ford for building the New Ford GT…it’s simply awesome…

  • avatar
    jack4x

    Agreed 100%

    The new one may be faster but it is uglier inside and out, and a 6 cylinder engine doesn’t belong in a supercar. DCT only is hardly surprising in 2017 but still disappointing. Assuming I wasn’t allowed to sell it and pocket the difference, I wouldn’t trade my Viper for the new GT straight up. I couldn’t say the same for the 2005 model.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      So what you’re saying is that a “Supercar” by definition, must have at least eight cylinders.

      I call BS.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        My opinion is generally yes. Other than the GT and Jaguar XJ220, every car I would consider a supercar has at least 8 cylinders. GTR, 911 turbo, etc are fast but not supercars to me.

        That said, we all know the future is downsizing, automatic transmissions, electric, and turbocharging. My definition of supercar may be obsolete someday. Maybe it is obsolete now.

        I’m sure the GT is a blast to drive and I hope it’s a big hit for Ford. It just wouldn’t be the car for me.

  • avatar
    BC

    I drove an ecoboost v6 up the rockies in a fully laden expedition XL. I am a convert. Power is readily accessible and ample with little if any turbo lag. As the RPMs climb, your rate of acceleration increases all of the way to the redline. Its a world class engine. I have a V8 in my current SUV (XC90) and would take the ecoboost any day.

    That said, I would take the 2005 GT over the new one in a heartbeat. There’s more to driving than performance numbers.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    These days even F1 cars have missing cylinders and make disappointing noises.

  • avatar

    I respectfully disagree. Each car is a tour de force. I was that 11 year old, only it was when the original GT40 came out in the mid 1960s and my Monogram slot racing set included an original blue and white GT40 (with the original front end).

    I haven’t had the opportunity to drive any of them, but as far as aesthetics go, I’ve photographed numerous authentic GT40s, scores of the ’03 GT (and discussed the car with its designer), and about a half dozen examples of the new car that Ford has shown, plus I’ve seen a couple on the road around here.

    Camillo Pardo did a great job on the ’03. I think it’s got better lines than the original, which is high praise considering the GT40 MKII is a timeless, almost perfect shape. Ford vs Ferrari back in the day wasn’t just about fast cars, the GT40 and the P3/4 are two of the best looking automobiles every made.

    The new GT does stuff that we simply haven’t seen on road cars. The LeMans prototype style cabin and aero with the flying buttresses in the back is visually stunning. You could spend an hour just checking out all the aero tricks on the car. While Pardo was doing a modern take on a classic, the 2017 GT breaks new ground, yet it still looks like it’s descended from the GT40.

    As rare as the new car will be, I think the ’03 car still has way more upside potential in terms of $. If I made a metric ton of money, I’d shop McLarens but I’d consider a ’03 GT.

    • 0 avatar
      ZCD2.7T

      Both the original and the ’03 make me weak in the knees, and I agree that the original is one of the best looking automobiles ever made (It’s my personal favorite).

      The new one is very cool, but not gorgeous, IMO.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Yes BUT, the newest GT isn’t really a Ford by nearly any measure.

      It’s a Multimatic (skunk works of Canadian auto parts OEM giant Magna and Austrian-Canadian do-everything firm, parent company, Magna Steyr).

      • 0 avatar

        By that standard, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and BMW 5 Series are Magnas and the Porsche Cayman and Boxter are Karmanns, though from 1997 to 2011 they were Valmets.

        Contract assembly dates to the early days of the auto industry. As far as I know the new Ford GT was designed in Dearborn. Was Multimatic involved in the development? Probably, but then vendor involvement in part design is kinda SOP for the industry.

        This is a little like the argument that the original Ford GT40 was not an American car because of Eric Broadley’s early involvement and the fact that the cars were assembled in the UK (the ’68 Gurney/Foyt LeMans winner, GT40 MkIV was designed and assembled in Dearborn). No matter who turned the wrenches, the bills were paid by Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      Visually stunning, but not in a good way. I am sure it is a technological wonder too, but it would be like having sex with a robot. Not the replicants, the Asimo type.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Wixom Assy is gone.
    Did I see an RV dealer at the site?

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    “The new Ford GT, on the other hand, is a $450,000 beast with a pair of missing cylinders, disappointing noises, and such exclusivity that spotting one in the wild will be virtually impossible outside supercar havens in SoCal and South Beach.”

    All of the same could be said about the OLD GT, depending on your point of view and/or preference.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Agreed on the 05 GT vs this one. I thought I was alone with this opinion.

  • avatar
    MeJ

    I like the older one much better design-wise. The new one may be a technological marvel but it is a little strange looking. The worst part is the rear end. Every time I see it, it reminds me of those pigs in Angry Birds.
    And why the V6 in this car? Shouldn’t the exotic flat-plane V8 be in this instead off the Mustang? This is supposed to be the race car but they use a version of an economy engine?
    Not sure what’s going on there.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    If you read the auction articles on the Hemmings Daily blog, you’ll notice that Ford GTs routinely now sell for $200k to $250k. Maybe letting them sit in the garage isn’t such a bad idea, since they’re appreciating in value.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I like the older one, too. I’ve even seen a couple of them on the street. The new one having the EcoBoost makes me think of the episode of Fast n’ Loud where Aaron Kaufman stuck a 3.5L Ecoboost into a ’72 Pantera. The engine had like 130k on it, and came out of a 2013 F-150 XL. They basically just cleaned it up, added bigger turbos, and had an adapter made so that the Pantera’s 5-speed ZF gearbox would bolt up to it. It was crazy fast.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Isn’t Sajeev’s brother getting one of these new GTs?

  • avatar
    James2

    If it was up to me the car would have evolved like the Porsche 911, keeping the look familiar yet incorporating new technology as it comes around.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      That is exactly what the new(new) GT has done; it’s aerodynamics, engine choice and styling with that grill along with other features under the hood are all the latest technology; just as the original GT40 was. But that is why some folks do not like it, it has strayed too far from the original GT40 design.

  • avatar
    jhefner

    If I knew you were going to write this article, I would have sent the following your way:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/32402204851

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/32483829976

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/31712514183

    Admittedly, the Hot Wheels diecast does not do justice to the flying butresses on the new (new) GT.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    Get off my lawn sonny! Saw that GT’s V8 lengthwise and build a real racer you whippersnapper. Harummph!

    http://theoldmotor.com/?p=157088

  • avatar
    seanx37

    Well, you can always wait 6 months til the mid engine Corvette debuts. It will have the proper number of cylinders. And will cost far less than $450k

  • avatar
    rreichar

    You can always spend $120,000 or so for a Superformance GT40. I have seen them used for 80K. Great looks and sound. Lack of roll down windows is an issue but they are available with A/C and left hand drive.

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