TTAC Rewind: 2004 Ford GT Review
Take a gander at Robert Farago's 2004 Ford GT review over your morning coffee. If you're anything like me, you will be jealous.
Ford GT Returns With More Power, Look-at-Me Trims
A Blue Oval vehicle you’re sick of seeing everywhere, the GT, arrives for 2020 with extra oomph in tow, as well as appearance schemes aimed at setting it apart from the other GTs prowling the Lowes lot. A lack of paint is what’s notable with one of these entries.
A Canadian-built, limited-edition supercar, the GT still makes use of a finely tuned 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6, only now there’s more ponies on tap.
Ford Readies GT Announcement for America's Birthday
Ford is planning on sharing some big, GT-related news for America’s birthday. On Friday, the company said that it would be making “a special Ford GT supercar announcement” during a dedicated press conference at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 4th.
While that’s the correct date, it’s taking place in the wrong country. But we assume Ford has good reason for that. We’re betting this is some performance-plus variant of the model aimed at achieving enviable lap times. As the Goodwood hill climb is all about the beating a stopwatch, perhaps Ford intends on showing the world what its new car can do.
Ford to Build an Additional 350 GT Supercars; Production Extended 2 Years
Ford Motor Co. announced Thursday that it will extend production of the GT due to popular demand. While it might not move like the F-Series, which saw more than 450,000 deliveries over the first half of the year, we suppose it has done alright for a domestic supercar that costs half a million dollars. More than 6,500 applicants signed up for a chance to own a piece of the initial allotment in 2016. But Ford notes that was before the car took overall victory at Le Mans 24 Hours later that same year.
The GT’s run will now include 1,350 examples, 350 more than Ford originally planned, and stretch out an additional two years.
Hot Stuff: Ford GT Recalled for Fire Risk
It wouldn’t be a supercar without some risk of getting burnt. Those performance limits are far beyond the capabilities of most owners, after all.
This time, however, the threat of conflagration is real.
According to Ford, certain copies of the GT run the risk of dribbling hydraulic fluid from the lines feeding its adjustable rear spoiler. Since the car’s centrally-mounted exhaust tips are located in close proximity, this problem could set the whole works ablaze.
Slow Out of the Gate, Ford Says It Won't Skimp on GT Production
For those wealthy enough to afford a Ford GT — and lucky enough to be chosen by Ford for the current model run — relax, things could be worse. But there’s no denying that waiting on a car, especially one as scarce and desirable as the GT, is a painful experience. It’s one made all the more painful by the fact that GT production didn’t exactly lift gracefully from the launch pad.
Of the 250 GTs Ford planned to build for the 2017 model year, only 138 carbon-fiber beasts left partner Multimatic’s Canadian facility.
Wrestling With the Law: John Cena Settles With Ford Outside of Court
Professional wrestler John Cena has settled a lawsuit filed by Ford Motor Company over the sale of his Ford GT for an undisclosed amount. If you’ll recall, the automaker affixed a clause to the purchasing agreement that forbade buyers from reselling the vehicle for 24 months.
However, after the automaker filed its lawsuit, Cena’s legal team alleged there was a legal loophole that allowed for the flip. Since the agreement was not included in the final dealer documents, it speculated there was some wiggle room. Regardless, it doesn’t appear to have been enough to squirm away from Ford’s contract entirely.
Why Is Nobody Bidding on This First-Gen Ford GT?
Around Ford’s hundredth anniversary, heritage was all the rage. The company had already reintroduced the throwback Thunderbird and the Mustang was returning for the 2005 model year looking as close to the late-1960s units as possible. However, the corner piece of the company’s birthday cake was assuredly the GT40-inspired supercar the Blue Oval had in development.
Getting a little help from Carroll Shelby himself, Ford created the much-hyped car and offered it for sale in 2004 — with the left headlight reading “100” to celebrate the company’s centennial anniversary. Originally priced at $150,000, the first-generation Ford GT can easily go for twice as much on the secondhand market, with superior examples exceeding $500,000 at auction. With prices like that, you probably thought you’d never have an opportunity to own this particular piece of automotive history.
You would also be wrong, because there is a 2005 Ford GT for sale right now that nobody’s bidding on, and it carries an incredibly low reserve.
Booted From Ford, Raj Nair Shows Up at Ford GT Builder Multimatic
Raj Nair, former executive vice-president of Ford Motor Company and head of its North American region, has joined the company that built his car.
Nair took delivery of a Ford GT — a vehicle he helped develop during his time as product development boss and chief technical officer — shortly before his sudden and murky February exit from the company. Well, he’s now president and CEO of Multimatic Motorsports, Canadian builder of the GT.
Another Ford GT Owner Attempts to Flip Ride, This Time at Auction
Following the private sale of his Ford GT, superstar wrestler John Cena found himself looking down the barrel of the automaker’s legal team. Ford had publicized that the chosen recipients of the exclusive model were forbidden from selling it within the first two years of taking delivery. Cena was in breach of contract, or so it initially seemed.
Things became murky when the former “Doctor of Thuganomics” had his legal council point out that the dealer’s sales agreement included no such clause. The matter is now before the courts, with Ford seeking damages and Cena asking for dismissal.
Keeping that in mind, it’s more than a little surprising that another second-generation GT is being offered for sale just a few months later. The vehicle in question is number 48 out of 250 from the 2017 model year — and it’s currently up for auction in Indianapolis.
John Cena Ready to Take Ford to the Mat Over Supercar Contract
Late last year, Ford Motor Company decided to sue professional wrestler and actor John Cena after he decided to sell his GT supercar. Hoping to keep ownership of the vehicle exclusive, the automaker included a clause in the ownership contract that expressly forbade anyone from selling it within two years of taking delivery. Cena decided to flip the vehicle early, causing Ford to go after him in the courts on breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment.
His position appeared to be indefensible. Ford’s lawsuit even alleges that John apologized after the automaker took him to task, saying, “I completely understand and as stated am willing to work with you and Ford to make it right.”
However, the winds may have shifted in his favor. Cena is reportedly asking the judge in the case to throw out the lawsuit on the grounds that his contract never included the clause that forbid resale within the first 24 months of ownership.
Ford Performance Head Moves Into Mainstream Models
Ford’s former head of performance car manufacturing, Dave Pericak, is now the engineering director for the automaker’s North American unibody vehicles. While in charge of Ford Performance, the division launched the Raptor, Focus RS, Shelby GT350, and GT. Prior to taking the helm in 2014, he was also the chief engineer of the 50th anniversary Mustang.
Now responsible for mainstream models from both Ford and Lincoln, Pericak’s previous duties will be split between Mark Rushbrook and Hermann Salenbauch. Rushbrook will handle the company’s racing efforts as Salenbauch runs Ford’s production vehicle development.
John Cena Sued By Ford for Flipping His GT Supercar
Ford wasn’t kidding about wanting to keep ownership of the GT as exclusive as possible. In addition to setting production numbers incredibly low, the company also carefully vetted prospective supercar buyers and made them promise not to resell the vehicle for at least two years.
While atypical of Ford-branded vehicles, clauses like that aren’t uncommon among high-end manufacturers selling an ultra-rare model. But what happens when a customer decides to ignore the contract and flip the vehicle prematurely?
Well, as wrestling-icon John Cena found out, the automaker takes you to court. On Thursday, Ford Motor Company filed suit against Cena in the U.S. District Court in Michigan over breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment.
Ford GT Works Gummed Up as Company Issues Delay Notices to Customers
Handcrafted automobiles are a rarity these days but, if you add enough digits to the vehicle’s price tag, companies can still find a handful of buyers willing to fund the expensive production method. One model included on that short list is the Ford GT, the iconic American mid-engine two-seater assembled in Canada. With the help of Multimatic, Ford can usually slap one together every 24 hours under ideal circumstances.
Unfortunately, deliveries of the GT are starting to fall behind. It’s a little embarrassing, especially when you consider Ford only wants to build 250 a year, but it’s also entirely understandable, as a large portion of the assembly process seems to involve pushing the chassis around on a dolly through a mostly empty factory. You can’t rush perfection, and handcrafted perfection takes even longer.
At least, that’s what the automaker cites as the reason for the delivery delay.
Heresy: I Like the Old (New) Ford GT a Lot More Than the New Ford GT
13 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.