Written by Eric Becker
As automotive stories go, there are few more revered than Dearborn’s historic bout with Maranello. It was born from business dealings gone sour and spurred on by some of the motoring world’s biggest characters: Enzo Ferrari, Carroll Shelby and Henry Ford II, to name a few. Ford’s entrant, the GT40, went down in history as one of the all-time great race cars, a proper thoroughbred elegant in its no-frills pursuit of speed. The GT40 was instantly recognizable as pure ’60s racing theater; it enjoyed wide haunches, scalloped intakes and a rakish profile. So when Ford needed a car to make a statement and celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary, they went back to Le Mans.
From the onset, the new 2005 GT was billed as a road car, but 40 years of racing pedigree did not sit idly by – it shaped the car’s design, look and performance. At first glance, Ford’s new GT bore a striking resemblance to its GT40 ancestors. Sketching for the GT began as early as 1999 with Chief Designer Camilo Pardo, applying a 21st-century lens to Ford’s famed endurance racer. The result was nothing short of sensational, a truly timeless design that peerlessly captured the GT’s racing heritage but also cast an eye toward tomorrow.
When the GT40 concept car debuted at the 2002 North American International Auto Show, it stirred up a fair amount of excitement. The response was overwhelmingly favorable and Ford, just a short while later, announced to the world a production version was in the works. Internally known as “Petunia,” the project featured a contingent of 30 hand-selected engineers and designers to build a once-in-a-generation-type car: a world-class mid-engine warrior from Detroit.
The design was more than a repackaging of Ford’s greatest hits; it was something new, something to be savored. And something the top brass at Ford Motor Company knew was worthy of commemorating the company’s centennial. “The Ford GT is our Centennial Supercar because it reaches into great moments from our past while casting a light into the future,” said Chris Theodore, former vice president, Ford Advance Product Creation. “As we celebrate our centennial, the Ford GT represents many of the technologies, processes, and people that will help drive our next 100 years.”
Now, that centennial celebration can be enjoyed by two lucky bidders. On offer with No Reserve during the 2021 Scottsdale Auction in March are two exquisite examples of the Ford GT’s renaissance. Only 2,027 Ford GTs were produced in 2005, and these two are among the finest to be had anywhere. Lot #1375 is one of just 265 GTs finished in Midnight Blue, with the stunning paintwork accented by a pair of white stripes running the length of the body.
The second GT, Lot #1415, plays with the opposite color spectrum. Like the previous example, it is also a rarity, being one of just 504 cars to wear a Centennial White finish for the 2005 model year. The stunning GT features an Ebony Black leather interior. Both cars hold the road thanks to staggered 18-inch front and 19-inch BBS lightweight forged aluminum wheels wrapped in Goodyear F1 Eagle tires.
Perched behind the driver – and occupying much of the rearview mirror – lies the GT’s supercharged heart: an all-aluminum 550hp 5.4-liter V8. Specially designed for the GT program, the quad-cam 32-valve V8 features forged a rotating assembly and offers plenty of conversation-stopping muscle on tap with 500 ft/lbs of torque. The V8 is mated to a Ricardo 6-speed manual transmission and can hit 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, soar through the quarter-mile in 11.8 seconds and on to a top speed of over 205 mph.
Ford went to great lengths to craft a descendant that honors their winning Blue Oval heritage. The GT was a statement – a statement of where the company had been and where the love of speed and passion for engineering would take them. Now you can take home that passion, too.
For up-to-date information about these and other vehicles heading to the 2021 Scottsdale Auction, click HERE.