Written by Eric Becker
It started in a basement. One of Ford’s most anticipated, dominant and historic vehicles began in little more than a repurposed storage room. Beginning in the fall of 2013, a secret project was beginning to take form. Tucked away at the back of Ford’s Product Development Center was an inconspicuous door protected under lock and key with a mysterious sign that read “Past Model Parts Depot.” It was a project above top secret, a project with enough subterfuge to fill a John le Carré novel. Only a few executives were in the know; the skunkworks team of engineers and designers worked long hours into the night living off energy drinks and protein bars, crafting what would become a fearsome carbon-fiber competitor.
When Ford Motor Company first unveiled the second-generation Ford GT in Detroit at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, the contingent of press gathered in Motown collectively had their jaws drop. Ford had done it; speed was back in the picture and contemporary supercar manufacturers had been put on notice. With the debut of the second-generation GT things were different. It was far more than a wade into nostalgia, it was the start of something new.
From the onset, the GT was engineered concurrently as an endurance racer and road car. Engineers worked to shape every crease, angle, vent and channel to maximize downforce, minimize drag and optimize efficiency. The deliberate engineering choices led to a gorgeous yet functional design, the sculpted front-end cuts through the air expelling it via the large hood vents – an allusion to the legacy of the GT’s racing pedigree.
While the distinctive flying buttresses channel air around the dramatically tapered teardrop-shaped fuselage and over the rear spoiler, there are other bouts of aerodynamic sorcery, too. The hollow flying buttresses house ducting to feed air into the engine and the emblematic circular taillights help expel hot air from the intercooler – a perfect example of function and form, with a primary goal to make better use of the air. The GT was a car truly shaped by the wind.
The entire design was dictated by the requirements of victory in endurance racing. The tapered teardrop was narrow, similar to that of an LMP1 race car, therefore rendering the selection of the powertrain as secondary to the aerodynamic signature of the car. The engineering team considered using a V8 and even a V12 engine, but ultimately decided that the new GT would use Ford’s twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 due to its compact size, efficiency and power density.
“Le Mans is very much a full economy race,” said Jamal Hameedi, former chief engineer of Ford Performance. “The aerodynamics were developed first, and then we picked the most efficient engine that we could find for that package.” The heavily reworked 3.5-liter EcoBoost generates 647hp and is paired with a specially designed 7-speed Getrag dual-clutch gearbox. Combined the GT can sprint to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and scream to a top speed of over 217 mph. The GT, then, had more in common with its race-bred GT40 ancestor than just the name or resemblance.
As comedian and car aficionado Jay Leno put it, “(It was) as far from the first-generation (2005) Ford GT as you could get, because the first Ford was a road car built to resemble a race car. This one is an out and out race car, modified to be a road car.”
Barrett-Jackson is once again excited to bring cutting-edge performance and legacy to the forefront of the inaugural 2021 Houston Auction. Offered with No Reserve is a stunning 2019 Ford GT equipped with $78,500 in factory options. Finished in Liquid Blue paint and accented by the optional Frozen White overtop painted stripes, this impressive 2019 Ford GT is further enhanced by the Exterior Exposed Carbon Fiber Package complete with matte finish.
Inside, the GT is a masterpiece of minimalism; the cockpit is dressed in the optional Ebony and white Ford GT Re-Entry interior theme and, aside from the Sync 3 infotainment system, the cockpit contains nothing that is not either functional or necessary.
This exceptionally well-optioned GT features carbon-fiber seats and a stunning array of leather, Alcantara, Matte Beryllium, exposed matte carbon fiber and black-anodized appointments. Rounding out the GT are Brembo carbon-ceramic disc brakes with optional blue calipers and super-light 20-inch gloss exposed carbon-fiber wheels and 6-point harness anchors for serious track work. Offered in immaculate, as-new condition with just 18.1 miles at time of writing, this 2019 Ford GT also includes the Ford GT Ordering Kit and dealer invoice.
The second-generation Ford GT is a truly rare and special machine bred for competition and shaped by the wind. When this stellar example rolls across the block at the inaugural 2021 Barrett-Jackson Houston Auction, just remember its humble origins and race-winning pedigree.