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In preparation for Ford’s Centen-

nial Celebration in 2003, Ford execu-

tives decided to do an updated version

of the Ford GT40. This time around it

would be a car designed for the street

instead of the race track. They wisely

selected this plan to develop a “Halo

car” like the Ford GT instead of that

abominable appliance that some execs

wanted, the Ford “Forty-Niner” pas-

senger car. Shown in concept form at

the 2002 Detroit International Auto-

mobile Show, the new GT40 was a

screaming hit. Three “production in-

tent” models, one each in Red, White,

and Blue, were presented to the public

in June 2003 at Ford’s Centennial Cel-

ebration in Dearborn to prove the com-

pany was serious. The new Ford GT

was designed as a street car, with a su-

percharged V-8, air conditioning, and

power windows and locks. It’s appear-

ance wisely paid homage to the origi-

nal GT40s of the 60s.

Although the enthusiast public

clamored for it, Ford did not develop or

sponsor a “race” version of the 2005-6

Ford GT. A few independent racers

created their own versions of the car

in race form and, despite a distinct

lack of sponsorship from Ford, they

made some pretty good showings on

the international road racing scene.

However, nothing approached the

track dominance of the original GT40s

of the 1960s.

For 2016, Ford again turned the

world upside down, announcing a new,

ultra high-tech Ford GT that will be

available in both “street” and “racing”

trim. The car will make it’s racing

debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona In-

ternational Speedway on January 30-

31, 2016. Ford unveiled the 2016 Ford

GT to a stunned audience at the De-

troit International Automobile Show

in January, 2015. Although there had

been a few rumors about the project,

which had leaked out and spurred

hopes among enthusiasts, everyone

was caught flat-footed by the introduc-

tion of the incredibly stealthy-looking

Liquid Blue Ford GT prototype that

overwhelmed everyone who saw it at

the Detroit Auto Show.

The rest of the manufacturers at

the Detroit show, touting their new

cars, may as well not even have been

there at all. Ford’s surprise was light

years ahead of everyone else. Although

the car’s body shape is very modern,

sensuous and functional, the power-

train is actually tried-and-true, grow-

ing out of Ford’s Daytona Prototype

Ganassi racing program.

The cars will be built at Multi-

Matic in Canada; they have been

building race cars for Ford for a num-

ber of years. Some enthusiasts ex-

pressed disappointment by the V6

powertrain sporting twin turbos,

thinking the new car should properly


322 Fall 2015

A major manufacturer undertaking production of a limited production super car is a

bold move. Ford’s 2005-2006 GT was a hit right out of the box. The $140,000 list price

didn’t scare too many buyers away and dealers were not bashful about demanding

$20,000 or higher premiums, just because they could. Every one of the 4,038 cars pro-

duced was quickly sold. Secondary market prices soared to the point where, ten years

later, they had doubled.

Because every Ford GT team was independent, the livery of each team’s cars was

unique. Where the original Ford GT40 race cars were campaigned, the factory cars car-

ried similar graphics (except for colors). The 2005-2006 competition cars were each a

reflection of their team and sponsors. There was still no question they were Ford GTs.