Ford GT: Through the Years

Autos

This is the year of sports cars. Fiat, Ford, Nissan, and other manufactures are producing some of the coolest looking vehicles we’ve seen in a while, but nothing is more amazing than the new Ford GT.

It’s been over a decade since we’ve seen this beautiful beast, but it’s making a comeback. We’re expecting it to make waves, but what stopped it in the first place?

In the Beginning

To figure out where the GT came from, we have to look back to the Ford GT40. The new GT’s designers drew inspiration from the GT40 and racing cars from the 1960s. Looking back, it’s easy to see why.

For those that watch Top Gear, the GT40 was one of the coolest racing cars in history. We mean all of history. Born out of a grudge against Enzo Ferrari, the car became a legend of ‘60s racing.

Skip ahead to 1995, and we see the GT90 making its debut at the Detroit Auto Show. Some called it one of the best concept cars ever made, and we might have to agree with them. It screamed “car of the future” and made drivers want to hop in and drive away.The concept car was a beautiful two-seater, mid-engine supercar with a cost of around $3 million. They claimed that the car could do 0 to 60 in about three seconds. The GT90 stole the show and gave Ford the vision of the GT we know now.

Production Starts

By 2004, Ford starting producing the GT models we know today. The company had customers already taking early delivery, and by 2005, the GT was open to the public. Sadly, like many exotic vehicles, the GT couldn’t keep up with demand. Ford had planned to make 4,500, but only made around 4,038. The last 11 that were made were scrapped so the parts could be used to repair the ones already sold. A year or so into production, Ford raised the price from $139,995 to $149,995. But the cars were still in such high demand that secondhand sellers could make $100,000 more than that for used models.

That’s quite a bit for a vehicle that won Top Gear’s Gas Guzzler of the Year in 2005. Despite being one of the most popular cars of 2005, some didn’t fall in love with the car.  Jeremy Clarkson owned a GT and requested a refund from Ford due to extensive problems with the car’s aftermarket alarm system.

End of the Line

When production started in 2004, fans expected the car to last a while, but sadly it got the axe around 2006. One of the biggest problems was that Ford simply couldn’t get the parts for the GT and fulfill orders. Then there were the complaints that buyers were leveling at Ford, an issue made more severe by the car’s price point. By June 2005, buyers became disinterested, and the price dropped substantially to a fraction of what it once was. The price dropped so low, in fact, that Ford couldn’t recoup the cost of production.

In September 2006, Ford decided to pull the plug on the GT and the Wixom Assembly Plant stopped production in May of 2007. Sales continued into 2007 from stock held in storage and dealer inventories, but no new GTs were being created.

The Comeback Kid

So, why are we talking about the GT now? Well, at the 2015 North American Auto Show, Ford unveiled a new GT, due out in 2016. This second generation looks beyond amazing, and buyers are extremely interested. The time was ripe – 2016 marked 50 years since the GT40 came in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. To bring it full circle, Ford brought the 2016 GT to the grueling 24-hour race and yet again came in first.

The 2017 model has been released to the public with a newly designed 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine that has over 600 horsepower. Additionally, it was made with a carbon fiber body to give it one of the best power-to-weight ratios of any production car.

In December 2016, Ford started production with plans to build one GT per day until October 2020, but the 2017 and 2018 vehicles will only be reserved for select GT buyers. If you’re in the market for a new GT, you may have to wait until 2019 or even 2020. Who knows what will happen with time, but we hope that the GT is here to stay.

(Image via Facebook)

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