Friday 13th June 2003
The Ford GT was officially ‘reborn. It was produced in model years 2005 and 2006, with the first customers taking delivery in August 2004. The GT began assembly at Mayflower Vehicle Systems in Norwalk, Ohio and was painted by Saleen in their Saleen Special Vehicles facility in Troy, Michigan. The GT is powered by an engine built at Ford’s Romeo Engine Plant in Romeo, Michigan. Installation of the engine and manual transmission along with interior finishing was handled in the SVT building at Ford’s Wixom, Michigan plant.
Of the 4,500 GTs originally planned, approximately 100 were to be exported to Europe, starting in late 2005. An additional 200 were destined for sale in Canada. Production ended in 2006 without reaching the planned lot. Approximately 550 were built in 2004, nearly 1,900 in 2005, and just over 1,600 in 2006, for a grand total of 4,038. The final 11 car bodies manufactured by Mayflower Vehicle Systems were disassembled, and the frames and body panels were sold as service parts.
Like many exotic vehicles, when the Ford GT was first released, the demand outpaced supply, and the cars initially sold for premium prices. The first private sale of Ford’s new mid-engine sports car was completed on August 4, 2004, when former Microsoft executive Jon Shirley took delivery of his Midnight Blue 2005 Ford GT. Shirley earned the right to purchase the first production Ford GT (chassis #10) at a charity auction at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Auction after bidding over $557,000.
A few other early cars sold for as much as a US$100,000 premium over the suggested retail price of $139,995 (Ford increased the MSRP to $149,995 on July 1, 2005). Optional equipment available included a McIntosh sound system, racing stripes, painted brake calipers, and forged alloy wheels adding $13,500 to the MSRP. The production run of 4,038 GTs ended the 2006 model year on September 21, 2006, short of the originally planned 4,500. The Wixom Assembly Plant has stopped production of all models as of May 31, 2007. Sales of the GT continued into 2007, from cars held in storage and in dealer inventories. During the GT’s lifetime, the car was featured on the cover of the video game Gran Turismo 4, and was also featured in Need for Speed: ProStreet, as well as being made into physical form in the Transformers: Alternators toyline, which featured realistic cars turning into Cybertronians; the Ford GT mold was used for the characters Mirage and Rodimus.
The GT won Top Gear’s Gas Guzzler of the Year award in 2005. One of the show’s presenters, Jeremy Clarkson, owned a GT and despite initially reserving very superb acclaim for the vehicle, ultimately requested a refund from Ford due to extensive problems with the cars aftermarket alarm system.
A modified roadster version of the GT, the Ford GTX1, was displayed at the 2005 SEMA Auto Show.