In 1963, Henry Ford II tried to buy Ferrari. Not just a Ferrari, but the entire company. Enzo Ferrari, in typical Enzo Ferrari fashion, told him to get lost. Returning from Italy, Henry issued a company-wide edict: "Kick Ferraris ass." Ford Motor Company dedicated vast resources to humiliating Ferrari on the most visible world stage there is: the 24 hours of LeMans. Early efforts were not successful, as Ferrari finished 1-2-3 in 1964 and 1965, so Ford hired the legendary Carroll Shelby to fine tune the GT40 racecar (and by "fine tune" I mean "install a giant 500-horsepower 427 cubic inch V8 from the Cobra"). The effort was a resounding success, with Ford GT40s winning LeMans an unprecedented four times in 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of that first victory, Ford rolled out the 2006 Ford GT "Heritage" edition which commemorates the JW Automotive/American Gulf Oil-sponsored Le Mans-winning Ford GT racer (and added a tidy $13,000 to the cars bottom line). The Heritage Blue and Epic Orange paint scheme recalls those Gulf Oil-sponsored Ford GT40s of the '60s, and looks unique on the streets today. Only 343 units were produced under production code GL PO, making this 2006 GT Heritage the one to own for posterity. Not only is the Ford GT an homage to a great chapter in racing history, but for the true fan, the only one to own is one wearing Gulf livery. In addition, this one is equipped with every single option available in 2006 and has been driven just 409 miles since new. For all intents and purposes, this car can be considered a new vehicle.
The bodies on the new Ford GT are plastic composite, not aluminum like the originals, but the shape is very much the same. The panels on this particular Heritage GT are factory fresh and as nice as these cars get. As a halo vehicle for Ford Motor Company, they were largely hand assembled and as a result, panel alignment is exceptional, the finish on the paint is show-quality, and it has been perfectly preserved and maintained since it was new. The Heritage cars also had an optional $1400 numbers package that included roundels on the doors, hood and deck lid where an owner could install his own numbers (personally, I think I would choose #6, which was the 1969 LeMans winner driven by Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver).
As you would expect of a virtually new car, the glass is unmarked and it's probable that the windshield wipers have never been used. Emblems, lenses, and other decorations are 100% new and undamaged doubt this car has even spent much time under the suns UV rays.
Mechanically, the Heritage editions are identical to the other Ford GTs, which is definitely a good thing. With 550 horsepower on tap from a 5.4 liter DOHC supercharged V8, this car is every bit a match for its competition. Ford engineers knew that their GT would be a showpiece, and designed the engine bay to be not only functional, but beautiful as well. The aluminum space frame is exposed and finished to show standards, with a uniform finish and nicely done welds. The supercharged engine features Ford Blue valve covers with "Powered by Ford" emblems, just like the originals. Each hand-built engine also features a small plaque signed by the engine builders, a personal touch present on high-end cars like Aston-Martin and Lamborghini.
And while you're back there checking out the engine, take a moment to admire the exposed suspension, too. Using technology that they could only dream of in 1966, the state-of-the-art suspension on the GT gives you a racecar for the street (or a street car that can compete on the track). Coil-over shocks manage a sophisticated double wishbone suspension that is compliant enough to dismiss all but the deepest potholes. Urban stop-start traffic, long commutes, back road boogies, a quick trip to the supermarket - the Porsche 911 is no longer the world's only "everyday supercar." Up front, a sharp steering system telegraphs road inputs directly to your hypothalamus without being twitchy. In short, Ford did its homework with this one. This car also carries the optional red-painted brake calipers at all four corners, hiding behind those gorgeous 18-inch front and 19-inch rear forged alloy wheels (a $3500 option!).
The black leather interior is just as much a tribute to the original as the exterior styling, albeit much more comfortable and accommodating. With leather buckets with special perforated cushions designed to emulate the metal rings in the original cars' seats, it's a brilliant adaptation of racecar styling. The dashboard spans across the driver's side of the car housing all the important gauges, with the tachometer placed front and center ahead of the steering wheel. Switchgear is thoughtfully designed to be a 21st century update on the basic toggle switches used in the track vehicles, and the stubby gearshift for the 6-speed manual looks right at home in the retro interior. Significant improvements have been made over the original in terms of comfort and ergonomics, however, and this GT sports a very powerful HVAC system that can chill a driver on the hottest days without the engine losing its cool. And I should really mention the $4000 McIntosh stereo system with 1000 watts of power and a killer subwoofer if the engines baritone isn't enough for you, this system should satisfy even the most demanding audiophiles. As with the exterior, everything is in as-new condition. The driver's seat shows exactly zero wear, and I wonder if anyone has ever sat in the passenger's seat at all. It even still faintly smells of a new car in there.
Documentation includes all the booklets, brochures, and other factory paperwork that a new owner would receive with his new Ford GT. We also have the original window sticker, title and purchase documents from Town and Country Ford (including the inspection checklist).
It's a well-known axiom in the collector car world when trying to determine future collectability: If it's special today, it will be special tomorrow. I can't imagine a more special modern car than one with this kind of history behind it. With a very limited production run, full documentation, every single available option, and little more than delivery miles, THIS is the Ford GT to add to your collection for the future. At RK Motors Charlotte, we know these cars are special, because they're still trading hands for more than sticker price, so it's clearly not the kind of car that will suffer typical used car depreciation (even most Ferraris can't claim that). Consider today's price the price of admission and it will only go up from here. Call now!
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