If its dress is reminiscent of the mythical GT40 victorious at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the GT is a totally different and ultramodern supercar. But did she know how to preserve its spirit?
A beautifully reimagined myth
It’s a tour de force that Ford has achieved with the GT: selling under its coat of arms, essentially connoted in mass production (and for good reason!), not a sports car but an authentic supercar. And credibly too! It must be said that the Dearborn manufacturer is the only generalist to have scored a hat-trick at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, under Ferrari’s nose and beard. It’s 1966, thanks to the GT40. The 1967, 1968 and 1969 editions of the Le Mans event will also go to the Blue Oval. Also, when he presented a GT40 concept in 2002 evoking these exploits, in anticipation of his centenary, the public was won over. Designers Camilo Pardo and J Mays, its chef, have skilfully reinterpreted the design of the mythical racing model, itself designed so brilliantly that it has aged only slightly in nearly 40 years. Also, the decision is made to produce the show car, and three pre-series models are exhibited a year later. The GT40 is so named because of its height of 40 inches (about 1 m). Its descendant will be less low, so will not deserve this name. So much the better, because Ford no longer owns it! As a result, his sixties-looking supercar will simply be called GT. From its ancestor, it recovers the mid-engine architecture, the latter still being a V8. But the similarities end there. Because the GT is adorned with an ultramodern aluminum structure, produced in Ohio at Mayflower. The block comes from Ford’s organ bank but its forged moving assembly is specific. Above all, this 5.4 l with 4 overhead camshafts and 32 valves benefits from dry sump lubrication and supercharging by a Lysholm twin-screw compressor. As a result, it develops 558 hp for an enormous torque of 678 Nm! For its part, the box remains a strictly manual 6-speed unit, supplied by Ricardo. It sends power to the rear wheels via a Torsen limited-slip differential, but without any traction control. Besides, apart from ABS, there is no driving assistance. Fortunately, the double-wishbone running gear was developed with the help of Carroll Shelby, while the massive 355mm cross-drilled discs are gripped by 4-piston calipers. Healthy and safe. So much the better, because the car tops out at 330 km/h! The price of around $139,995 seems reasonable, as does the €170,000 claimed for one of the seven cars officially planned for France. Unfortunately, the GT will not evolve other than by special liveries (Heritage, Titanium). Also, of the 4,500 cars planned, 4,038 will be sold until 2007, including 101 in Europe (which corresponds to the number of road GT40s manufactured). On the Old Continent, depollution obliges, the power drops to 500 hp… Quite sufficient!
This car is superb. Inside and outside. If it is not easy to take place on board in spite of the large indentation on the pavilion, one feels good there once installed. But headroom is limited. Given the enormous power and the absence of ESP, we set off with ultimately unjustified apprehension. The controls, consistent, allow you to really feel the car, which is also precise, very well balanced and equipped with tolerant suspensions. We get caught up in the game and increase the pace to exploit the colossal grip! Behind you, the V8 embellishes its growl with a mew, due to the compressor. It pushes very hard but gradually, and the box backs it up perfectly. It is not made for high speeds, but allows extraordinary performance. In short, this car surprises with its ease of handling and its homogeneity. We could see ourselves going on vacation with it, except that there is no safe!
The mechanics are reliable, but recalls have taken place, for the rear suspension, the screws of the half-shafts of the wheels or the airbags. Check that they have been done correctly. Also make sure that the aluminum chassis and bodywork are in good condition, as they may have been damaged in an accident.
The GT has never lost value. On the contrary, it immediately aroused speculation and then gained collector status. In 2013, she was already claiming a minimum of €200,000, or €30,000 more than her list price. In 2015, Bonhams sold a European model for €373,750. In 2017 Artcurial sold an American GT homologated in France for €347,768, then for €375,480 that of Johnny Hallyday in 2020. Currently, a fine example with more than 20,000 km is trading for €350,000. In the USA, GTs with around 10,000 miles sell for $385,000, those with less than 100 miles fetch $500,000. Add $200,000 for a GT Heritage (343 units) or Midnight Blue (190 units) livery. Rising values, especially for the examples that have been driven very little, the classic evolution of a modern supercar.
2002: Appearance of the GT concept.
2003: The almost final version is presented.
2004: Marketing of the GT.
2007: The last GTs are sold.
3 key points