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A PAIR OF PETUNIAS: Ford parlayed their GT code name into sweet-smelling success

Written by independent automotive journalist Steve Magnante   This low-mileage 2005 Ford GT is among the examples of the first-generation GT crossing the auction block in Scottsdale.   The second-generation Ford GT is one of the modern eras most controversial and desired special-interest vehicles. Patterned after the Le Mans-winning GT40 race cars of the mid-60s, the GT was conjured to help Ford celebrate its 100th anniversary (1903-2003) with style and excitement. During a two-model-year production run (2005-2006), a total of 4,038 were built. The controversial thing about the GT is what Ford charged for it or rather didnt charge. Unlike certain prior self-aware Ford halo vehicles, which were worthy, but budget-minded, parts bin raids with exciting graphics (think Mustang Cobra R, SVT Lightning) the GT was the real deal and the closest thing to a true race car for the street ever offered for mass consumption. From its aluminum body and frame and roll-bonded floor panels to its stir friction welded center tunnel, every sub-system was fresh and exotic. Development cost Ford dearly . One would think dealer prices would have reflected that fact. But heres the rub. Instead of slapping an insane, sky-high price tag on it and limiting production to a few hundred units, Ford returned to a variation on Henry Fords century old Model T sales strategy price them low and watch them go and set MSRP at $139,995 (bumped to $149,995 on July 1, 2005). While 150K wasnt a price everyone could swallow, it was certainly low enough (roughly twice the price of a loaded Corvette) to move every unit quickly. When production ended on May 31, 2007, it wasnt due to a slackening of demand. No way. What snuffed the GT was ever-evolving government side-impact crashworthiness standards that doomed the GTs iconic lift-up side doors. In fact, the end of GT output triggered something few modern cars have experience: virtually zero depreciation. As we all know, depreciation takes hold of any new car as soon as its driven off the lot. Not so the GT. Almost immediately, owners of well-kept GTs discovered they could sell their mounts at a profit or at least avoid the financial beatings faced by sellers of most comparable supercars. In the case of the red 2005 to be offered at the 2019 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, owner Dr. Alex Rusynyk of Florida bought the car in 2010 with get this 40 miles on the odometer. This sleek 2005 Ford GT has just over 50 miles on the odometer. We had to ask: In the near decade since purchasing it, has he explored the GTs 205-mph top speed, 11.8-second quarter-mile and 3.3-second 0-60 potential? Im struggling to recall exciting moments Ive had with the car, but there arent many, he admits. The ultra-low mileage put in my head a sort of obligation to keep the miles as low as possible. I live in a gated community and am pretty sure folks I passed on the sidewalk got the better end of the bargain with memories to savor about how they saw a Ford GT today. Such is the double-edged sword of ultra-low-mileage collector cars. And so Dr. Rusynyks pristine 2005 GT now shows a mere 52 miles. While every one of the GTs built is special, this 2005 is loaded with each of the four extra-cost options offered: racing stripes, McIntosh sound system, painted brake calipers and lightweight forged alloy wheels (which replace the standard 6-spoke rims with spider-like 10-spoke units from BBS). These four additions bumped the Window Sticker an extra $13,500. This pampered 2006 Ford GT is headed to the Scottsdale Auction at No Reserve. The second Ford GT being offered at No Reserve is Larry Coopers 2006 model . Unlike the 2005, his 06 has been enjoyed sparingly. With 2,746 miles showing on the odometer, its 550-horsepower 5.4-liter DOHC V8 and Ricardo 6-speed gearbox are well-bedded-in and ready for more enjoyment. We snuck a peek at the tread depth on the rear tires and happily can report minimal wear thats consistent with the front tire treads. Did we mention that Ford GTs are superb burn-out machines in the hands of hooligans? Not here. Like the low-mile 2005 on offer, this 2006 also has the factory stripe package, red brake calipers and BBS, and a McIntosh sound system. Interestingly, unlike virtually every other Ford product, there were no major model-year changes made to the 2006 GT to differentiate it from the 2005. Besides the aforementioned $10,000 price bump for 2006, even an assembly worker at Fords Wixom, Michigan, final assembly plant would be hard-pressed to tell them apart. Speaking of assembly plants, every GT spent time at no fewer than three build facilities as it made its way from bare chassis to thrill-making supercar. Work began in Norwalk, Ohio, at Mayflower Vehicle Systems, then each tub was transported (enclosed) to Troy, Michigan, where paint was applied at Saleen Special Vehicles. From there, engine and power train systems were installed, and final assembly took place at Fords Wixom, Michigan, SVT shop. If you think Ford made a dollar in profit on any GT, think again. But thats to ignore the Big Picture. The fabulous amount of worldwide publicity and praise generated by the GT program was worth its weight in gold. Better still, as just over 4,000 lucky owners can attest, every GT has a line of potential buyers waiting to take over if the decision is made to sell. Some question whether the new-generation 2017-20 GT will hurt the value of 2005-06 GTs, but we have to say no . Ford has had a change of strategy with the all-new 647-horsepower twin-turbo V6 version. Far fewer are being made, and the nearly half-million-dollar price tag has severely reduced the number of qualified buyers. So while the new GT is sure to meet with success, its scarcity is sure to send frustrated buyers looking for the next best thing: the 2005-06 model. Dont miss out. Be sure to bid on one or both of these like-new, low-mile GTs at the 2019 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction. And remember, theres No Reserve! For a look at all the vehicles on the 2019 Scottsdale Preview Docket (with more vehicles being added daily), click HERE .


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