The Ford GT 2005-2006 Buying Guide – Pure driving experience with 550bhp

A modern take on a timeless classic, the Ford GT supercar of the mid-2000s is so much more than just a nostalgic remake.

The Ford GT may have been a sentimental throwback and a showpiece for the manufacturers centennial celebrations, but it was also a devastatingly effective supercar beater, just like its forebear.

The Ford GT – Exotic Looks and impressive power

Exotic looks that shadowed the timeless GT40s lines, keen pricing and massive performance from proven internals made it an instant hit and with production capping out at just over 4000 units, the huge initial demand pushed prices up very quickly.

With so much nostalgia in the air why was it not called the GT40 then? Negotiations with GT40 nameplate owners and continuation GT40 builders, Safir, soured and Ford decided that the shortened GT name would have to suffice. Being 43 inches tall it wouldn’t have been strictly accurate anyway.

Harking back to the no-nonsense blue-collar muscle car era, the GT had no flappy paddles, ECU-controlled suspension or namby-pamby electro-trickery gizmos to help you out when you stomped on the loud pedal. The mighty 550bhp 5.4-litre supercharged V8 delivered its power in brutal fashion allowing it to outpace contemporary Italian exotics against the clock, proving once again that there really is no substitute for cubic inches, with a side order of supercharger.

Early production and delivery issues long forgotten, today the Ford GT has cemented itself into a position of a modern collector’s car, many are already sitting quietly in collections only to be brought out on sunny days to be gently driven round the block.

There’s not much choice in specification as there was one model available with four official options: BBS alloys, painted brake calipers, upgraded sound and racing stripes. Six external colour choices were offered with a unique Centennial White with blue decals being limited to the 2005 model year only. Power was from a 550bhp 5.4-litre supercharged V8 and the sole transmission option was a tough six-speed manual gearbox.

Ford GTs fall into three main categories; there are the delivery mileage stock standard garage queens valued highly by collectors. Then there are the cars that generally have fewer than 10,000miles on the clock and may have had some minor modifications or customisations carried out. Finally, there are the highly modified GTs that are more commonplace in the US and which vary wildly in price.

Ford, through its Racing Parts Catalogue, offered a number of modifications for GT owners such as sports exhausts or supercharger pulley modifications and a number of aftermarket modifications were also made available offering up to 1000bhp with twin turbo conversions and upgraded superchargers.

Some consider the 2005 model year to be a bit more special as they coincide with Ford’s 100-year anniversary, but these are also the cars that had the most teething problems, though these issues should have been resolved by now. Overall, the difference between the two model years is insignificant. With choices limited and demand high you may have to take what you can get.

A short production run, complex manufacturing processes and a rushed development cycle meant that some early production models were plagued by a number of faults that should all have been attended to under the original warranty. It is worth checking the service records to ensure that this was done.

Ford GT Engine and Gearbox

Unlike most supercars with this level of power, the GTs 5.4-litre supercharged motor is uncomplicated and mostly problem free. Services are still required every 5000 miles or annually but aside from that there is not much to worry about.

That said, early engines could suffer from a rear main seal oil leak due to incorrectly machined crankshafts.

The strong block can take a lot more power and a number of tuners offer big power boosts of up to 800bhp and more.

Gearchanges between first and second tend to be stiff and tight to engage until the transmission fluid has warmed through. This is a characteristic of the cars, however if there is excessive grinding or the stiffness persists then there may be an issue that will need sorting.

Failing gearbox shaft flange bolts affected some cars but should have been rectified by the dealers. Check the service records to be sure.

Ford GT Suspension and brakes

Power steering and engine coolant leaks affected some models but they were easily rectified with modified hoses. Steering column rattles were noted by some owners and most were repaired under warranty.

Suspension control arms on some very early cars cracked and reinforced replacement items were the solution.

Axle bolt failures affected cars throughout the production run so replacement parts should have been fitted to all models by now.

Ford GT Bodywork and Interior

At this stage no car should exhibit any signs of rust and the main things to look for is accident damage and damage to the underside of the car from errant stones or other road hazards.

Electrical systems had intermittent faults that could affect the climate control system as well as drain the batteries if cars were left standing. The instrument cluster is not the most reliable so check that everything is working as it should.

Model History of the Ford GT

1995: The angular GT90 concept shown at Detroit Auto Show was spiritual forerunner of GT

2002: GT40 concept car shown at Detroit Auto Show with the new GT styling language

2004: Production commences for 550bhp 5.4-litre V8 supercharged GT40. Numerous teething troubles cause delays and recalls

2005: Deliveries start to customers. 343 Heritage Edition examples built

2006: Mesh grille replaced in favour of slatted grille. Final GT built with 4038 units produced, the majority for the US market and just 28 officially imported into the UK

Which Ford GT To Buy

Ford GTs are part of the handful of supercars that have never cost less than their new list price. Even so the past few years have seen a sharp rise in prices especially for ultra-low mileage unmodified examples. Certain delivery mileage examples, especially the Centennial edition cars, tend to command the highest prices.

Modified or slightly more careworn cars can be found for less, although you are more likely to find them in the US. The rarer exterior colours (so anything but red) also tend to push prices up. Offering up a thoroughly immersive driving experience in a modern muscle-car sort of way, the Ford GT is a great depreciation-proof alternative to the latest supercars on the market.

Ford GT Specifications

5.4-litre Supercharged V8

Power: 550bhp

Top speed: 205mph

0-60mph: 3.5sec

Economy: 15.5mpg

Ford GT (2005)

Words John Tallodi Photos Ford, The Hairpin Company

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