2005 Ford GT
Lot 827 | Passion for the Drive: The Cars of Jim Taylor | Estimate: $450,000 - $500,000
Chassis No. 1FAFP90S75Y402057
The development of the original Ford GT40 of the late 1960s is a tale oft-told. After his attempts to buy Enzo Ferrari's company were rudely spurned, Henry Ford II determined to beat Ferrari at his own game, the 24-hour race at Le Mans, Europe's most important motorsport competition. Against all odds, Ford did exactly that, and the mid-engined GT40 won at Le Mans in 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1969 – four years in a row. The GT40's 1966 victory was the first win for an American manufacturer in a major European race since Fred and August Duesenberg in 1921. Equally significantly, the GT40 established Ford's high-performance credentials, important in the Total Performance era that saw the birth of the Shelby GT350, Cobra, and other great high-speed Blue Oval cars.
So lasting was the indelible image of the GT40 on enthusiasts' consciousness that in 2004 it was returned to production, as a fully modern, state-of-the-art supercar designed to compete against Europe's best. While externally it was visually similar to the original, it was a completely 21st Century design, with a superplastic-formed frame, aluminum and composite body panels, bonded floor panels, and an aluminum cover with one-piece carbon fiber inner panel over the longitudinal, rear-mounted all-alloy supercharged overhead-cam V-8, producing some 550 bhp. The new GT was an extraordinary driving machine and is still considered one of the best supercars ever produced; it was, in Ford's language, 'The Pace Car for an Entire Company.'
This 2005 model was ordered for its first owner in Centennial White with all four available factory options: over-the-top Blue racing stripes, lightweight forged aluminum BBS wheels, painted brake calipers, and a McIntosh digital sound system. One of two early GTs in Mr. Taylor's ownership, the second being the perfectly preserved, as-new 2006 model also offered in this sale, the 2005 model was acquired to be the 'driver' of the pair, and at the time of cataloging had accumulated 6,938 miles in his hands. It bears the autographs of none other than Carroll Shelby and his wife, Cleo, who signed it while visiting the Saratoga Automobile Museum – and the car was driven by another great, Paul Newman. The car remains in very good overall condition throughout, and is accompanied by its front license plate bracket, car cover in bag, set of books, and air compressor.
An excellent driver's example of the Ford GT, this car is every bit as exciting as when it was new.