LIVING LEGEND COMES TO LIFE AS FORD DELIVERS FIRST PRODUCTION 2005 FORD GT
- 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance auction winner to take delivery of the first 2005 Ford GT supercar on August 4, 2004 in Seattle
- It is the first production 2005 Ford GT offered for sale to the public
- Proceeds from the sale of the car benefit the designated charities of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
- Jay Leno to receive his 2005 Ford GT next week in Los Angeles
KENT, Wash., August 4, 2004 - For Jon Shirley, "life in the fast lane" is about to have an entirely new meaning. Today, Shirley will take delivery of the first production 2005 Ford GT, becoming the first buyer of America's new supercar.
Shirley, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Seattle Art Museum, earned the right to buy the first production Ford GT at last year's Christie's Auction in Pebble Beach, Calif. He outlasted other bidders for 2005 Ford GT chassis number 10, certified by Ford as the first 2005 Ford GT offered for sale to the public. (Ford has reserved the first nine cars for internal use). Proceeds from the auction, which netted $557,500.00, benefit the designated charities of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
The car, delivered to Shirley at Bowen Scarff Ford in Kent, was produced with Shirley's choice of color (Midnight Blue with white stripes) and options (McIntosh Radio, lightweight BBS Wheels, and grey painted brake calipers). Each Ford GT will be powered by a hand-built aluminum 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 producing 550 horsepower and 500 lb.-ft. of torque. With a top speed of 205 miles per hour, it is the fastest production car ever to wear the Ford oval.
"I can't wait to get behind the wheel," said Shirley, a retired Microsoft executive who lives in Medina, Wash. "The GT has classic lines and great power, and it's reminiscent of the GT40s of the 1960's that were so successful. It's going to be a thrill to drive this car."
"The Ford GT is the ultimate automotive living legend," said Paul Russell, Ford GT marketing manager. "It is a true supercar with appeal equal to that of the greatest sports cars in the world, plus a celebrated heritage no one can match. We congratulate Mr. Shirley on his purchase of a Ford GT. I'm sure he's going to enjoy driving this car."
Public sale number two will take place next week in Los Angeles, when Jay Leno, host of NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," receives his 2005 Ford GT in Los Angeles. Coincidentally, it was Leno who drove the prototype Ford GT onto the ramp at the auction in Pebble Beach last August where Shirley was the winning bidder.
The Ford GT is inspired by the car that roared into the hearts and minds of enthusiasts everywhere during the 1960s. The original GT project and cars were spearheaded by then-company Chairman and CEO Henry Ford II. His goal was to change racing history. With these cars, generally referred to as GT40s because of the roof height of 40 inches from the ground, Ford won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four years in a row - 1966 through 1969. Over its racing history, the Ford GT family won all of the world's major endurance races, and brought World Sports Car Championships to Ford in 1966 and '67, and the World Manufacturers' Championship in 1966 and '68.
While the GT and its historic predecessor share an almost identical silhouette, every dimension, curve and line of the new car is a unique reinterpretation of the original. The new car is more than 18 inches longer and stands nearly 4 inches taller. Powered by Ford's MOD 5.4-liter supercharged V8 mounted amidships, the car offers the impressive combination of 550 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. The power is put to the road through a Ricardo six-speed manual transaxle featuring a helical limited-slip differential.
As on the historic race car, the Ford GT aluminum body panels are unstressed. Instead of the steel or honeycomb-composite tubs used in the 1960s, the Ford GT team developed an all-new aluminum space frame as the foundation. The front fenders curve over 18-inch wheels and Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires. In the tradition of original Ford GT racers, the doors are cut into the roof. Prominent on the leading edge of the rear quarter panel are functional cooling scoops that channel fresh air to the engine. The rear wheel wells, filled with 19-inch wheels and tires, define the rear of the car, while the accent line from the front cowl rejoins and finishes the car's profile at the integrated "ducktail" spoiler.
The chassis features unequal-length control arms and coil-over spring-damper units to allow for its low profile. Braking is handled by four-piston aluminum Brembo monoblock calipers with cross-drilled and vented rotors at all four corners.
The interior design incorporates the novel "ventilated seats" and instrument layout of the original car, with straightforward analog gauges and a large tachometer. Modern versions of the original car's toggle switches operate key systems.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is the world's second-largest automaker with approximately 335,000 employees and operations in more than 200 markets on six continents. Its automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Credit, Hertz and Quality Care. The company's world headquarters is in Dearborn, Mich. Additional information can be found on the company's Web site at www.ford.com.