Coming soon: The 2017 Ford GT will bear 600-plus hp and is accepted to accept a abject amount abreast $400,000
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Bill Nelson wasn’t attractive for an investment, aloof a thrill. So, nine years ago, the then-64-year-old retired architect from Asbury, New Jersey, went to his bounded Ford banker and put bottomward $160,000 to buy the fastest and best big-ticket assembly car the aggregation had anytime built, the Ford GT.
“I’m a constant Ford guy,” he explains. “When I saw that car, I absolutely had to accept one.”
Owning America’s aboriginal supercar has accustomed Nelson added than his allotment of adrenalised drives on New Jersey’s aback roads. And one day it will potentially bear an absorbing acknowledgment on his money.
Earlier this year, addition Ford GT—one address an aboriginal VIN of 003—brought an amazing $605,000 at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale Auction. And bottom GTs commonly change easily for added than bifold their aboriginal sticker price. In fact, the GT is the alone American assembly car congenital this millennium that’s an affectionate archetypal rather than an expensive, acclimated fast car.
It’s not aloof 200mph top speeds but additionally ascent prices that abstracted accurate air-conditioned cars—such as the Ferrari F40, the Porsche Carrera GT and the McLaren F1—from boilerplate exotics, and the Ford GT has becoming its associates in this absolute club.
“Ford arrested off all the appropriate boxes,” says Wayne Carini, buyer of Connecticut’s F40 Motor sports and the host of Velocity’s Chasing Archetypal Cars. “It’s an iconic car.”
Buyers like Nelson aren’t so abundant purchasing 3,400 pounds of superplastic aluminum as they are the adventure abaft it. The GT is the almsman to one of the greatest antagonism cars of all time, the Le Mans-winning GT40s of the backward 1960s.
The GT40 activity was launched by Henry Ford II, who acquainted betrayed afterwards Enzo Ferrari backed out of a accord to advertise him his company. Beating the Ferraris at their own game, the GT40s competed during the sport’s Golden Age, aback race-winning cars could absolutely be apprenticed on the street. But there were alone 31 street-legal GT40s aback then, and they’ve back become all-but-unobtainable rarities, with multimillion-dollar amount tags.
The second-generation GT agitated a altered array of authorization from CEO Bill Ford: A aura car that would admire the company’s bazaar in 2003. And, of course, advice advertise Mustangs in the process. Engineering administrator Fred Goodnow was answerable with bearing three production-ready cars—red, white and blue—in a bald 15 months.
The aboriginal ancestor (code name Petunia) was arresting but too generic. “People apprehension it was the new Acura,” Goodnow recalls. Afterwards that black feedback, a visiting Ford controlling acicular to the aboriginal GT40 sitting in Ford’s architecture flat and provided the lightbulb moment. “It’s got to attending like that.”
Which created its own set of challenges. “If you spiral it up, anybody in the apple is activity to be agitated with you,” explains the GT’s arch designer, Camilo Pardo.
But the action paid off a brace of years after with a fresh-but-familiar appearance that landed the able-bodied GT on every car geek’s appetite list, including aboriginal adopters Jay Leno and Top Gear’s then-host Jeremy Clarkson. “They aloof absolutely captured the aspect of the original,” says Peter Klutt of Canada’s Legendary Motorcar Co, who has awash dozens of GTs and owns an aboriginal GT40 alley car. “And that’s a big deal.”
Pure sex address is one agency in the GT’s abrupt success, but so is simple accumulation and demand. Ford congenital alone 4,038 second-generation GTs, a assembly run big abundant for a band afterward but baby abundant to abstain a bazaar glut. “It’s not super-rare, but it’s cogent and cool,” says Klutt. “Just like a [Mercedes] Gullwing 300SL, every above accumulating has one.”
Earlier this year, at the Detroit Auto Show, Ford appeared to accept captured that lightning-in-a-chassis afresh with a third-generation 2017 GT. The aggregation is because antagonism at Le Mans on the 50th ceremony of the GT40’s aboriginal win there, and Ford will additionally aftermath 250 artery versions at a account amount of about $400,000. Designed to attempt with six-figure dream cars like the McLaren P1, La Ferrari, Porsche 918 and Bugatti Veyron, the V-6 powered third-gen GTs will acceptable be airtight up in an instant.
“The newer car is beneath accurate to the original,” says Klutt. “But the bazaar will say if it’s a abundant collectible or not.”
Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson, a GT buyer himself, believes that the massive action about the new GT, which will be appear backward abutting year, will abide to addition prices for second-gen cars as they cantankerous the bargain block: “I anticipate the apprehension of the next-generation car advancing out at three times the sticker amount is a big factor.”
How aerial can the bazaar for 2005-06 GTs go? “Even at the prices they’re advantageous today, the blast for the blade is fantastic,” argues Carini. “I wouldn’t say that a actor dollars is out of the catechism in 15-20 years.”
Will that absorbing countdown animate Bill Nelson to cast his red GT for a six-figure profit? Probably not. “It’s there, but I’m not tempted,” he laughs. “What would I drive?”
(This adventure appears in the 24 July, 2015 affair of Forbes India. You can buy our book adaptation from Magzter.com. To appointment our Archives, bang here.)
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