Is this the most significant Ford GT of them all?
Chassis #007 – the Ford GT test mule – has whipped up a frenzy as of late, but why is it more significant than others? Here's why it's so important
As 2003 saw out its last few moments, 2004 beckoned a wave of culture change – albeit under the radar. For every demise, there was a new trend sowing a seed. Legendary sitcom Friends came to an end just as little known website Facebook launched its URL. Aston Martin ushered in the new DB9 as Sex and the City ran out of juice.
Then, while the world weeped as Pierce Brosnan announced his retirement from the James Bond franchise, Ford finalised the design of an all-new action hero – the Ford GT.
A descendant of the Le Mans-derived GT40 racer, Ford’s reinvention paid direct homage to the four-times 24 Hours of Le Mans champion. Except, where the raw track hero offered the utilitarianism of a Monk’s bedchamber, the new boy was lined with comfort and presented handling ability like few other American machines.
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Re-igniting the public love affair with Ford’s supercar, power was derived from a 5.4-litre V8, churning out 550bhp and capable of propelling a driver and passenger beyond 200mph. The drivetrain could crack 62mph (100km/h) from a standstill in 3.8 seconds, but if that wasn’t enough then 124mph could be breached in little over 12 seconds. Madness.
Production ended in 2006, with a decade long gap before the steroid-packed second generation form was unveiled to the masses. Nowadays, collectors are swarming back to early production models as the modern genesis point – but you can go one further...
Why is this prototype so significant?
Chassis #007, known to Ford engineers as CP4 (Confirmation Prototype 4), was not only a prototype testmule, but also the very first Ford GT to be driven over 200mph, during a speed run at the Michigan Proving Grounds. Require proof? There's Velcro tape on the dashboard which hides the markings left by mounting equipment, used to house tracking instruments.
The advert also claimed the interior enjoyed ‘pre-production appointments’, although from pictures provided the differences between itself and a production model seems minimal. Apart from badging, the cabin has a more Spartan feel. No bad thing, it purely adds to the sporting allure.
The GT also boasts the signatures of all 15 test engineers who used this very model to fine-tune factory aerodynamics, handing, and suspension.
Considered to be the most significant test car of the lot, this mid-engined, two-seater beast should prove a more worthy investment for the new custodian than simply having money in the bank. Can your interest rate do 0-184mph in 44 seconds? We very much doubt it…
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