Few cars have fully captured their past glories as well as has the Ford GT. The rooftop modification on today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe GTX1 prototype appends that glorious history, with what could only be considered a glory hole.
It shouldn't have been built, it couldn't have been this good, it was a balls-out supercar from a company that at the time was focused on SUVs. Regardless, the powers that be, looking both back and to the future, deigned that the Ford GT should be built. And it wasn't just good, it was magnificent.
Envisioned as a no-compromise, limited production ode to Ford's centenary, the GT single white female'd the original Le Mans-eating GT40 MkI of the sixties. Despite the erie resemblance, the GT is larger in every direction, including a full 3 inches of height, making the 40-inch rooftop naming origin of its ‘60s ancestor unsuitable for this beast.
The Chinese philosopher, Laozi is quoted as saying The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long and GT production burned ever so brightly from only late 2004 though the first months of 2007 for a total run of 4,038 cars. The GT wasn't only a halo car for Ford's hundredth birthday, it was also a proving ground for numerous new technologies including superplastic forming of the aluminum body panels and the cap-less fuel door. It also provided a home for Ford's 5.4-litre modular DOHC V8, upon the top of which was bolted a Lysholm twin-screw supercharger. This gave the GT a healthy 550 horsepower and a zero to sixty time that raised Ford into the pantheon of performance normally reserved for car makers with egregiously multi-syllabic names.
It all seemed a near perfect machine, and little could be envisioned as how to make better the GT, until someone came along with a hacksaw.
Today's candidate is not just a GT, it is a GTX1, which does improve upon the original by turning it into an open-top roadster. In addition to the getting to enjoy the 200+ mile per hour breeze, you also are privy to all the aural pleasures that the blown alloy eight can produce, and with a re-mapped computer and some other fiddling, that's now somewhere in the neighborhood of 700-bhp, which is a very tawny neighborhood indeed. I should clarify however, this isn't just one of the 50 or so GTs that were converted to open containers, this is the GTX1 prototype. That's right, numero uno, the first of its kind, the one that started it all. This car has appeared in more magazines and on more fan boi desktops than Megan Fox and the cast of Jersey Shore combined.
And what, pray tell, is it like to drive? Well, for that bit of commentary, allow me to hand things over to one of the most famous car enthusiasts. . . in the world.
This praise spills forth from a man who typically finds American cars as desirable as constipation, and as engaging as a conversation with the cat.
But that's just not the case here, and in fact Jezza liked the standard GT so much he bought one. His love affair with the American missile car paled after he realized that the entirety of the English roads system would need to be widened for the Ford to be practical, however he still sings its praises, and as you have seen, likes the GTX1 even more. As noted in the ad, this car was originally an arrest-me red GT, with a June 1 2004 inception date, and was the second of the 2,022 built for the 2005 model year. Along with the roof went the red paint, and the car has since had its silver over Florida Orange Juice re-sprayed for that just picked from the tree fresh look. The current odometer reading of 53,842 indicates that this car hasn't sat idle in a museum, so everything should be working nominally without any use-it-or-lose-it shenanigans.
Clarkson compares the exhaust's bellow to a category 9 hurricane, but to me it's the aural equivalent of an entire pride of enraged lions descending straight at you from the open tail of a C130. If you're thinking that fusillade of canon fire exhaust right behind your head might get tiresome after a hundred miles or so, then you probably should be looking elsewhere to spend your more than a half-million George Washingtons. Perhaps you would prefer a yacht or celebrity hooker?
For those of you still with me, consider the fact that this prototype, being the first, is unique even among the rarefied air surrounding the clutch of existing GTX1s. That, along with the pristine presentation and accompanying documentation, makes this car worthy of its elevated stature. The question however, is whether it's worth $525,000.
That's a lot of scratch, and standard GTs command well less than half that amount these days. Of course not too many standard GTs can have the claim made that Jeremy Clarkson has planted his ample ass in their seats and power-slid them around Willow Springs. So, is that a fair price for someone of means to emulate Jezza? Or, is this prototype - prototypically - too expensive?
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.