Skip to main content

Ford GT

Ford GT American classic supercar

The Ford GT was the firm's birthday present to itself ... or, anyone with a spare $203,599 lying about! Created to mark the company centenary, it was released in 2005. The new GT was inspired by one of the finest cars Ford had ever produced. The iconic GT40 racer was a multiple Sixties Le Mans winner. The new GT40's prototype d├ębuted at the 2002 Detroit Auto Show. Feedback was fulsome! In short order, Ford confirmed that they would be putting the prototype into production. 4,038 GT40s were built ... somewhat shy of the 4,500 Ford had envisaged.

But, if the GT's styling harked back to the past, on the technical front, it was cutting edge. A venturi - cut into the floor-pan - provided plenty of down-force. High-speed grip was further enhanced by huge Goodyear Eagle tyres. And the GT40 needed every bit of that grip - as its 5.4-litre engine pushed traction to the limit! The aluminium V-8 was fitted with a Lysholm supercharger. The cylinder-heads were fastidiously fettled. There were high-lift cams. When Ford's engineers were finished, there was 550bhp on tap. Torque was massive - 0-60mph turning up in just 3.7s! The car's body and space-frame chassis chipped in, too - both being forged from light aluminium. Transferring the torque to the tarmac was independent, double wishbone suspension.

Despite its power, this car was more practical than its predecessor. GT40 referenced its height - all 40″ of it! At least this version was wider and longer. As far as head- and leg-room went, then, things were looking up! In performance terms, too, the new model was more user-friendly. Those titanic torque stats translated to to-die-for acceleration. The GT, though, could mood-shift in an instant - and cruise, seemingly without effort. Saying that, the 6-speed transmission was there, if required. With the new GT, Ford had homed in on the ultimate all-rounder. It took the sales fight to its supercar rivals! A top speed of 204mph was more than competitive - and was served up in manageable, safety-first form. Ford's new GT40 was a meticulously-crafted celebration of speed.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

FN Four

In terms of breakthroughs in the history of motorcycling, there cannot be many to rival the first in-line four engine. Belgium was the birthplace of this landmark layout. FN was the much-to-be-thanked manufacturer.The FN Four first hit the highway in 1911. It produced 4bhp. That, from a 491 cc capacity. At the time, such figures described state-of-the-art technology. Top speed for the FN Four was 40mph. Not bad - for an 8-valve inlet-over-exhaust set-up. Oh, it was air-cooled.The FN Four was light - tipping the scales at 165lb dry. Not only the motor, but the chassis, too, was avant-garde. It featured an early form of telescopic forks. A new-fangled clutch - and 2-speed 'box - only added to the FN Four's slick box of tricks. Solid shaft-drive output the power. Who, then, designed this visionary vintage? You will not hear the name Paul Kelekom shouted from motorcycling's rooftops. But, you should - for it was he who fashioned the FN Four. In so doing, he ki…

Gilera Saturno

Gilera was a big player in the realm of 1950s motorbike manufacturing. After that, the firm met with mixed fortunes. Gilera's Fifties flagship - the Saturno - was launched in '46. Rolled out in 'Sport', 'Touring', and 'Competition' modes, the Saturno would sell well for years.The Saturno 'production racer' was a hit both on road and track. Competitive for many seasons, it remained so for some time after its production run finished - at the fag-end of the '50s.In road-going form, the Saturno stayed tethered to the tarmac - thanks to its telescopic forks, and vertical rear shocks. Indeed, it would gain a reputation as a 'performance bike' of its day. Towards the end, Gilera was linked with Piaggio, Vespa - and the scooter scene, generally. Illustrious though those names still were, Gilera's glory days were behind it. Bikes like the Saturno, though, still shone a light for past success.

NSU Ro80

The styling of the NSU Ro80 was ahead of its time. At first glance, masses of glass were straight out of science-fiction. Closer inspection revealed the gently rising line of its profile - giving it a low front, high back stance - which would influence automotive design for years to come. The 5-seater body was supremely aerodynamic for a saloon car - making cruising at speed a breeze. So flawless was it outwardly that it was hardly touched in ten years of production. Just the tail-lights were modified, on later versions.The Ro80's handling was equally impressive. FWD - and precision power-steering - kept it perfectly pointed. The long-travel strut suspension soaked up bumps. High-efficiency disc brakes were fitted all round. The 3-speed semi-automatic transmission swept through the gears with aplomb. Top speed was a sound 112mph.But, of course, nothing is perfect. The Ro80 was powered by a twin-rotor Wankel engine. Unfortunately - in a rush to get the car into showroom…