At the 2002 introduction of the modern-day GT40 concept car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI, Ford’s vice president of design, J. Mays, declared the GT40 “the ultimate living legend.” Further, he added, “It’s a true supercar with appeal equal to that of the greatest sports cars in the world, but with the addition of a heritage no one can match.”
Such was the roaring approval from both the press and public alike that Ford’s CEO, William Clay Ford Jr., decided to give a limited production version the green light.
Full production began in the spring of 2004, with a limit of no more than 4,500 cars set. Assembly of the GT began at Mayflower Vehicle Systems in Norwalk, OH, and they were transferred to Saleen for paint application at their facility in Troy, MI. The engines were built at Ford’s Romeo Engine Plant, with final assembly handled by the SVT team at Ford’s Wixom, MI, plant.
All GTs are designated 2005 and 2006 models, with the first examples delivered in August 2004. The first Ford GT made available to any member of the general public was chassis #10.
Other examples were offered to select clientele; the purchase agreement included a clause that the owner had to hold the car for at least 24 months, during which Ford had the right of first refusal to buy the car back. Chassis numbers 01 through 09 were reserved for “internal use” by Ford, following a long tradition of those first examples being offered mainly to Ford family members and certain executives.
Michael Dingman served on the board of directors of the Ford Motor Co. for more than two decades and was offered one of these special reserve vehicles. On the order form sent to Dingman on May 18, 2004, a handwritten notation in the offering letter reads “car #2.” It is believed that chassis #01 is retained directly by Ford Motor Company.
Chassis #02 is finished in Mark II Black (which is understood to have not been available to the public until later in the production cycle) and optioned with full stripes, BBS aluminum wheels, and the McIntosh Audiophile Sound System.
The total production of the Ford GT was just 4,038 examples, ending on September 21, 2006. With a top speed of 205 mph, the Ford GT offers performance and a legendary pedigree. It resides in the elite club of modern supercars, and this example will be set apart from all others due to the exceptional pedigree of its existence and its illustrious first owner.