2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition

Ryan Merrill © 2014, courtesy of Auctions America
Ryan Merrill © 2014, courtesy of Auctions America

Inspired by the all-conquering GT40 race cars that beat Ferrari at Le Mans and won the famed 24-hour race four years in a row, the Ford GT was much more than a mere design resemblance when it was launched. It was a supercar the likes of which Detroit had never before produced. On top speed alone, it surpassed even the Porsche Carrera GT and Mercedes-McLaren SLR. It even set new lap records on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife — faster than many of the highly developed cars from Porsche.

The blue and orange JW Automotive/Gulf Oil livery worn by the cars of the John Wyer racing teams of the 1960s and 1970s is one of the most widely respected and recognized in the world. In 2006, Ford added this special limited-edition paint scheme to the exclusive GT, with this particular machine finished in a striking Heritage Blue with Epic Orange stripes and white roundels, and displaying the racing number “6” in honor of the last victory at Le Mans for the legendary GT40.

Power comes from a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 with a 6-speed gearbox, producing 550 horsepower and uttering a throaty, muscular exhaust note. Featuring space-age construction technologies, the GT was produced in four distinct stages. Initial assembly was at Norwalk, Ohio’s Mayflower Vehicle Systems. The cars were painted by Saleen at the Saleen Special Vehicles facility in Troy, MI, and engine assembly was at Ford’s Romeo, MI, engine plant. Finally, engine and transmission installation, plus interior finishing, was at Ford’s Wixom, MI, plant.

This “Heritage” Ford GT is one of 343 produced. With meticulous ownership from new and only 80 miles driven, this remarkable example is, for all practical matters, a new car. It is factory-equipped with all four available options, including the $5,000 painted stripes, the $4,000 McIntosh CD stereo system, the $3,500 lightweight BBS forged-aluminum wheels, and the $750 color-matched Brembo brake calipers.

Only 4,038 Ford GT cars were produced, with approximately 550, 1,900 and 1,600 built during 2004, 2005 and 2006, respectively. Demand outstripped supply, with early cars selling for substantial premiums over the MSRP. It would no doubt be to the delight of Henry Ford II, Enzo Ferrari’s archrival during the 1960s, that the Ford GT remains more than capable of running with its competition from Maranello today.

 

John L. Stein

John L. Stein - SCM Contributor

John is the product of the 1960s SoCal car and bike culture and has been screwing around with Ducati motorcycles since he was 16. An interest in cars, bikes and boats saw him simultaneously owning a twin-cam Lotus Europa and Kaiser Special, NSU Super Max and Ducati 750 GT motorbikes, and a mahogany Chris-Craft runabout. After leaving his job as Road Test Editor at Cycle magazine, he had a short-lived career in marine biology before becoming Associate Editor at Automobile and then Editor of Corvette Quarterly, GM’s official journal for Corvette. He’s American Car Collector magazine’s Corvette Market columnist and a regular contributor to Sports Car Market.

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