Words by Jay Anand
I blame Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson for my long term love affair with the Ford GT. As soon as I saw JC wax lyrical about a Midnight Blue GT adorned with White racing stripes I knew I had to own one. I totally bought into the classic racecar silhouette , large capacity V8, rear wheel drive with stick shift. My first GT (yes I have had several!) arrived in 2007. I bought it off of eBay, unseen and un-driven. As the GT was being unloaded from a transporter on my driveway, it was love at first sight. I had every faith that it would be an epic drive – I was not let down when I took my first blast. With the engine being mid-mounted you feel like it is bolted to the back of your seat, every millimetre of throttle applied is translated perfectly onto the road. The GT has no traction control so you have to keep your wits about you, applying 550bhp at the wrong time inevitably leads to disaster, something I learnt at the cost of my White with Midnight Blue racing stripes GT.
every millimetre of throttle applied is translated perfectly onto the road
With my first GT written off in dramatic fashion my son soon found me a second GT, a very special one too. It is a Avro 720 Mirage, the first of three cars produced and featured in EVO magazine as well as other publications. What makes the 720 Mirage different? For a start the power, 750bhp and 627lb ft of torque take the GT well and truly into hypercar territory. It will spin its wheel on a bone dry road all through second gear and even as you shift into third on full throttle. The extra power is the result of fitting a larger Whipple supercharger, throttle body, and a ceramic-coated exhaust. The 720 Mirage is unmistakable, painted in a unique orange paint with matt black detailing. To help keep as much of that power under control, Avro Motor Cars uprated the AP brakes, dropped the suspension by 25mm and increased the track width by 5mm using fully adjustable KW suspension.
I am now in the process of buying my third GT, this one will sit alongside my Mirage 720. It is a standard White car, just like my first one. My plan is to do the popular supercharger pulley upgrade, which increases power to 630bhp, not bad considering the cost of the reversible modification is under £700. There is some logic behind owning two GTs. My current one is pretty unique, I’ve been advised by my insurance company to increase the agreed value and run it less. I wasn’t happy with this advice of running my car less so Dave Jones, owner of Ford GT Specialist Garage called GT101 suggested I buy a second GT from the US. That way I can still drive a GT on a regular basis and everyone is happy! Values are rocketing up at the moment. In the UK the car was listed at £125,000, now you’ll be lucky to find one for double that. So why are they rising in value? Several reasons, the raw supercar experience on offer is no longer available in current supercars, the link to the iconic 60’s GT40 and also the announcement of a second generation Ford GT arriving in 2016. The GT is hot property across the globe, despite over 4,000 being made by Ford.
I can’t live without a Ford GT in my garage, it is a totally unique car to own and drive.
I don’t know of any other car that leads people in front of you on the road to pull over to let you by, just so they can get a better look. I wouldn’t say the car raises my pulse rate just by walking up to it, I am just so used to it now, but on the rare occasion when I am following in another car with one of my friends driving the GT, that’s when I really appreciate how amazing it is. It just looks perfect, hunkered down on the road, pulsating with energy and adrenalin. I love the carbon fibre seats, their 60’s inspired venting not only looks awesome, but they are surprising comfortable on a long drive. Getting in and out is also not as difficult as you might imagine, sure you can’t park in a regular bay because of the door roofs, but climbing in is not a yoga exercise. In fact I love the doors, they really finish off the look of the GT, in my eyes they are just as unique as gull wing doors on a Mercedes-Benz 300SL or the scissor doors on a Lamborghini Countach.
Water and a Ford GT don’t go together very well. Even with just a bit of moisture on the road, driving a GT becomes a nerve wracking experience. I don’t take mine out unless it is totally dry, it’s not fun holding yourself and the car back, I prefer waiting to use the car when the roads are dry so I can play with the throttle, letting the rear slide on the exit of wide bends and spitting flames on overrun. There is just so much power on tap, all the time, regardless of revs and gear. The supercharger kicks in at around 3,000 rpm but even below that the car is effortlessly fast. Fantastic with a side order of fantastic is how I would sum up owning and driving a Ford GT.
For regular maintenance, my GT is looked after by an ex-racing driver, along with all my other cars. However when the car requires more specialist attention or any hard to source parts I get in touch with Dave at GT101, they pretty much look after every Ford GT in the UK. Based in a new facility in Colchester they can do anything with a GT. Customers even use them to source cars from the US and the Continent. In terms of maintenance the Ford GT is a surprisingly reasonable car to keep in tip top condition. The brakes are cheap to replace, tyres can be expensive but if you shop around then you can find them for a reasonable price. Servicing is relatively straight forward, the only big job you need to prepare for is changing the clutch, which is £3500. Other than that you can run a GT without worry. I have done a number of European Tours in my GT, covering thousands of miles in a week and I have never been let down by the car. On these trips I’ve outrun pretty much every supercar and hypercar in existence. Sure a Bugatti Veyron will be faster but anything else is just annihilated, especially from a rolling start.
Would I sell my Ford GT? Never! For me there is nothing that could replace the GT as the complete supercar package. The Ford GT is a car that will always have a spot reserved in my garage. I must have an obsession with the GT, because I am also keen to add the 2016 Ford GT to my collection too.