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Tuesday, 16 May 2006 23:38

2006 Ford GT

Written by Conor Twomey

ford gtWhen you slide behind the wheel of a sports car like the Porsche 911 or a Corvette you get a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Their speed and poise make you feel wonderful about life and everywhere you go people stare and give you the thumbs up.

However, when you get into a Supercar the feeling is one of raw fear, and when the car is as intimidating as the Ford GT you regret not bringing spare underwear. All kinds of bad thoughts go through your mind: Will I crash this thing? Will it do something I’m not prepared for? Will I get arrested?

Getting in is a bit difficult since the GT sits only 44 inches high. To compensate for this and facilitate entry and exit, Ford added a chunk of the roof on the door. Climbing in without looking like a tool takes some practice. Care is also needed if you want to avoid a scalping when closing the door. Turning the ignition only makes things worse. There is a lot more noise and vibration in the GT than you get with a regular sedan, and, at this point, I am wondering if I’ll make it out of the parking lot without flipping it. But once I sink the light clutch and pop it smoothly into first, my fears begin to subside. Despite the deep rumble of the engine and the low-slung driving position, at low speeds the Ford GT is as docile as a Focus.Visibility is limited but the ride is smooth, the controls are light and if you drive it like a normal car it behaves with impeccable manners. Within a few minutes I’m feeling quite at home in Ford’s flagship Supercar. What was I so worried about?

test drive, ford gt

test drive, ford gt

The Ford GT is a source of confusion for onlookers. Naturally, it draws stares and points from all angles but most people have no idea what it is and think you are joking when you tell them it is a Ford. Many assume it’s a Lamborghini or a Ferrari. Ironically, the only reason this car exists is because of Ferrari. Back in the sixties, Henry Ford II was interested in buying Ferrari but the company’s founder and boss, Enzo Ferrari, rebuked Ford’s advances. Ford II was so enraged that he enlisted the help of Carroll Shelby to kick Ferrari where it hurts most—on the racetrack. Ford built the original Ford GT to beat Ferrari at the most famous race of all: The Le Mans 24 Hour. In 1966 Ford not only beat Ferrari, the GT40 claimed the entire podium and went on a four-year Le Mans winning streak that earned the car a prominent place in racing history.

test drive, ford gt

The new GT is a shameless copy of the original car but I’m okay with that because the original was absolutely stunning. While the new car is more aerodynamic and bigger than its 60s predecessor, there are a surprising number of similarities between them. Both share the same mid-engine, rear-drive layout and the same double-wishbone suspension.

test drive, ford gt

 


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