Hagerty.com’s Eddy Eckart celebrates the 2005-2006 FORD GT: AMERICA’S SUPERCAR and analyzes its marketplace appeal and strong fan base.

Creating a modern GT40 road car was every bit as ambitious as Henry Ford II’s desire for international motorsports domination. Both of these goals were attained – and were historically significant.

The GT40 was a key ingredient in the formula Henry Ford II used to dominate international motorsports and change racing history. Almost four decades later, Henry’s nephew, William Clay “Bill” Ford, Jr., found new life for the GT40. First, it was a Concept in 2002, and then it morphed into a modern road car in 2005. The production 2005-2006 FORD GT: AMERICA’S SUPERCAR reinvigorated Ford’s historic hallmarks of success: passion, performance and speed.

When Chief Designer Camilo Pardo first took up his tools in 1999 to bring the 2002 Ford GT40 concept car to life, writes Eckart, the stakes were a little different than the last time the Blue Oval set about constructing an all-conquering GT40. There was no need to settle a grudge with Ferrari at Le Mans – that matter had been rather thoroughly closed a few decades prior. Instead, the concept would celebrate the brand’s centennial anniversary, and remind the world of what Ford could do when it put its collective mind to something. Today, the 2005-2006 FORD GT: AMERICA’S SUPERCAR is roundly considered an American classic and a fitting road-going successor to the 1960s originals.

The celebration fortunately wouldn’t end with the concept. After the rousing response to the GT40 concept’s debut at the 2002 North American International Auto Show, Ford realized they had to build it. The car was a home run – every bit as imposing and purposeful as the originals, but also the modern halo car needed to help refresh the public’s image of the company. Within a matter of weeks, Bill Ford, Jr. announced that the company would indeed put the car into production.2005-2006 FORD GT: AMERICA’S SUPERCAROf the many retro-inspired designs from the early 2000s, few have aged as well as the GT. It didn’t hurt that the original GT40 was an attractive starting point, but Pardo created a clear lineage to the original without making the GT feel dated or out of place, even when observed over 20 years after its debut. Proportions appear spot on, though dimensionally, this car is larger than its predecessor in just about every way – four inches taller, a significant 18 inches longer, and about six inches wider.

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