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Bought a 2005 Ford GT

Discussion in 'American Muscle' started by Shark01, Feb 27, 2020.

  1. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    3,590
    After a 6 year saving effort, I bought a 2005 Ford GT last week. I drove both a Huracan and a 458 recently, and while they are great modern higher production supercars, I wanted something more iconic. So my final 3 cars ended up being a Ford GT, a Ferrari Boxer (which dropped out because of the combination of initial and maintenance expenditures), and a Ferrari Scuderia…..which was a step in the right direction towards something special but suffers from a “tweener” syndrome being bracketed by cars more special (CS & Speciale).

    Over a 4 month period, I looked at 6-8 FGTs over a wide range of pricing. In the end, I bought a driver’s grade car over a museum piece, so there would be no guilt about treating it like a car. So here is the recap on buying my Ford GT.

    Introduction


    I am the new caretaker of 2005 FGT, a red 4 option car with approximately 29,000 miles (more on that below). Many thanks to the previous owner for being upfront about everything and a pleasure to work with. The car was not on the open market, so it gave both of us an opportunity to take our time without the added noise of tire kickers, scammers, low ballers, underfunded dreamers, the “my wife wouldn’t let me buy it” crowd and the like. And it was 8 miles away….perfect location. It is also a car that some buyers would dismiss based on the miles and a couple of stories.

    I am a Mechanical Engineer by trade, so being accurate and thorough is my business. This recap will be long, and if it helps even a single new buyer, worthwhile.

    The car has a couple of stories, but a thorough inspection indicates it’s a solid, honest car with nicks here and there reflective of a well enjoyed icon. My goal as a caretaker is to improve the car for future caretakers…..and have some fun.

    The GT now shares a garage with my 1999 Lamborghini Diablo Roadster.

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    The Stories

    I’m one of those people that always wants to hear the bad news first, the glass is always half empty, that kind of thing. So the challenges always come first.

    I don’t mind a car having stories if the origin, severity, and aftermath are verifiable in some way based on paperwork or by simple inspection. I got a huge discount on the Diablo (14%) that way because I did my homework and discovered the “accident” was a $6k stoplight bump. They’re cars, subject to real world stuff.

    On the other hand, there have been cars I inquired about during this search where the dealer had no idea why the report indicated a car had an “accident history”, I steer clear of those situations as it’s pretty clear either they are trying to hide something, or too lazy to do their own homework . The pretty exterior of a GT can hide some ugliness below. This car has seen a few track days, which doesn’t bother me like it would a Ferrari.

    The former owner told me the car had a previous minor incident before his ownership, so when I pulled the CarFax there was a blemish that referenced some damage (not an accident, which in the history reporting world is an important distinction). So you know just from that designation that no other cars were involved, no police report, no property damage, no tow truck.

    I was told the car had a parking lot low speed bump with some obstruction. The splitter and the bottom lip of the bumper were cracked (both replaced). The very bottom of the radiator (which hadn’t been replaced – it was still working 10 years later) was pushed up slightly in one spot about ¼” right in the center indicating to my mechanic that it ran over some debris, the corner of a curb or possibly bumped a stud sticking up from a concrete parking bumper (the pushed up spot is pretty narrow) since the car sits 1” lower than stock. So clearly a minor event I was OK with since a flimsy radiator had just surface damage, not requiring immediate replacement.

    The other story makes a case for why we should always have these cars on tenders and NOT jump them from other vehicles. When the former owner went to purchase the car, it had not run for months so the battery was dead…..the seller jumped it, and promptly blew out several gauges along with the odometer display. So the car has a full set of Speedhut gauges, which I am told was the solution of choice around 2012, before you could buy re-designed Auto Meter originals. The car went without an odometer display for almost 6 years (but the true mileage could be read from the OBD2 port so the CarFax always listed true mileage). The display was finally replaced in 2018, but required a control box and a trip to the dealer to activate it. So then the odometer started over, true miles are today about 28,500 give or take.

    This won’t be an issue titling the car in Texas (anything over 10 years old can claim exempt from odometer reading with some details), but will turn into a reporting challenge the first time the odometer reading is less than before. I’ve already started a dialogue with CarFax how to handle it in the paperwork when that does happen.
     
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  2. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    3,590
    Some Good Stuff

    Alot of the cars I looked at during my search had modifications, some minor, some extensive. It made sense because I couldn’t comfortably afford museum pieces. And I was open to some level of modification, since the GT community at large are accepting of basic performance mods and they are inexpensive compared to other exotic platforms. Cheap horsepower, yeah. This car had several modifications that I would pay for, and a few I wouldn’t but am OK having if I didn’t feel like I paid for them (the value was right). And one I am in a love/hate relationship with.

    Here is the list of mods:

    Pulley, Tune, Accufab throttle body – ($2k) - I would have done this anyway, cheap reliable performance

    Accufab X-Pipe exhaust ($2k installed) – Good sound I would have sprung for…and ceramic coated for a cooler engine bay

    Moton full adjustable suspension – Pricey ($7k+, parts only), I wouldn’t have done it on my own….but damn this really adds to the handling, getting power to the pavement, and improving the stance (lowered 1”) so certainly don’t mind it.

    Short Shifter – ($800) Yep, I would have paid for this

    Transmission cooler – ($800) Yes, good piece of mind on 100 degree Texas days, Global warming Y’all

    New head unit with back-up camera – Not my thing, but will need the camera if taking it to work (one of those dumb reverse parking only places)

    Dress up appearance stuff – ($3k) Aluminum seat donuts, billet clamshell vents, a bunch of engine bay shiny aluminum parts with color match GT logos (Project 321)– looks good, but I wouldn’t buy these myself

    Custom Leather interior with contrasting red stitching – This is the controversial one for me, I’m sure it cost like $10,000+ and its looks really nice (high grade leather obviously)…..but I could do without it to be honest….who knows, maybe I grow to love it

    So about $7,000 in additions I would pay for, plus $10,000 in stuff I will like having.


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  3. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    3,590
    The Inspection

    Getting an inspection is a must for me. Even if my Mom was selling me a car, I get an inspection (Mom has been known to tell a fib here and there). The GT world is kind of unique as there are GT experts who will travel to perform inspections (I spoke with both Rich Brooks & Kendall Pond at different times through my journey, both very knowledgeable and easy to talk to). In this case, as the car was local to me in the Houston suburbs I chose to contract the guy who has taken good care of my Diablo for 6 years. He has good motivation to be a little picky in verifying a solid car, because I would ***** to no end every time I took this car or the Diablo in for service if it was a lemon.

    The other thing I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend is to go see the car you are buying in person after it gets a clean bill of health from your inspector. Plane flights most of the year are inexpensive, and these trips will help you feel better about the purchase. Plus you get to meet the seller in person to see if you really want to conduct business with them.

    My mechanic (not a GT expert but services 4-5 of them) spent 3 hours going through everything. He found things he recommends be addressed immediately (radiators with coolers, tie rods ends, a small body issue, full fluid service, front tires (which I knew were aged out (2011)).

    Other things of less importance included weatherstripping degradation in some spots, a CEL code for an air leak (emissions), codes for airbags (which might just need a reset since the recall was done recently), rear tires aging out next year, broken air box, a rock chip or 3, a couple of items needing new rubber boots, sub-woofer out of action (couldn’t care less).

    The Test Drive

    I had driven the car a few days before, and the owner kindly let the mechanic drive the car with me in shotgun. Here is another instance where the owner was so good to work with….a couple of other times, dealers were not going to allow an inspector to drive the car, or even myself until the purchase agreement was signed….not how I want to do business….I guess they are looking for noobs to buy these cars.

    My mechanic checked everything, only legal in Mexico acceleration and speed, soft braking, head snapping hard braking, clutch slip checks, tight turns (praised the Motons), listening for odd noises….he said the driving dynamics were the best thing about the car. He also made sure the car tracked correctly further verifying how minor the damage 10 years before was.
     
  4. GuyIncognito

    GuyIncognito Six Time F1 World Champ
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    Jun 30, 2007
    69,202
    congrats! one of the last great analogue supercars. enjoy :D
     
  5. JOEA2

    JOEA2 Formula 3
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    Feb 2, 2006
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    Staten Island, N.Y./ Sea Girt,N.J.
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    Joe A
    Enjoy it! It is a great car.

    Joe
     
  6. energy88

    energy88 F1 World Champ
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    Jan 21, 2012
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    John
    Nice write up! Your diligence seems to have avoided the Gas Monkey Garage examples out there and identified the practical issues. It's hard to believe that this is now a 15-year old car.

    Enjoy in good health.
     
  7. werewolf

    werewolf F1 Veteran
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    Dec 29, 2007
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    Jeff
    Thanks for the write-up :) wonderful machine!
     
  8. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    3,590
    Thanks guys, here is the rest of the story......

    The Value

    The FGT market moves really fast and is all over the place…..basically from $200k to $450k. I looked really close at cars from 4k miles ($265k) to 84k miles ($190k), and decided on a car that has been driven 2k miles per year and with the minor verifiable stories could give me 100% of the GT experience for way less money.

    So after some calm negotiation, I paid $182k.

    But from a comparison point of view, I paid a lot less. A car 8 miles away saved me $6k in expenses versus a car 2,000 miles away, and this car already had $7k in modifications I wanted. So I really only paid $169k on a net basis.

    For me, this was a good value…..the car is not a salvage, not in an accident, not ultra high miles.
     
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  9. noone1

    noone1 F1 Rookie
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    Jan 21, 2008
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    Mike
    Solid price! Yeah, the prices have been all over in recent years. For a car you're just going to drive and enjoy and not stick in a museum, I think that was a great price/choice.
     
    BJK likes this.
  10. BJK

    BJK Formula 3

    Jul 18, 2014
    1,224
    CT
    Nice find and write-up. 'Good' value? If the car proves to be solid, I would say 'great' value! Would love to read a 1,000? mile update.

    BUT, are you sure it's a Ford GT? ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  11. SteveA

    SteveA Karting

    May 21, 2006
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    Steve Ard
    Congrats and enjoy!
     
  12. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    3,590
    Well it does have some sort of running horse on the front grill....
     
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  13. DIGMAN52

    DIGMAN52 F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jan 30, 2004
    3,347
    Dallas Texas
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    Philip C
    Well bought Shark01 ! I have been following you on the fordgtforum. I am the blue / white stripe 2005, 8,500 mile car I just put up for sale. It's been a blast owning it since 2007, and just need to free up some space for a future C8 we are ordering. Enjoy the most trouble free performance car I have ever owned !

    For any f/chat interest, it is a 3 option, 2 owner car I am asking $275k firm for. If you are the type that needs a discount, it is $300k make an offer.
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  14. NürScud

    NürScud F1 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2012
    6,739
    Congratulations! The last true Ford GT. Enjoy it!
     
  15. Shamile

    Shamile F1 Veteran
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    Dec 31, 2002
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    Lakeland FL
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    Shamile
    Congrats! After reading your write up. I would say well bought. In at a discount..out at a discount.
    If you bought a perfect car, it would depreciate heavily if you wanted to drive it as a relatively normal car.

    I get the fact you're an engineer and picky. I manufacture aluminum ADA compliant handicap ramp systems for the state of Florida and everything has to be precise and to code. Great for winning concours....relationships...not so much ;) lol

    Congrats again and enjoy it in good health!

    Shamile

    Freeze....Miami Vice!

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
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  16. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    12,733
    Incredible garage pairing there with two iconic cars. Enjoy in good health!
     
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  17. Face76

    Face76 F1 Veteran
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    Aug 21, 2006
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    I never would have guessed your profession in a million years. Which car do you drive to see clients?
     
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  18. Shamile

    Shamile F1 Veteran
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    Dec 31, 2002
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    Back in the ol' days, I would drive my Diablo VT Roadster to the jobsite to sign off with the inspectors. Now, with commercial vehicle liability insurance a requirement to enter a construction project, I have to take my work F250 4x4s lol

    Hey shark....got precision?

    ....soothing to the OCD afflicted ;) lol



    Shamile

    Freeze....Miami Vice! Image Unavailable, Please Login

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
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  19. gtjoey

    gtjoey Formula Junior

    Aug 12, 2014
    598
    Congrats on a wonderful car!
    Th2005/2006 Ford GT , The Ferrari 458 and a couple of Porsches in between are the LAST on the almost analoque cars that you actually have to drive AND YOU CAN FIX THEM
    You know where I stand.....Shark enjoy the ride...…
    gtjoey1314
    P.S. Your car and previous owner is in both books.....".FORD GT THE COMPLETE OWNERS GUIDE "and "Around the world in a Ford GT almost!
     
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  20. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    3,590
    Joey, just ordered one of your books....look forward to getting it after the panic.
     
  21. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
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    BMW.SauberF1Team and Thecadster like this.
  22. JOEA2

    JOEA2 Formula 3
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    Feb 2, 2006
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    Joe A
    All the Tungsten's in Joey's Book is mine!

    Joe
     
  23. gtjoey

    gtjoey Formula Junior

    Aug 12, 2014
    598
    :) was the carbon bits from Kip Ewing? either way they are quality bits.
    Joe is right, a great time 2005/2006 which seems like a million years ago now.
    JOEA2 how you holding up?The island is getting crushed Kevin Sweeney got the virus BAD had a heart attack......should make it.
    Enjoy that GT theres nothing like it!
    gtjoey1314
     
  24. JOEA2

    JOEA2 Formula 3
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    Feb 2, 2006
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    Staten Island, N.Y./ Sea Girt,N.J.
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    Joe A
    Right now, I am driving my 720S Spider when I can.
    Stay safe.

    Joe
     
  25. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    3,590
    Some of the pieces are Kips, particularly the center console stuff. Not shown in this picture is the center console side panels.

    Enjoying the book so far, good stuff. Would like to see a how to buy and maintain a FGT book that you could partner with Rich on.
     

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