I’m a pretty lucky guy to have landed the webmaster gig for Sports Car Shop in Eugene. Not only do I get exposed to all kinds of great sports cars, I get to photograph most of them as well. My photos aren’t pro yet, but good enough to represent the inventory. We take the pictures at Skinner’s Butte Park, which is right downtown and only a few blocks from their showroom. And most times that means I get to take them for a short drive too. Last Friday, that was this amazing 2006 Ford GT:
Never in my entire life has the Ferris Bueller line been more applicable, “If you had access to a car like this, would you take it back right away?” Well I won’t add any more drama; I did take it back right away. My Powerball ticket hadn’t hit the previous Wednesday for $212mil, so I tip-toed downtown to the park and back… and loved every minute of it. But the drive back to the shop was a real challenge as there’s an on-ramp to the Beltline just a block further…
Even in my short and pedestrian paced time in the car, it’s very clear this car was built with a lot of care and thoughtful engineering. Not only is it capable of hanging with the best that Europe can offer, it’s also totally easy to drive around in. As low as it is, the front clearance is actually quite good. The clutch that has to manage 550hp is easy to engage and is very light in fact. And the gearing is perfect for that big lump. I think first gear actually goes all the way to 60mph, but with all the torque available so early, you can just lump her along in second and still have plenty of power to make her jump with a squeeze of the accelerator.
Almost more impressive than the engineering and ease of use, is the cars wonderful body. It’s low and very wide. And inside, it’s the business: you sit down deep in the car and the cockpit is all about driving quickly. Sitting in a slung back position, you turn to the right and see the glass back window is right behind you. And right behind that is the supercharger pulley spinning behind your head. Awesome!
Then there’s the sound. Crank it up and make sure to have big speakers attached for the best sound!
My previous benchmark for best performance had been to the Lotus Elise, which Clayton drove back from So Cal when he could’ve just used auto transport. This was a truly wonderful car to drive and a perfectly balanced platform. But this Ford GT takes it to a whole new level in terms of refinement, driveability, and raw performance. I mean with 550hp under foot, you can turn any situation into a tire smoking felony in mere seconds.
Thank you to Bob at Sports Car Shop for the opportunity to sample such a fantastic vehicle!