Ford introduced the mid-engine, 40-inch tall GT at the New York Auto Show in April 1964. The New York Times called it a “Grand Touring Class racing car capable of 200 mph.” Two weeks later, the Ford Mustang went on sale (people today forget that the GT, or GT40 as it quickly became nicknamed, was built to be a marketing tool for Ford customer cars, specifically the Mustang).
Going back to the drawing board with its self-imposed deadline of 2016, 50 years after it’s ’66 triumph, the company’s gearheads bunkered down in secret. In a padlocked studio in the basement of Ford’s Product Development Center in Dearborn, MI, a new venture, codenamed “Phoenix,” was born. It was “rising from the ashes of all those times before we said we should do a Ford GT,” Pericak says.
Well, Ben, see the above with the addition of the fact that, with 400 lb.-ft. of torque available as early as 4,000 rpm, the GT really punches out of the hole. Indeed, regarding that linearity you asked about — and risking being called a D-bag by Mr. Toole — I will say for that my first few laps in the GT, I let the transmission do the shifting for me, the combination of computer-controlled gear changes and punchy acceleration letting me concentrate on getting to know the car’s limits. And, of course, mine.