The one Ford GT to land in NZ seems unlikely to be followed by any more – at least, not as brand-new cars.
Photos by Josh Byrnes.
PROBABILITY that motorsport great Rod Millen will be the sole Kiwi to enjoy status as a first owner of a Ford GT is high, the brand suggests.
Ford intends to build just 1000 examples of its $600,000-plus supercar by 2020 and, as far as Ford New Zealand knows, all have been pre-sold, with no other Kiwis known to be among the buyers, who were selected by invitation.
“We have had no other requests for assistance,” says Ford New Zealand communications and Government affairs manager Tom Clancy.
“We are unaware of anyone else importing one. That said, there is nothing to stop anyone from somehow acquiring one though, since they are all sold, I don’t know how they would.”
The Blue Oval designed and engineered the radical two-seater, which even with a smaller engine than many of its ilk - a 482kW/746Nm 3.5-litre V6 – still runs with most of the nest. But it is not building it.
That job falls to a Canadian specialist in composite and metal fabrication techniques.
Multimatic, based near Toronto, is a low-key operation with a big reputation within the supercar circle; it has supplied chassis, suspension and body parts to other famous low-volume and concept performance road cars, including the Aston Martin One-77 and the forthcoming Mercedes-AMG Project One.
New Zealand could conceivably claim special heritage rights, through the GT being a descendant of the Ford GT40 that Chris Amon and Bruce McLaren took to a Ferrari-crushing victory in the 1966 Le Mans 24-Hour - this country’s first big international motorsport win.
Ford itself acknowledges that the car was created to compete at the 2016 race as a celebration of that being 50 years since the landmark achievement.
Though the new-era GT failed to emulate the outright win – that would have been a tall order, given that 2016 was the last year when Porsche and Toyota ran full-blown teams in the dominant LMP1 category – it nonetheless again ran to script by beating Ferrari in the GT category.
The Kiwi connection cut no special favours in respect the GT road car programme.
This country was not among those sanctioned to receive a car that issues solely in left-hand drive but Ford NZ’s managing director Simon Rutherford put in a good word which got Millen on the list.
The Pikes Peak champion and international rally competitor had the car on display at his annual Leadfoot Festival meeting on February 3-4.