29 Jun 2004 Ford GT Pre-Production Prototype an Early Feature at Russo and Steele’s 16th Annual Monterey Collector Automobile Auction Event!
For Immediate Release:
Scottsdale, Arizona (June 29th, 2016) – Launched in 2002 to celebrate Ford Motor Company’s upcoming centennial, the Ford GT concept car was inspired by the all-conquering GT40s that conclusively beat Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966 and dominated there through 1969. While echoing the GT40’s layout and iconic design cues, the new Ford GT utilized modern, state-of-the-art engineering, materials, and construction, delivering even better performance than its legendary forebear. Powering the new GT was a mid-mounted, supercharged 32-valve 5.4-liter V-8 engine with competition-type dry sump lubrication producing 550 bhp with a muscular exhaust note to match. Power was delivered by a six-speed gearbox/rear transaxle from Ricardo, the supplier of racing transmissions for international GT, rally, and open-wheel racing. All-independent suspension and huge vented Brembo four-wheel disc brakes rounded out the mechanical package.
Built using space-age materials and construction technologies, each GT was produced in five distinct stages with initial assembly at Norwalk, Ohio’s Mayflower Vehicle Systems, paint by Saleen Special Vehicles in Troy, Michigan, engine assembly at Ford’s Romeo, Michigan engine plant, and then engine and transmission installation and interior finishing at Ford’s Wixom, Michigan plant. Notably, the Ford GT was the last vehicle project competed at Wixom. Only 4,038 examples were produced in all, with approximately 550, 1,900 and 1,600 built during 2004, 2005, and 2006 respectively. Demand far outstripped supply, with early cars selling for substantial premiums over the basic Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) and prospective buyers vying for vehicle-production slots.
While capable of truly blistering performance, including a 209.1-mph speed hit by one of the test cars at Nardo, Italy, these cars are also renowned for their deceptive practicality and ease of operation in everyday traffic, including a light clutch feel. The interior, which pays homage to the original GT40, is complete with leather-trimmed carbon fiber seats, electric power windows, and air conditioning. Unlike its 1960s predecessor, however, the GT interior is remarkably comfortable with ample space for taller drivers. All of these attributes came about from the now-legendary development and testing program applied to the GT by Ford’s SVT Special Vehicle Team before it was deemed ready for series-production and sale to the public.
Documented in the book “Ford GT 2005-2006: The Complete Owners Experience” by Joseph V. (“GT Joe”) Limongelli and Marcie A. Cipriani, this very special example is numbered “PB2-1,” being the first car in the “PB2” run, which was the last group of pre-production cars before the GT was introduced for public sale. Finished in blue with white racing stripes, PB2-1 was equipped with factory options including forged BBS wheels, McIntosh premium audio, and red painted brake calipers. First assigned to Manufacturing, PB2-1 was used for mileage accumulation, manufacturing, and electrical prove-out. After successfully completing its testing cycle, PB2-1 was transferred to Product Development at SVT and briefly used as the program vehicle for the planned Ford GT Mk II follow-on program. During this phase, PB2-1 was equipped with a prototype small-diameter pulley for greater supercharger boost, with this part later offered separately for sale by Ford Racing. Exhaust manifold heat shields, printed with “Mark II,” and a “Ford GT” logo fuel-filler cap were also added to the car. Original testing equipment on PB2-1 also included a roll bar which has been removed from the car while the attachment points remain in place.
The Consignor purchased PB2-1 during 2008 from Ford’s SVT Special Vehicle Team at an auction held during the Ford GT Rally 3 event at the Shelby Automobiles Inc. premises near Las Vegas. Its window card stated PB2-1 had covered 47,524 miles as of August 21, 2008. Correspondence on file from Mr. Jameel A. Hameedi of Ford Motor Company – SVT confirms the build of PB2-1 commenced on April 26, 2004 and was completed at Wixom on May 5, 2004. The 2008-dated Equipment Sale Agreement that accompanied the sale of PB2-1 further documents the car’s sale from Ford to the Consignor and stipulates it is not to be used on public roads. Signatures of the Ford GT team members who were present at the auction of PB2-1 adorn the middle of the car’s front hood and Camilo Pardo, the Ford GT’s renowned designer, signed the airbag cover. Later, Carroll Shelby, who also lent his expertise to the car’s development, signed it. A true motorsports and design landmark in every respect and an essential part of the Ford GT development and testing process, PB2-1 stands as an incredible link bridging the original GT40 of the 1960s to the current Ford GT that is now being readied to take on the world’s best competitors at Le Mans. As such, the offering of PB2-1 provides an exceptional opportunity for collectors of the finest motorsports icons.
Experience all the high energy excitement of Russo and Steele in Monterey for yourself! Bidder registration is just $200 and includes admission for all 3 days of “Auction in the Round” action for the bidder and one lucky guest. Stay tuned for further updates on our 16th annual Monterey auction and event schedule and join us for the Hottest Nights in Monterey August 18-20 on the waterfront near historic Fisherman’s Wharf!
For Enthusiasts by Enthusiasts. ™ At Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auctions, it’s far more than a tagline – it’s our lifestyle! To obtain further supporting documentation, high-resolution images, or more information about Russo and Steele and our upcoming Monterey, California auction, please contact Darin Roberge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auctions
One of the nation’s premier collector-car auction houses, Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auctions continues to set records and attract a discerning global clientele. In addition to our reputation for offering stellar collector automobiles, our unique high-energy auction experience is simply unattainable anywhere else. Auctions include our signature event in Scottsdale, Arizona every January, followed by June at Newport Beach, and August at Monterey, California. For additional information, please visit www.russoandsteele.com or call 602.252.2697.