America’s Supercar: 2005-06 Ford GT Values Stand Strong

Broad Arrow

When Chief Designer Camilo Pardo first took up his tools in 1999 to bring the 2002 Ford GT40 concept car to life, the stakes were a little different than the last time the Blue Oval set about constructing an all-conquering GT40. There was no need to settle a grudge with Ferrari at Le Mans—that matter had been rather thoroughly closed a few decades prior. Instead, the concept would celebrate the brand’s centennial anniversary, and remind the world of what Ford could do when it put its collective mind to something. Today, the first-generation Ford GT is roundly considered an American classic and a fitting road-going successor to the 1960s originals.

The celebration fortunately wouldn’t end with the concept. After the rousing response to the GT40 concept’s debut at the 2002 North American International Auto Show, Ford realized they had to build it. The car was a home run—every bit as imposing and purposeful as the originals, but also the modern halo car needed to help refresh the public’s image of the company. Within a matter of weeks, Bill Ford, Jr. announced that the company would indeed put the car into production.

Of the many retro-inspired designs from the early 2000s, few have aged as well as the GT. It didn’t hurt that the original GT40 was an attractive starting point, but Pardo created a clear lineage to the original without making the GT feel dated or out of place, even when observed over 20 years after its debut. Proportions appear spot on, though dimensionally, this car is larger than its predecessor in just about every way—four inches taller, a significant 18 inches longer, and about six inches wider.

2006 ford gt heritage edition broad arrow
Broad Arrow

Flagship cars from companies that typically produce more modest offerings can sometimes suffer from excessive trips to the parts bin. While Ford did use parts from other models on the GT, they were largely relegated to out-of-sight items, like the steering shaft and joints in the suspension. The 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 came from Ford’s Modular engine family and shared some architecture and components with other Ford V-8s at the time, but with an aluminum block, forged internals, unique camshafts, and a host of other GT-specific bits, this was more complicated than merely cramming an existing large engine into a small car.

The resulting 550 horsepower pushed through a six-speed manual transmission and a stable, balanced chassis (with nothing in the way of nannies to keep you—or save you—from misbehaving) yielded a brutally fast car in a straight line and on a road course.

Building upon that prowess was a cabin that owners could actually live with. Those few fortunate enough to own an original road-going GT40 know just how hard they can be to use as regular transportation, but the GT came with modern accouterments—most importantly, air conditioning—that made for a much more welcoming experience. Though some reviews suggested the car was sprung a bit stiffly for the road, the GT truly was a kinder, gentler Blue Oval halo car.

The end result was an American rocket of a sports car that presented every bit as well as its European competitors while often making short work of them at the track. Hagerty’s own Larry Webster, then at Car and Driver, tested the GT against a 2004 911 GT3 and a 2004 Ferrari Challenge Stradale in their January 2004 issue. Said Webster: “It wasn’t even a contest. The Ford GT so completely dusted off its two highly recognized competitors that if we had wanted to make this a real challenge, we would have had to go way up the ‘supercar’ price ladder.” Ford had resurrected a winning recipe.

Ford also knew the value of exclusivity, and only built 4038 GTs over the 2005 and 2006 model years. Going a step further, in 2006 Ford offered the GT Heritage Edition (the example you see here is on offer with Broad Arrow at its upcoming Amelia auction). Only 343 GT Heritage Editions were built, all wearing the Gulf livery of the GT40s that secured victory in the ’68 and ’69 runnings of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. These have become the most desirable of the 2005–06 GTs, and trade hands for a healthy amount above the base car.

2006 ford gt heritage rear
Broad Arrow

Even when they were brand new, first-gen Ford GTs often commanded a significant premium above their $150,000 sticker price. Values dropped slightly during the 2008 financial crisis, but the car was never subject to significant depreciation. Prices slowly edged up, and the trajectory has been very strong over the last five years, especially for Heritage Edition cars. To wit, #1 (Concours)-condition examples are up 57 percent in that time, even trending up slightly in the last quarter. Similar-condition base GTs are up 32 percent over the same period.

Values for #2 (Excellent)-condition GTs have slipped over the last quarter (down five percent for Heritage cars and 3.3 percent for the base model), but remain well ahead of pre-pandemic values.

Buyers appear ever more willing to pay a premium for the best cars. The right options can noticeably boost value: Factory BBS wheels add $4000, factory stripes bring $3000, the McIntosh audio system is worth an additional $2500, and you’ll fork out an additional $900 for painted brake calipers. More significant, though, is mileage; if your GT hasn’t covered much ground, you’re in for extra cash upon its sale. If it’s a wrapper car—one with next to no miles—you’ve got a golden ticket to the top tier of GTs.


Also of note is the 2005–06 GT’s slow creep toward its younger, more expensive sibling. The strongest sale of a first-gen car is within $12.5k of the lowest sale of the newer 2016–22 GT. While there’s still a healthy value delta between the two generations, the first-gen GT is a bit further into its collector status and hits the sought-after sweet spot of modern usability, classic looks, and analog feel (not to mention the V-8 soundtrack that the newer car lacks).

Given its high values, ownership of the first-gen GT naturally skews slightly older. That said, the share of 30- to 49-year-olds seeking quotes is up six percentage points (to nearly 20 percent of the first-gen GT market) in the last five years, and quotes sought from 18- to 29-year-olds are up nearly fourfold over the same period. There wasn’t ever much question about the GT’s collector status, but healthy interest among younger enthusiasts will help ensure that the first-gen GT remains one of the most cherished modern American supercars.

Though the 2005–06 GT didn’t share the same objective as the original models, it was no less successful in achieving its mission. A captivating blend of uniquely American supercar history, modern usability, and raw performance has solidified the GT’s place in the modern collector car world.

gulf livery 2006 ford gt heritage nose
Broad Arrow




Check out the Hagerty Media homepage so you don’t miss a single story, or better yet, bookmark it. To get our best stories delivered right to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletters.

Click below for more about
Read next Up next: Iconic’s Race Retro Catalog Is Full of Dreams


    Even with it’s somewhat bigger proportions than the original GT- 40 it’s a to die for beautiful car. The original has made how many top tens of all time in that regard and it’s damn close to it, only a much more usable package. However, getting to an argument that is often repeated, it’s a CAR, it was meant to be driven, that is it’s purpose. That is why it has a running engine! Shelving one defeats that purpose, ” low mileage examples fetch “, I’m not saying use it as a beater but. The GT with it’s American supercar status has ended up unfortunately being treated like a wall flower like many of its counterparts . That’s just wrong. If you’re fortunate enough to have one then drive it,! If you don’t someone else should have the privilege.

    The wonderful evidence of people doing just what you suggest can be found in standing mile races all over the country. The GT is a perfect platform for this, and I believe one holds a street-legal record at 310+ mph.

    Eddy – good to hear. I find it somewhat irksome when cars like these are tucked away. Where you often have a small group of engineers and, putting in the extra time and effort to get the most out of performance car it seems disrespectful to then tuck them away. It makes all that work and dedication seem almost unappreciated. I wonder if that Gurney wickerbill on the GT might be a but effective homage to Dan for instance. One of those small details that you only notice after a second look. Anybody?


    I guess I’ll always find the anniversary halo car phenomenon interesting. The cost to produce these short run exotic vehicles has to be part of a marketing expense budget. It definitely produces some very cool vehicles, but only for a few to enjoy.

    Great car. I put about 16,000 miles on my ‘06 Heritage. Several thousand track miles too. Modified with a pulley and a tune it was good for 600+ bhp. Lowered 1.5 inches and with custom Penske adjustable shocks it was a great handling package. Weak link was the brakes. I installed Stillen floating rotors which helped some. It was sold (sadly) to fund a business opportunity. The design and production team were all real ‘car guys’ and gals. Got to meet all of them at a special gathering at the factory in the waning days of GT production. A real head turner anywhere it went. Sure do miss her.

    I own a Ford GT MK ll. It is great fun to be able to drive such a well engineered machine. Better designed for the track than the neighborhood streets. It does dress up my garage both with design and power.

    After seeing the concept in person at the all Ford Carlisle show, I went to order one once congress approved. It took a while including getting my order taken out from under me by the dealer, but our red 2005 arrived 8/21/05. To this day every single time I get in it I still cannot believe it. It is a wonderful car in every way. From my matchbox 1966 Ford GT40 in 1966 until today, I have been fascinated by the Ford with the engine under glass in the back. Never thought I would get one. The fact that they have appreciated in value will benefit my family down the line hopefully. Meanwhile I am still overwhelmed with thanks every time I slide behind the wheel. KO

    “a fitting road-going successor” That’s a laughable statement. It implies that there might be one or two driven on the road besides from the trailer to the grass or track. When was the last time you saw a Ford GT on the road? Right. Ford only built enough to make their dealers happy, who in turn made collectors happy. If you are a Ford fan and you want a “fitting road-going successor” at a doable price, you’ll have to buy a Corvette and paint it blue. The Ford GT would have been, could have been, good competition for the Corvette if Ford had made more of them to get the price down. But once again, Chevrolet beat Ford at the game that really counts, sales to real customers. But hey, they say they’re fast. And Ford could have sold thousands more than they did, and you might be able to say you say a Ford GT and it wasn’t in a magazine. The one I was considering at the dealer here in CO had a sticker price of $105k before it was shipped off to storage.

    It was not built to compete with Corvette or needed to. It was built to celebrate Ford, its heritage and accomplishments. No need to make hundreds of thousands of copies to do that. For a long time they were available at reasonable prices and still are. If you want to see them on the road buy one and drive it. Many people drive theirs. I’m a big Corvette fan and had several over the years, but there is no competition there except in the head of some Corvette drivers.

    It’s a beautiful car. I still like this generation more than the current one even though the new one is an amazing car.

    Well, when Ford sets out to build a super car, the trump Chevy every time. That would be 4 times now. It doesn’t matter how many they produced or whether it cost X more than the Vette, the Ford GT is a superior machine.
    If you don’t believe me just look at the latest GT to the same year Z 06 Corvette. The visual difference will say enough to prove this point. I have owned 2 vettes and rally raced my last one. But…man that f–king GT…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *