Fuelicious, the annual car enthusiast fundraiser at the Lucas Estate in Carmel, Indiana, always features a wide variety of vehicles, each with their classic stories. Artomobilia’s Jon Pitz catches up with Gary Bartlett, a Fuelicious regular and multiple-winner at Artomobilia, to discuss a rare and sleek 2005 Ford GT – but first, we find out why his GT40 is MIA.
Million-Dollar Cars Deserve Vacations
An avid collector, Gary also owns a Ford GT40 Mark III -one of seven in the world. Well, where is it? “It is a pace car for the Goodwood Revival,” Gary explains. “We took it to Atlanta and flew it to England.” The Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, England is home to the Goodwood Revival, the only historic motor racing event staged entirely in period dress, flat-out wheel-to-wheel racing on the Estate’s classic circuit. The Revival celebrated 20 years in September of 2018, the year Gary’s GT serves as a pace car. Although Jon points out, “Your car is vacationing in Europe right now.” Gary agrees, “Yes it is.”
Like a Patriotic Bullet
Gary’s 2005 Ford GT is a sleek and powerful machine with a mostly white body, blue accents and a small American flag emblazoned just over the front driver’s side tire. While the Ford GT is designed as a streetcar, it looks like it would hold its own on any track with any racecar. First introduced in late 2004, it takes the supercar world by storm. With styling inspired by the historic Ford GT40 race cars, its 500 horsepower V-8 generates a top speed of 205mph. It is an exotic, mid-engine, two-seat sports car with an aluminum space frame chassis, aluminum body panels and contemporary interior.
Muscle and Beauty, Indeed
“I slip the chunky shifter into first and roar away, the 500-horsepower engine behind me pinning my helmet back and filling my ears with the mechanized brawl of eight ravenous cylinders feasting on all-you-can-eat helpings of fuel and air.” This is the way Arthur St. Antoine of Motorsports magazine describes his first test drive of this magnificent vehicle.
You Have to Appreciate This Sort of Appreciation
Gary’s GT is number 498, one of the first four to roll off the production line. At the time, the streetcar with a racer heart is selling for $300,000 over sticker price. Yes, that’s $300,000 American dollars. “Oh my goodness.” Jon’s reaction is priceless.
Why It’s Good to Have Connections
How does Gary get his hands on one? Great story. Fourteen years ago, he is sitting at a bar at the Connaught Hotel in London, chatting with his friend, Michael Quinn, whose grandfather founded the one-time-Ford-owned brand, Jaguar. “You know Michael, I’d really like to have a Ford GT,” Gary laments, “but I’m not going to pay 300 grand over sticker.” Short pause. Michael says, “Hold on, just let me get on the phone,” and calls his friend Nick. Luckily for Gary, “Nick” turns out to be Nick Scheele, president of Ford Motor Company at the time. Nick agrees to take care of Gary and the entire sale. “So, that’s how I got this thing.” The lesson here? You should just deal directly with the president of a motor company whenever possible. You get much better deals that way, LOL.
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