One year ago, in August 2006, there was a huge gathering of Ford GT owners in Michigan. The group descended on Dearborn from all over the world to tour the Wixom and Saleen Special Vehicle plants where the GTs were built. It was really a great event that covered four days and allowed the owners to bond and share in their mutual joy of ownership of this unique American supercar. Flash forward to 2007, and the group decided to try it again. Organized by Ford GT Forum admin, DBK, it was a super event. Rather than trekking back to Michigan, this time they decided to head west.
The rally (it's more of a reunion now) convened in Southern California, with stops at the Petersen Museum, the Saleen Store, the El Toro Marine base for a Saleen "School of Speed" autocross, and a visit to Ford's Premier Automotive Group facility in Irvine for their weekly Cars and Coffee show. This year's event, appropriately enough dubbed Ford GT National Rally II, included not only owners, but some key GT development people like Camilo Pardo, Jamal Hameedi, Tom Reichenbach, Rich Robeck, "The GT Guys" Rich Brooks and Dennis Breitenbach and many others. Altogether about 90 GTs showed for the meet, with another 20 or so GT40 recreations also on hand to add some heritage. Twenty-four states and one Canadian province were represented.
Check out the huge gallery.
[Source: Ford GT Forum]
Lance Stander and the gang at Superformance showed how the original GT40s would look amidst these modern interpretations. They have just released their GT40 Mk., and it is as stunningly accurate as their Mk. II we profiled a while back. Saleen also took advantage of the gathering to roll out their new S281 Extreme 550. It's a special series of Mustangs built exclusively for GT owners who want a matching vehicle that might be a little more practical for everyday driving. There's a separate post about those going up soon.
It was quite amazing to walk along three full rows of Ford GTs. Every color and stripe combination available, plus a few customs like the Genaddi GTX1s, butterfly door cars, turbo conversions and others were scattered throughout the rows. Simply amazing. The group is having a fairwell dinner cruise Saturday night, and undoubtedly getting started on planning where to go for Ford GT National Rally III.