Even though it’s still technically being built, you can’t just go out and buy a new Ford GT. And by “new” Ford GT I mean the latest one built from 2017-22, not to be confused with the “old new” GT from 2005-06. The final GTs will be built this December, and they’re already spoken for. Ford took a page out of Ferrari’s playbook with the latest GT, carefully vetting buyers and making them promise not to resell within two years of purchase. In theory, that should protect Ford’s halo car from speculation and deprecation.
The reality has been a bit more complicated. Take the the recent Mecum auction in Indianapolis, where three GTs each sold for the exact same $1.21M price. That sounds like a car that has a clear, stable price—and a pretty strong one at that considering MSRP is a bit over $500k. Yet GTs that have found their way onto the second-hand/collector market have met with price volatility and even some controversy.
In case you need a refresher on why we care so much about these cars, let’s go over the key selling points: Carbon fiber monocoque and body, pushrod suspension, teardrop shape like an LMP1 car, 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, Gorilla Glass windshield and a 647-hp twin-turbo V-6. And it’s a winner. Fifty years after the first GT40 won Le Mans the new GT took its class at the 24-hour French classic. The GT’s performance isn’t earth-shattering by the standards of high-spec Ferraris or McLarens or even the wildest Corvettes, but it’s still one of the quickest cars on the road and one of the more special to be produced in recent years.
Built at the company’s facility in Ontario, Canada, at a rate of about one car per day, the car originally had a production target of 1000 units (compared to over 4000 examples of the 2005-06 car), but Ford later expanded it to 1350 copies. The only major update was an increase from 647 to 660 horsepower in 2020. Options include carbon fiber wheels. But the biggest distinguishing packages on the GT are the various special editions offered over the past five years. They include the 2017-18 Competition series (a special lightweight model), 2020 Liquid Carbon (exposed carbon fiber body and wheels), GT Mk II (700-hp, $1.2M track-only model), and a slew of “Heritage Editions” painted to emulate famous race-winning GT40s from back in the day.
To snag a new GT, interested buyers had to apply to Ford. Then, if selected, the lucky few had the privilege of shelling out about half a million dollars and signing a contract agreeing not to sell (aka flip) the car for 24 months. While not the first time a carmaker attempted to limit the secondary market for one of its cars, it was a rare move from Ford. And this is where the GT market got funky.
The first “used” GT anyone heard about was when pro wrestler John Cena sold his GT in 2018 which, if you look at a calendar, was a tad bit premature. Ford sued, demanding “The Champ” buy back the car for its $463,376.50 sale price, plus $75,000 in damages and right to reclaim any profit made from the sale. They eventually settled out of court, but in the meantime Mecum announced it would offer a 7-mile GT for its 2018 Indianapolis sale, consigned by someone who had bought the car privately from its original owner.
So Ford sicced the lawyers on Mecum, too, and that case also resulted in a confidential settlement. Mecum did sell the car, though, and this time the buyer wasn’t a handpicked, properly credentialed client. It was whoever was the last one waving their paddle. The first 2017 Ford GT to hit the public market at a non-charity auction, it sold for $1.815M—more than triple the sticker price. Then, once some of those 24-month contracts actually started expiring owners started bringing their 2017 GTs to market with more frequency. Despite little variation in equipment or condition (few drove their GTs more than a few miles), prices were all over the place during 2018-20, ranging from the $800,000s to the mid-$1Ms.
It has now been five years since the first batch of 2017 Ford GTs started going to their original owners, and as more cars become fully eligible for sale they're becoming a regular sight at auction and almost no large Mecum or Barrett-Jackson sale is without at least one. Of all the 2017–22 Ford GTs ever sold at auction (live or online), over half changed hands within the last 12 months.
And as more cars sell publicly, prices have started to settle within a narrower range. These include a 1280-mile Carbon Series, a 332-mile MKII and a 15-mile ex-Parnelli Jones base car, each of which sold for $1.21M at Mecum Indy. For now, then, the going rate almost regardless of specs seems to be between $1.0 and $1.5M after a couple of years of volatility and hefty profits from those fortunate original owners who have let go of their GTs so far. It's an odd pattern, but this was never a normal car or a normal corner of the market, was it?