August 12, 2004

Jay Leno adds Ford GT to his car collection

Burbank, California – ‘Tonight’ show host, Jay Leno, took delivery of one of the first production 2005 Ford GT supercars yesterday.

Leno has been following the progress of the Ford GT program for some time, delivering a prototype of the car at an auction last year, and writing a story on the supercar for “Popular Mechanics” magazine.

Jay Leno
Jay Leno and 2005 Ford GT. Click image to enlarge

Leno is now the owner of 2005 Ford GT chassis number 12, certified by Ford as the second 2005 Ford GT offered for sale to the public. (Ford reserved the first nine cars for internal use). Jon Shirley, a retired Microsoft executive, took delivery of the first publicly-sold Ford GT (chassis number 10) last week in Kent, Washington. Shirley won the right to the first Ford GT by being the highest bidder at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance auction in August 2003.

Leno’s car was delivered to him at the NBC Studios by Jim O’Connor, Group Vice President, North America Marketing, Sales and Service, and Steve Lyons, President, Ford Division and vice president, Ford Motor Company. Also on hand was Bert Boeckmann of Galpin Ford in North Hills, the dealership which sold the car to Leno, and the number-one volume Ford dealer in the world (based on individual sales).

The car was built with Leno’s choice of colour (Red with white stripes) and options (McIntosh Radio, lightweight BBS wheels, and grey painted Brembo brake calipers). Each Ford GT will be powered by a hand-built all-aluminum 5.4-litre supercharged V-8 producing 550 horsepower and 500 lb.-ft. of torque. With a top speed of 205 miles per hour and an MSRP of U.S.$139,995, it’s the fastest and most expensive production car ever to wear the Ford oval.

“The Ford GT has the cleanest, sexiest, most attractive lines of any GT-type race car,” Leno wrote in Popular Mechanics’ July 2004 issue. “A lot of these new cars – even supercars like the Ferrari Enzo – don’t emotionally move you the way a Ford GT’s shape does.”

Leno’s first ride in a Ford GT was in a prototype with racing legend Jackie Stewart at the wheel last year at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca in Monterey, before he took a few laps of his own. “It was a hoot to drive, it’s very fast,” Leno said.

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