August 6, 2004
Retired Microsoft exec takes delivery of first Ford GT
Kent, Washington – Jon Shirley, a retired Microsoft executive and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Seattle Art Museum, took delivery of the first 2005 Ford GT to be sold to the public.
Shirley, earned the right to buy the Ford GT at last year’s Christie’s Auction in Pebble Beach, California. He outlasted other bidders for 2005 Ford GT chassis number 10, certified by Ford as the first 2005 Ford GT offered for sale to the public. (Ford has reserved the first nine cars for internal use). Proceeds from the auction, which netted U.S.$557,500.00, benefit the designated charities of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The car, delivered to Shirley at Bowen Scarff Ford in Kent, was produced with Shirley’s choice of colour (Midnight Blue with white stripes) and options (McIntosh Radio, lightweight BBS Wheels, and grey painted brake calipers). Each Ford GT is powered by a hand-built 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, it is the fastest production car ever to wear the Ford oval.
“I can’t wait to get behind the wheel,” said Shirley, who lives in Medina, Washington. “The GT has classic lines and great power, and it’s reminiscent of the GT40s of the 1960’s that were so successful. It’s going to be a thrill to drive this car.”
Public sale number two will take place next week in Los Angeles, when Jay Leno, host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” receives his 2005 Ford GT in Los Angeles. Coincidentally, it was Leno who drove the prototype Ford GT onto the ramp at the auction in Pebble Beach last August where Shirley was the winning bidder.
The Ford GT is inspired by the GT40 racing cars which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four years in a row – 1966 through 1969.