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By mid-afternoon, it’ll be hot enough to boil oil, never mind fry an egg, on the tarmac at Laguna Seca Raceway. But for the moment, the winding, hilly track is enshrouded in a chill fog so thick one can barely see the treacherous corkscrew that has tamed even the most skilled driver.
2005 Ford GTEnlarge Photo
Yet despite the frosty gloom, a score of journalists and a handful of celebrities have gathered in pit row. They pick through a pile of helmets before lining up beside a pair of low-slung roadsters, one a ticket-me-red, the other a more sedate blue-striped white. The sense of excitement is palpable among the normally-jaded scribes. But that’s not surprising, for few recent products have generated near the level of enthusiasm that has accompanied the Ford GT.
The road-ready version of the legendary Ford GT40 – the car that enabled the automaker to dominate Le Mans, and the rest of the European race circuit in the late 1960s – made its official debut during the company’s 100th anniversary celebration in June. Though volume production is still months away, TheCarConnection.com was among the lucky group given the opportunity to drive these two late prototypes.
Unfortunately, to get that opportunity required agreeing to an October embargo on driving impressions. So we can’t talk about diving into the Laguna hairpin fast enough to make you dizzy, nor discuss doing 130 on an empty stretch of Pacific Coast highway. But we can provide a hint of what it was like in pictures, each telling more than those proverbial thousand words.