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Here's What It's Like to Drive Six Hours in a Ford GT

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author photo by Doug DeMuro March 2020

I recently completed a six-hour road trip in my 2005 Ford GT. This may not sound like much to you, and honestly, it's really not. I've driven across the country more than a dozen times, so six hours in a car is really a piece of cake -- but it's notable for the conveyance. Six hours is a long time in any modern exotic car, in this world of people obsessively preserving their car's value to a laughable and absurd degree, fearing any additional mileage and the impact that will have on resale value.

Me, I don't mind. My Ford GT is a very expensive car, but it's also a truly wonderful car to drive, which is one of the reasons why it's so expensive. I figure that, unless you actually enjoy that aspect of the car occasionally, there's no sense paying big money for it -- or even having it at all.

And so, last week, I set out on a six-hour drive from San Diego to Palm Desert to visit Thermal Raceway, and then I drove back through the area near the very unusual Salton Sea -- a large, man-made lake in Southern California. This isn't a huge distance, but there are no interstates involved, so it's a long trip, often at low speeds on twisting, winding roads. It's the perfect trip for a Ford GT.

And oh, was it a blast. I especially enjoyed the drive on the way out to Thermal Raceway, as this was during the middle of the week across wide-open roads where I could have fun on all the curves. I don't drive my GT as much as I should, but trips like this remind me why I should use it more: It's just so much fun.

And it has some other nice benefits, too. One is that it's shockingly comfortable. When people see a picture of the seats in a Ford GT, they think it's going to be a disaster, because there are a bunch of little plastic circular seat inserts throughout the seat back and base. But the seats are actually quite comfortable, and you don't really feel the inserts, even though you'd think you would. Better yet, there's a ton of room inside. As I always tell people, the GT was built for Americans, so it can seat larger people -- a lot better than Italian cars can, especially from the 2000s or earlier.

The other thing I really love about the Ford GT, especially on long trips, is that it's truly reliable. I had a very small issue with the car early in my ownership experience that required a tow, but it's been really strong ever since. And, most importantly, it's really not that complicated of a car. It was designed in Michigan and built there. It's not some ultra-exotic car with unobtanium parts. It really thrills me to know that every time I go to turn on my car, it'll start, even in some small town far away from any other exotic sports cars -- something I was never quite so confident about with my used Aston Martin, my used Ferrari or my used Dodge Viper.

However, there is one big drawback to the GT, and that's undoubtedly the size of the fuel tank. This has been maligned in many reviews of the car, but it really is a disaster. You can hardly get three hours of driving out of one single fuel tank. Of course, the car doesn't get the best gas mileage, and when you combine that with such a small tank, the range is really bad. Generally, this isn't much of an issue, but it's just annoying to know that you're stopping every three hours -- if you're lucky. The lack of any realistic cargo room also means that this isn't much of a practical road trip car for more than one person.

But, if it's just you, and you don't mind the stopping for fuel, few cars are better. I've truly loved the GT, and trips like this endear me to it even further. I hope I own it for many years to come. Find a Ford GT for sale

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Here's What It's Like to Drive Six Hours in a Ford GT - Autotrader
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