Right now on YouTube, there are a variety of channels that detail a few months of supercar ownership — and then they go through the costs and expenses associated with it. Other channels buy broken supercars and then fix them up, again detailing the costs incurred. Both are fun and entertaining — but I’ve got something a bit more insightful, at least in my opinion: 14 years of Ford GT maintenance records.
I bought my Ford GT new from the original owner, Karl Brauer (who now has a new Ford GT), who religiously saved every single piece of paper and documentation over his 14 years with the car. As a result, I was able to tabulate the precise costs of every single piece of Ford GT repair and service over more than a decade, giving real insight into what it costs to own this supercar for 14 years.
Better yet, Karl actually drove his Ford GT — and there are 33,000 miles on the car, as I type this. That’s a huge figure in the Ford GT world, as most of these were stored in bubbles inside climate-controlled garages, so the market is flooded with sub-500-mile, perfectly preserved, ultra-babied Ford GT models. Not mine. Mine’s been driven, and the benefit is now we can see how much it costs to actually drive and use this car.
So, how much is it? Well, first a quick note on the GT: it’s amazing just how few unscheduled repairs it has needed. In fact, there have been only four: the windshield broke due to a flying rock, and it was replaced. A few of the gauges went out and needed replacement, which is a common problem in the car. And then two issues happened while I’ve had it: the check engine light went on, indicating an EGR valve issue, and the battery ground came loose.
That’s it — just a handful of unscheduled repairs in the entire 13 and a half years since this car was purchased, even in spite of the fact that it was driven pretty commonly. Otherwise, it was all usual maintenance: tires (the car has had 14 tires, with 4 new ones ready to go on soon), brakes, fluids, oil changes, etc. There were also a few modifications made by Karl (like an exhaust, an aftermarket supercharger pulley and tune, and a few more items) that I’m not counting towards the total, since they’re personal preference items.
But if you add it all up, and if you take out sales tax, registration renewals, smog checks, and insurance, the total cost to own this car — in maintenance and repairs — was about $16,700 over 13 years, or roughly $18,500 when you account for inflation. Yes, that’s right: just $18,500 to drive a midengine exotic car 33,000 miles for nearly 14 years. That comes to around $113 per month to drive this car.
When you consider the fact that the GT hasn’t really depreciated, the number is truly impressive — and it means the cost of ownership was practically zero for Karl over the last 14 years. Likewise, since I bought the car, I haven’t put excessive money into it — just $6,700 or so thus far, with no new projects on the horizon — and I expect my ownership costs to be pretty low, as well.
Indeed, this car has been truly cheap to own — and I can’t imagine many other midengine exotic cars could make it 33,000 miles over 14 years with only $18,500 in inflation-adjusted maintenance and repair costs. Factor in depreciation, and I really believe this GT has been cheaper to own than basically any other 2005 Ford — meaning if you had walked into the Ford dealer in ’05 and bought a GT, you’d be in a better financial position right now than if you had chosen an Explorer. Of course, most people didn’t really have that choice, but the fact remains true.
In the end, this highlights the primary reason why I bought the GT — because it’s cheap to fix, reliable and easy to work on. I’m thrilled that 14 years of service records confirm that — and I’m excited for many more years of enjoyment without major expenses. Find a Ford GT for sale