The blue-collar supercar scramble
Hopeful buyers targetting Ford GT supercar
The Ford GT supercar is in big demand, and we're not surprised — just look at it.
Ford UK has confirmed that 250 people in the UK have registered a genuine interested in buying one, but with fewer than 28 cars expected to be available for the UK market the fight is well and truly on for the wealthy to get their hands on one.
GT tactics: Just 250 GT supercars will be built each year, and Ford UK says it only expects a handful to be allocated to its market.
And despite not even knowing the price yet, some potential buyers are going to extraordinary lengths to ensure they're not disappointed when it the time arrives to allocate the handful of UK cars - from buying other Ford cars to scheduling trips out the Ford's US headquarters.
High-end firm Magnitude Finance says demand for the blue-collar supercar is greater than for the Ferrari Enzo, La Ferrari and P1 McLaren
Magnitude Finance, which specialises in funding super, classic and luxury car purchases, says interest has reached 'unparalleled levels'.
But it's not just the interest that's peaking — some of the tactics hopeful buyers are using in a desperate attempt to secure one for themselves are reaching new heights.
Stunning looks, plenty of heritage and more than 600bhp: It's no surprise buyers are trying to get hold of one
The finance firm said some of its wealthy British clients have taken impromptu trips to the carmaker’s headquarters in Michigan and nearby dealerships, as well as those in Manhattan to get their name known among Ford's bigwigs.
Some are even buying other models that they may not even want in the Ford range in the hope it will help them climb the pecking order for GT allocations.
There has been a noticeable spike in sales of the Mustang, the next most expensive car Ford currently produces, from people who have registered genuine interest in the GT.
Some are going to extraordinary lengths, including trips to the carmaker's US headquarters to schmooze Ford bigwigs
Just 250 GTs will be built a year for the global market, with production expected to last just four years.
Ford UK predicted it will get a very small cut of these 1,000 or so cars, saying they expect to receive fewer models than they did in 2005 when Ford last produced the previous-generation GT.
One of those was famously sold to former Top Gear presenter and big Ford GT fan Jeremy Clarkson.
In the knowledge of the short supply, some GT lovers have even started sending requests to local Ford dealers from their holiday homes around the world in a plea to get onto the waiting lists of other countries as well as the UK.
Head of sales at Magnitude Finance, Tim Marlow, said: 'We have never experienced demand like this for any other car including the Ferrari Enzo, La Ferrari and P1 McLaren.
Just 28 examples of the previous generation Ford GT came to the UK in 2005 — Ford says fewer versions of the latest model will make it to British shores this time around
'A bit like desperate parents who move house to get their children into the best school catchment area, clients are applying from different addresses like holiday homes in the US and Europe as well as the UK in the hope it will increase their chances.
'While there is a big price difference between the Mustang and the GT, clients are seeing this as an investment if it gives them a marginal advantage with the allocations process.'
Although nothing has been confirmed, Magnitude Finance said it expects loyal customers to get first refusal.
'Owning the Focus or a Mondeo won’t help your cause but we think those who have the 2005/06 Ford GT are most likely to be offered the new model first,' Marlow said.
'As such, we have received requests for us to speak to our other clients who have the old car to see if they would be interested in selling with ‘name your price’ offers being tabled – despite not yet knowing if they will be allocated a car or the official cost.
'Estimates are wide ranging from £180,000 (NZ$432,000) up to Lamborghini Aventador levels at £350,000 (NZ$840,000), so we are creating a variety of finance packages based on different price points.
When we asked Ford for a ballpark price tag for the GT, a spokesman told us nothing had been set in stone, but it's expected to be more than a Lamborghini Aventador, which currently retails for between £265,000 (NZ$636,000) and £350,0000 (NZ$840,000).
Marlow puts an even lower estimate than others on how many he thinks will come to the UK. He said: 'Of the 250 produced globally each year, we think 12 will come here – at most it will be 17, which mirrors the seven per cent of Ford’s global sales that are made in the UK.'
Footnote: A Ford NZ spokesman said the Ford GT was being built in left-hand-drive only, and none would be officially allocated to New Zealand.