Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
January 16, 2007

Step By Step

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Mmfp_0702_gt_01_z 2005_ford_GT Rear_viewMmfp_0702_gt_03_z 2005_ford_GT Front_view
Wind tunnel tested, gearhead approved, the Ford GT is all Detroit muscle, and this one has had more than its share of anabolic steroids.
Mmfp_0702_gt_05_z 2005_ford_GT Intake_manifold
Dwight Baldwin of Stage 6 welded up this aluminum sheetmetal intake hat and bolted a Wilson manifolds billet 95mm throttle body to it.
Mmfp_0702_gt_04_z 2005_ford_GT Engine
The GT's 550 Lysholm-blown horsepower was well eclipsed by the Stage 6 twin GT35R ball-bearing turbo setup. HP Performance tuned the combination and also designed its own transaxle cooler along with a few minor mods that make it work. NGK 7IX spark plugs, which are two heat ranges colder than stock, are used along with Granatelli Motor Sports coil packs to prevent the spark from blowing out.
Mmfp_0702_gt_02_z 2005_ford_GT Turbo_plumbingMmfp_0702_gt_17_z 2005_ford_GT Nitrous
A 75 hp shot from a Compucar Bottle-in-a-Bag nitrous-oxide system helps drop the e.t.s

It pins you to the seat with increasing pressure, and while your body is busy becoming one with the black leather upholstery, the scenery outside begins to blur. The front end rises ever so slightly, and shortly thereafter you expect the wheels to come off of the ground for liftoff. This is not the Air Force's latest fighter jet, but if the military needed a lightning-quick supercar, this would be it.

If you haven't looked at the pictures or seen it on the Internet, we must tell you this is no ordinary Ford GT. While the factory 550 hp and Earth-moving torque is impressive, hold on because this one produces nearly twice that-at the wheels. With an estimated 1,200 crankshaft horsepower, this Ford GT is like no other.

The red and white Ford dispenses high-powered exotics at the blip of the throttle. ZO6 Corvettes? Not worth mentioning. Lamborghinis and Ferraris? No problem. Single-turbo Supras? Not a chance. Surely the twin-turbo Saleen S7 must be capable, but it got mowed down like yesterday's grass. Hayabusas and GSXRs offer a glimmer of hope, but they just don't have the stones.

Only modified race bikes have brought a challenge. Heck, we thought about setting up a match race with a million-dollar, 1,000hp Bugatti Veyron 16.4, but as this car's owner proclaimed, "I will smoke that thing." Bold words that are backed by more knockout power than UFC Champion Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell.

Plain and simple, Joe Cermin's twin-turbo Ford GT is an absolute rocket ship, and we should know-we spent about three hours in and out of the throttle of this 1,012-rwhp machine that has sparked a wildfire of interest on the Internet. What's more impressive is that we flogged this fine piece of Ford artillery in the midday, 95-degree Florida sun. With the air conditioning chilling us down and AC/DC cranking on the speakers, the GT never missed a beat.

Of course, we knew it was only a matter of time before Ford GT owners began modifying their cars. Whether its wheels and tires or improved performance, exotic car owners buy these machines for exclusivity, and sometimes it's not a matter of who has the fastest car. The urge to alter the vehicle from factory specs could just come down to making it fit your personality. But this story has more to do with street superiority than touting your unique ride.

Ford's GT supercar has received nothing but praise since its release, with Americans in general gravitating to the 550hp, U.S.-built machine simply because it's a Ford. It's a conglomeration of aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber, and titanium that touches the true heritage of the company.

The fact that it is a Ford and it shares numerous similarities with other highly popular, high-performance automobiles (think SVT Lightning and Cobra) no doubt helped to accelerate GT performance modifications. Ford Racing Performance Parts even offers a few hop-up parts for the beast. This relative ease of modification was just one reason Joe purchased his '05 Ford GT back in October 2005.

One year later, his GT has racked up some 8,000 supercar-slaughtering, street-bike-slaying miles on its ticker, more than half of which have been with its pair of Precision Turbo Garrett GT35R turbochargers pressurizing its eight cylinders.

But before we give you all the facts, let's turn back the clock. With just 250 miles on the odometer, a mere week after taking the keys, Joe stopped by HP Performance in Orange Park, Florida, to see what could be done to make his GT a tad faster. Joe is no stranger to fast cars, so he knew he wanted more from the GT. As president of a medical imaging software com-pany, he has been able to fill his garage with quite a bit of horsepower. "I had a Lotus Esprit twin-turbo and then a Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster that actually caught on fire while I was driving it," Joe says. "Right before I picked up the GT, I had a Kleemann SL65 Mercedes with 600 hp and 721 lb-ft of torque.