A few weeks ago, on this very website, I wrote a piece that should hopefully have brought to your attention an advert in our classifieds section for a Polski-Fiat 126P, a diminutive rear-engined tot being sold by the motoring writer and TV and interweb personality Jonny Smith. My rough theme throughout this article was the importance of provenance when buying or selling a used car, and how a celebrity owner can potentially boost the price of a vehicle way beyond its true worth.
Well Jonny Smith is admirable and slick and all very well in his own way, but even he would admit he is as nothing next to the colossus that is Jeremy Clarkson, a man who of course needs no introduction to people like us, or even to the unwashed majority who for some unaccountable reason seem to take no interest in matters motoring.
Now, it appears one of his old cars is up for grabs and, as befitting a man of Clarkson’s standing, you’ll need huge reserves for this one – as you’ve probably guessed this ain’t no Polski-Fiat. It seems that even in the days before Top Gear achieved such huge worldwide fame, before The Grand Tour was even a twinkle, our Jezza had enough wedge to get himself inside a Ford GT.
Unfortunately his tales of ownership were never especially positive. His initial infatuation having been sparked by an early test of the car, he ordered one, and took delivery of it - actually the first one to be delivered to a customer in the UK - in May 2005. However, a series of electrical issues involving the car’s alarm system and immobiliser strained his patience to such a degree that it wasn’t long before he was asking Ford for his money back. Now, many years later, here it is, with 24,000 miles on the clock and an asking price of £265,000, over twice what Clarkie paid for it in the first place.
What hasn’t changed is the mighty mid-mounted 550hp supercharged 5.4-litre V8, punchy enough to push the handsome GT to over 200mph and from 0 to 62mph in 3.9 seconds. It’s still huge, this car, even by supercar standards, and if it’s not the last word in on-the-limit finesse it at least has a raw, almost old-fashioned, six-speed manual charm. The latest GT might be a racing car with number plates, a £450k lightweight sprinter, but this earlier model was altogether softer, almost refined even.
Interestingly, a quick flick through the Internet seems to show that this one is actually pretty accurately priced, without any ‘ex-Clarkson’ premium – expect to pay between £200,000 and £300,000 for a GT, depending on mileage and who’s selling it. Perhaps at these exalted levels a celebrity past counts for less than you’d think.
SPECIFICATION - 2005 FORD GT
Engine: 5,410cc, supercharged V8
Transmission: Six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 550@6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 500@3,750rpm
First registered: 2005
Recorded mileage: 24,000 miles
Price new: £126,000 (2005)
Yours for: £265,000
See the full ad here.