One of the most important Ford GT examples ever produced is looking for a new home: the 2004 Ford GT Prototype CP-1. Acting as the first factory prototype for the rebirth of the iconic American supercar, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have such a car included in your collection. The car’s importance was enough to merit it a “Publisher’s Choice” in the duPont REGISTRY automotive magazine.
This Ford GT prototype is a piece of automotive history with known provenance that cannot be duplicated. CP1 (or Confirmation Prototype 1) is the first fully functional Ford GT prototype built in 2003 as part of the development phase. The preceding red, white and blue centennial prototypes were non-runners built for exhibition only and currently reside in the Ford Museum. This car, with VIN #004, was the first prototype fitted with a full drivetrain and interior.
CP1 is offered with factory Build Sheet documentation, and remains fitted with test connections and monitoring equipment used in road and Emissions Certification testing. The car is autographed by 13 members of the original GT design team, including Carroll Shelby, Bill Ford, GT Chief Designer Camillo Pardo and GT Chief Design Engineer Fred Goodnow. In 2008 CP1 was purchased from Ford by a respected GT collector and author of the definitive book on the reborn Ford GT. CP1’s originality is perhaps what makes the car so tantalizing to Ford enthusiasts.
The body and engine compartment feature an array of non-standard components and many design features that are exclusive to this prototype, such as the airbags, which are Mustang components, and the steering column from a Ford Windstar. The cool silver trim rings on the seats didn’t make it to production, the striking Camillo designed all aluminum headliner was replaced in production by a more traditional sound padded roof and a note scrawled in marker on the center console ominously instructs test drivers to “push red button to start” the rear-mounted V8 engine.
On the exterior, the right quarter panel features two quick release valves connected to the fuel tank that aid in swift changes of fuel grades. Extending beyond the rear bumper is a set of experimental exhaust pipes connected by a “sniffer pipe” that helped engineers determine accurate emissions output during the test phase. The engine compartment on CP1 is fitted with a carbon fiber rear clam shell that dramatically reduced curb weight. However, when Ford executives learned that each clamshell would cost approximately $45,000 to produce, the idea was scrapped in favor of a more traditional and far less expensive aluminum tub.
The motor has a prominent black supercharger and valve covers, which were replaced in production by a silver blower and traditional Ford blue valve covers. While CP1 has a fully functional powertrain and the car has a 17 digit VIN, prior to the sale in 2008 Ford engineers installed a chip in the engine to limit top speed to 5 mph.
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