Ask any enthusiast a simple question of what car they would own if they had an overly abundant amount of money and there’s a high percentage that the answer will be some sort of supercar. This shouldn’t really be a surprise, since supercars are the embodiment of everything that enthusiasts love—blisteringly fast, eye catching and rare. Even for me, the owner of an old, and quickly-aging, ’92 Mazda Miata, I would happily spring for a supercar if my bank account were to suddenly, and mysteriously, gain seven more zeros.
But the fact of the matter is, you need a lot of money to afford cars like these. And for some incredibly rare supercars, you need to be “in the know” to even have the opportunity to purchase a vehicle. Getting into a supercar was already a difficult task, but Ford has completely changed the game when it comes to getting one of their new GTs.
To keep things civil with limited-edition, high-end supercars, automakers do a couple of things. One: it’s a first-come-first-served basis. If you’re the first one in the door, you get the car. Two: dealerships tack on a massive markup for the cars to not only limit the amount of people that can afford the car, but to also get more money from a purchase. Three: the actual automaker reaches out to a select few to give them the opportunity to purchase the car.
This seems fairly straightforward. If you have the money or have purchased other cars from the automaker, you’re likely to get your hands on the latest supercar. Since the new Ford GT isn’t like any supercar before it—or that’s what Ford wants everyone to think—the automaker decided to do something a little different.
Ford only plans to make 500 units of the GT, which is much less than the 375 units of the McLaren P1 and one unit less than the Ferrari LaFerrari, so it’s obviously going to draw the attention of enthusiasts and wealthy investors alike. That’s what one assumes, but let’s not forget about the GT’s starting price tag of $450,000. That alone, one would think, will limit the amount of enthusiasts that are able to purchase the machine, but the automaker has received over 7,000 applicants that have their hopes on getting a car.
That’s right, instead of reaching out to people that owned an older version of the GT and asking them to pony up $450K for the car, Ford has gone the route of making people apply for the supercar. The application process is an extensive one that even has a section where the automaker makes the applicant promise to drive the supercar and not sell it immediately after purchase.
In an attempt to stop people from flipping the GT immediately for a huge profit, what Ford has done is created a bubble for when the GT comes out, which will be dictated by the first supercar on sale. For instance, if the first GT for sale is set at a whopping $1 million, there’s nothing Ford can do and one unfortunate, but wealthy, individual will have to pay up.
Other GT owners will see that they are now sitting on a gold mine and will surely post their vehicles for the same price if not a little bit more. And while Ford has made the applicants swear up and down that they’ll drive the vehicle, the logic behind making an owner of a $450,000 supercar do something you want is unrealistic. Say you purchased a car that has the same price has a house, would you listen to someone who’s commanding you to drive it? I sure wouldn’t.
After seeing how high prices have become for the Porsche GT3 and GT3 RS, I understand the need for an application process. Yes, it would be better if high-end supercars went to people that would actually drive them instead of locking the cars into a chamber to rot away. But these are supercar owners we’re talking about here, not average enthusiasts with an insane amount of money. And at the end of the day, a $450,000 car is as much as an investment as any other similarly-priced item.
It’s not like I’ll ever have the sort of income to hand an automaker $450,000—or even $100,000—for a car. But if I did, I don’t like the idea of filling out an application. My ability to afford the supercar should be good enough for an entry into the coveted group. I shouldn’t have to a private garage with over 100 other extremely-overpriced cars to get onto an automaker’s “friends only list.”
There was a time when getting a supercar was as easy as buying any other vehicle. You had to be willing to spend an incredible amount of money on a car and be the first on through the door. Now, automakers have made it as hard as graduating from an Ivy League school with Magna Cum Laude. There are tests, applications to meet and promises to keep, which look like they would dilute the whole experience.
I’m no millionaire and, as I’ve stated before, I doubt I’ll ever be one. But if I do become one and I have $500,000 laying around, I would fill out an application to get my hands on a supercar. However, I would do it grudgingly and then question my need for said car. Yes, a GT would be nice, but if I can get a Lamborghini Aventador SV without having to fill out some silly form, I’d much rather do that.
I highly doubt that other automakers would use a similar application form to narrow down the list of wealthy buyers for their supercars, because it’s too tedious and why on earth would they lose money to those willing to spend more. If you ask me, automakers should only have one question on the application sheet for supercars: “exactly how much are you willing to pay for this car?