Over six dozen cars turned up for the ninth-annual Ford GT National Rally around Las Vegas this year, a roaring, thundering tribute to one of America's greatest highway runners.
Every year for nine years, the members of the FordGTforum.com and their cars have gathered together. Avatars are forgotten, in-person handshakes and stories are shared, cocktails are downed and good times are had. Oh yeah, they also drive the sh*t out of these modern classics. Together.
Seeing one or two of these beasts rumbling along is usually spectacle enough, but seeing AND hearing MULTIPLE dozens of them is otherworldly and ultra spectacular. I was lucky enough to be invited along (National Rally IX) to try and capture the sights and sounds over four days in the desert. It proved to be a bit like herding cats (after all I'm used to manicured fairways and strict schedules)
There were groups of GTs everywhere you went in town, outta town and everywhere in between. Sure, there was a loose schedule, but can you ever really contain this amount of awesome? No. We tried. The week took us from the parking garage at The Hotel, to The Strip, to the middle of nowhere, across the Hoover Dam, to Spring Mountain Race facility, up highways, down highways, to the roof of Shelby American, and back. Okay, I admit, in places the sound is shoddy (but real) after all, you are strapped to the hood of a Le Mans veteran racecar. Some of you will think 'less of this, more of that', we did our best, excuse the blemishes, sometimes we get caught up in moment as well. It was seat of the pants. And fun.
I love cars you can hear before you can see and I love car dudes who will spend time showing you around the ins and outs of their rides (of 80 GTs, not one was stock). This was a match made in heaven (Detroit?) And these were the nicest folks. Seriously. To these folks, when I arrived I was just a guy with some cameras, but before long (like an hour), I was family. This was the nicest group of similarly minded car folks I have met in a long time. And why not, this car is SPECIAL, it is the perfect marriage of 'that was awesome' and 'this is amazing', nobody else has been able to achieve that recently. (Cheers to Camilo Pardo for somehow pulling that off when so many others have tried and failed. Seriously.) These folks love their cars, some drive them everyday, some let them be, but it is the unmistakable joy from just being near them that they all share.
Is that an elephant in the room? (I thought I saw something grey in the corner). In less than 2 weeks Ford is supposedly introducing the successor to this car. Really? Will it happen? The rumor mill is in overdrive, nobody seems to know for sure. Is this when we discover if the egg came before the chicken? I don't know, nobody knows. What I do know, is that I hope Dave B. and the Ford GT Forum family invite me to Detroit in 2015 for Rally X, because that is the type of party that I like. Good people and fantastic cars in the place that they were born.
Thank you to all of the FordGTForum family for welcoming us, sharing their personal footage, allowing us to chase them in our
shitty rental car, and giving us rides (who does all that?).
Find more of our work at LetsMakeMedia.com. And, yes, we do this for a living, so if you happen to own a gaggle of supercars or have friends with friends, we are happy to get together, suck fumes and make beautiful films. Enjoy. - Justin//LetsMakeMedia
Cheers. Thanks for the time and keep in touch.