Sports car enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy taking a gander at the newest arrival on display at All-Star Ford-Mercury in Palestine — the 2006 Ford GT.

The limited-production vehicle is one of just a few sent to dealerships across the country. The Palestine Ford dealership was able to get the car through a lottery process.

“Because of the continued growth and sales number produced by our dealership, we were eligible for a lottery to receive one of the new GT’s,” All-Star Ford’s general sales manager Richard Rutledge said. “We feel privileged to have the car here.”

While the public is welcome to come take a look at the GT, the dealership’s main goal, of course, is to sell it. The running price for the 2006 GT is around $200,000.

“This is the last year Ford is going to produce the GT,” Rutledge said. “It is Ford’s way of showing the public that they could still produce a car with this caliber of engineering and technology.”

The 2006 Ford GT has become the first Ford production road car to achieve top speed in excess of 200 mph.

It features a 5.4L DOHC supercharged V-8 engine generating 550 horsepower and 500 pounds-foot of torque, a six-speed Ricardo™ Transmission, race-inspired front and rear double-wishbone suspension, a push-button starter, three-spoke steering wheel and leather seats.

The history of the GT begins in the early 1960s when Henry Ford II set up a new company, Ford Advanced Vehicles, to lead Ford Motor Company’s motorsports development effort.

The first Ford GT was unveiled in 1964 at the New York International Auto Show. The letters GT came from the Italian “Grand Turismo” or “Grand Touring.”

In its first Le Mans competition in 1965, the GT was competitive but forced to retire because of equipment failure. Later that year, Ford called on auto racing and design legend Carroll Shelby to oversee its racing program.

Shelby invented Ford’s 7.0L V-8 stock car engine in what would later become known as the Ford GT Mark II, which began a four year domination of endurance racing from 1966 to 1969.

The release of the 2006 Ford GT also kicks off the company’s production of several new cars such as the extended Expedition, the Fusion and the Edge, a new sport SUV.

All-Star Ford is located at 2929 S. Loop 256 across from Palestine Regional Medical Center in Palestine. For more information call 903-729-2171.

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