HomeMediaFirst running prototype of Ford GT at Russo and Steele auction

First running prototype of Ford GT at Russo and Steele auction


The prototype Ford GT retains its original unique features | Russo and Steele photos

If there ever was a car that deserved the title of “instant collectible,” it’s the Ford GT. Modeled after Ford’s all-conquering GT40 endurance racers of the 1960s, the cars that beat Ferrari at Le Mans and dominated the classic 24-hour race, the mid-engine Ford GT was produced for just two model years, 2005-2006.

Today, it is a star entry at collector car auctions, often selling for twice or more than its original retail price.

The prototype was the first GT completed with functional engine and driveline

Ford first rolled out a running, drivable prototype of the GT in 2003. Named CP-1 for Confirmation Prototype 1, and given VIN 004, the prototype included many experimental features, some of which made it into production, some that did not.

The CP-1 prototype will be offered at auction in January at Russo and Steele during its January 18-22 sale at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, a new location for the Scottsdale, Arizona, auction.

“A true motorsports and design landmark in every respect and an essential part of the Ford GT development and testing process, CP-1/VIN 004 stands as an incredible link bridging the original GT40 of the 1960s to the current Ford GT that took on the world’s best and won at the 2016 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” according to a Russo and Steele news release. “Truly historic as the first powered and fully functional Ford GT prototype, CP-1/VIN 004 offers an incredible opportunity at auction.”

A complete interior was installed for the first time

“GT Joey” Limongelli, a noted GT collector and author of Ford GT 2005-2006: The Complete Owners Experience, purchased the prototype  from Ford in 2008.  At the time of the sale, Ford engineers installed an electronic chip limiting the car’s top speed to just 5 mph, which essentially determined its use as a display-only vehicle.

The CP-1 prototype resurfaced in June 2016 when it was  offered by Barrett-Jackson during its inaugural Northeast Auction.   The car went unsold when bidding failed to meet the reserve.

The car is something of a time capsule that retains the test connections and monitoring equipment used by the engineers for the Ford GT’s road and emissions certification. The factory Build Sheet documentation comes with the prototype.

Also featured on the historic vehicle are the autographs of 13 members of the original Ford GT design and development team “including Bill Ford, GT chief designer Camillo Pardo, GT chief design engineer Fred Goodnow, and even Carroll Shelby, who played a major role in the Ford GT testing and development program,” the news release says.

For information about the Russo and Steele sale in Scottsdale, visit the auction website.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. The GT made a name for itself in the 1960s, and the nameplate returned to Ford for the 2005 and 2006 models. Since then, the vehicle has truly evolved into a supercar, evident by it’s $100,000+ price tag.
    The company has made some changes to the third-generation GT, prioritizing handling and track capabilities in their 2017 model. The result? Not only one of Ford’s most impressive cars ever, but perhaps one of the most innovative cars to ever be released. For more information about the 2017 Ford GT Specs checkout.

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