For the second part of my Most Expensive American Cars series, we’ll take a look at the most expensive products sold by the Ford Motor Company. As before, I’ll be adjusting all prices to 2021 levels using my favorite online inflation calculator. Once again, I’m being selective, so don’t complain that I missed the F-350 King Ranch Limited Platinum Lariat edition.
1956 Continental Mark II – $9,966 ($99,548 adjusted)
The Continental Mark II was the car that William Clay Ford (both pictured above) intended to compete with Rolls Royce, and priced accordingly at a then heart-wrenching $9,966 (about double a contemporary Lincoln). Even then, Ford still managed to lose money on every one. Well equipped for its day, the Mark II was available with only one option, air conditioning, at $595. When so equipped, the 2021 adjusted price crosses the 100K mark, at $105,492.
In case you were wondering, the OG flathead V12 powered 1939-1946 Lincoln Continental was actually a relatively affordable car in its day (at least by exotic-car standards), as it was based on a contemporary Lincoln Zephyr. It started at around $2800, which equates to less than $60,000 in 2021.
2020 Lincoln Continental Coach Door Edition – $116,645
Near the end of the final-generation Continental’s production run, Lincoln released the car that this generation of Continental should have been all along. Lincoln produced a limited run of 80 hand-build suicide coach door models in 2019, priced at $110,000 apiece. After selling out in 48 hours, Lincoln decided to make the coach door a regular production option for $2020, while increasing the price to $116,645.
The Coach Door Edition may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it is fantastic. To me, the Continental is synonymous with suicide doors, and if the opportunity to purchase one second-hand at a reasonable price were to present itself in a few years, I would give it serious consideration.
1965 Ford GT40 – $20,000 ($172,505 adjusted)
We all know the story, or at least have seen the movie. Rebuffed by Enzo Ferrari at his attempts to acquire his company, Henry Ford II commissioned the GT to bury Ferrari on the race track, which they did finishing 1, 2, and 3 in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, a race which Ford dominated for the remainder of the decade.
While primarily designed and built to support Ford’s racing efforts, a few were sold for homologation purposes, with an original selling price of roughly $20,000 (exact numbers are hard to find), or $172,505 in today’s dollars. Impressive, yes, but this is actually the cheapest of all the Ford GTs, even after adjusting for inflation.
2005 Ford GT – $149,995 ($208,669 adjusted)
To commemorate the 100th birthday of the Ford Motor Company in 2003, Ford commissioned a modern reinterpretation of the iconic GT40 to be produced in limited quantities.
Speculators quickly caught wind of the GT, so even before production ended in 2006, examples were already selling on the second-hand market for $100,000 or more over sticker price. This would be a lesson that Ford would take to heart when pricing the third-generation GT (below).
2021 Ford GT – $500,000
With an MSRP of $500,000, the current Ford GT is not only the most expensive Ford ever, but one of the most expensive mass-produced American cars, period.
In an effort to curb the speculation that took place around the previous model, Ford required all potential GT buyers to submit applications and sign a contract agreeing not to resell the car for 24-months after taking delivery. Early models whose “no-flip” agreements have since expired are going for upwards of a million dollars or more on the second-hand market, so once again it appears that Ford left money on the table even at this price level.