With the 1966 Sebring-winning Ford GT
X1 roadster as inspiration, Ford SVT engineering supervisor Kip Ewing unveiled his take on that legendary racer during the opening day of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show. Ewing conceived the idea for a roadster while working on the Ford GT launch, and after completing initial design sketches and engineering studies on his own time, he won the privilege of utilizing the Ford’s SEMA Technology Initiative to bring the Ford GTX1 roadster to life.
“The Ford GT has been an amazing automotive icon that I’ve had the pleasure to work on,” said Ewing. “The X1 project is a great way to answer the question, ‘What if?’ and utilize the power of the SEMA’s members in the aftermarket to get it done.
Ford’s SEMA Technology Initiative began in 1999 with the sharing of technical drawings and electrical schematics of the then-new Mustang. The program has expanded over the years to include the majority of Ford and Lincoln Mercury vehicles and now provides three-dimensional CAD data to aftermarket companies looking to develop parts and accessories. As part of Ford’s initiatives to promote its vehicles to SEMA members in the aftermarket, Ford supports a selection of project vehicles to be built every year for the SEMA Show, and the Ford GTX1 was one of them.
The builder chosen for the project is Mark Gerisch of Genaddi Design Group, an experienced designer and metal shaper that has a history of cutting the roofs off expensive and exotic cars. Ewing worked with Ford’s SEMA liaison team and Ford Corporate Design to bring the OEM perspective to the project, but working with Gerisch’s team in the aftermarket was critical for success.
The X1 roadster features an innovative roof system of four individual hard panels. The panels can be configured as a coupe, t-top, or full convertible. Even with all the panels installed, the outer panels can be locked into a vent position. Plus, the panels are painted in the same Valencia Yellow featuring Tungsten Silver stripes; therefore, as a coupe, it doesn’t lose any of its design appeal. And, X1 drivers won’t be caught in the rain because all four panels can be stored inside the vehicle for easy access.
The Ford GTX1’s rear clamshell covering the engine has been redesigned to feature two buttresses that flow rearward from the seatbacks. Without the need for a backlight due to its open-top configuration, the view into the engine bay could have gone away, but Ewing knew the importance of showcasing the 550-horsepower 5.4L supercharged V-8.
The answer to the inevitable question of “Can I buy one?” is yes. All it will take is a trip to your local Ford dealer to purchase a Ford GT, and then a call to Genaddi Design Group, or visit www.gtx1.com.
Besides Genaddi Design Group, the Ford GTX1 features several SEMA-member company products, including:
- Wheels: 6061 Alloy Corporation - 19-inch front/20-inch rear
- Seats: Sparco - Carbon fiber Ford GT custom
- Brakes: Brembo - Alum. mono-block/two-piece rotors
- Tires: Pirelli - P-Zero Rosso
- Dampers: Dynamic Dampers - Adjustable coil-overs
- Trunk: Multimatic - Carbon Fiber
- Exhaust: Ford Racing - Borla
- Interior trim: WK Industries
- Paint: Debeers
- Roof latching: RMD
- Clam shell cassette: Manitowoc Composites
Sony is using the Ford GTX1 roadster to showcase its latest product from its Xplôd audio system product line. Music in the GTX1 comes courtesy of the Sony Xplôd MEX-1GP “Giga Panel” AM/FM CD receiver. This new device allows users to simply transfer their favorite MP3 and WMA files from virtually any computer to the receiver’s detachable faceplate via USB cable. Dubbed “Drag and Drive”, its built-in 1GB of flash memory holds up to 500 songs for hours of uninterrupted playback.