Imagine taking your supercar out for a drive—and almost immediately crashing it. That’s what happened on Friday last week to a Florida man who barely made it out of his housing development before destroying his 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition sports car on a palm tree. The reason for the crash, according to the driver? A lack of familiarity with a manual transmission.
Driver in Florida Ford GT crash was ‘unfamiliar with how to drive stick shift’
According to reporting by Road & Track, the driver—later identified as 50-year-old Robert J. Guarini—lost control of the vehicle while shifting from first to second gear. The owner also claimed that “old tires, muddy pavement, and a fresh detailing were all factors causing the 550-horsepower supercar to swing out and hit a tree.” The man told police he was “unfamiliar” with driving stick, but there’s a lot to this story that seems suspect.
For one, the owner had not yet registered the vehicle. Secondly, though the driver claims the Ford GT was covered under an umbrella insurance policy, police say that it was not insured at the time of the accident. Updates to the article by Road & Track also claim that the driver’s license may have been suspended—though Guarini claims that it was a “clerical error” that led to the suspension.
The driver got out of his car, hitched a ride to his house, then called the police from his landline—rather than calling to report the accident right at the scene. Was this an embarrassed flee, or just a genuine love of the landline? We may never know.
Per Road & Track, the owner bought the Ford GT in Palm Beach at a Barret-Jackson auction last month for $704,000. While that number may seem extreme at first, it’s a very fair price for this model in this condition—or, at least, in its former condition.
The 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition
For those wondering why this sharp teal-and-orange car went for $700,000 in the first place, the 2006 GT Heritage Edition is a legend. Used prices for Ford GT models are sky-high as enthusiasts fight to claim one for themselves.
Ford produced only a limited number of these GT Heritage Edition cars in 2006, a little under 350. The Heritage Blue/Epic Orange color scheme was iconic, and the flashy, unique styling made the Heritage Edition even more rare and valuable. Four white roundels on the body allowed owners to place their favorite racing number on the vehicle in homage to the Ford GT-40 racecar. The 2006 GT came standard with a 5.4-liter V8 engine making 550 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque.
They aren’t all as lucky (or unlucky?) as this one, though—last summer, you could buy the same make, model, and year for cheap on an online auction site for wrecked cars. Who knows, Guarini’s GT Heritage Edition may find itself in the same spot.
Supercar crashes are astonishingly common
Many people have a morbid fascination with car crashes—especially when they’re supercars. And this sad Ford GT crash isn’t the first supercar accident within the last few years. Last year alone saw a $3.8 million supercar crash, the collision of two separate yellow Lamborghini Aventadors, and another crash involving a GT that got split in half in Beverly Hills.
This story, at least, features no fatalities or even injuries, so I can feel a little less guilty about scrolling through pictures and reading comments. The only injury so far seems to be to Guarini’s pride.
Heartbreak may turn to hope: will this GT Heritage Edition see a third life?
There have been plenty of stories of incredible supercar comebacks through careful restoration. Road & Track reports that “the damage is limited to the front third of the car;” however, “the hit was substantial enough to trigger multiple airbags and disable the vehicle.” Without insurance, that restoration is going to cost quite a pretty penny.
The damage isn’t pretty, but hopefully, someone will be able to take on the project and bring this 2006 GT Heritage Edition back to life. There are already plenty of comments on the original Facebook post from gearheads interested in adopting the broken little car.
Lesson learned, kids: always learn to drive stick in your friend’s old beater car—not in your brand-new-to-you $700,000 supercar.