Sometimes stuff just works, sometimes.
Ideas get presented, and plans made. Hotels, flights and hire cars get booked, and then un-booked. And sometimes re-booked again, but on a different day.
And then every once in a blue moon everything turns out just fine. Which is what happened pretty much all the way down the line when we took a bright yellow Ford GT to Norway at the end of the summer.
First of all we went to the Atlantic Ocean Road near Molde, which, as you can see, was a reasonably mind-altering experience in itself. But then we drove the GT 500 miles north via Trondheim and the extraordinary E39 and E6, all the way up to the town of Mo i Rana and beyond. Right up to the Arctic Circle Raceway, the northernmost race track in the world.
The original idea was nothing if not simple. Take the GT to arguably the most beautiful road in unarguably one of the most beautiful countries on earth. Drive it there for a couple of days and film and photograph it there from every which angle. Then head north, all the way up through half of Norway and, once there, try to break the road car lap record for the Arctic Circle Raceway, up to that point held by an Audi R8.
In total it would take us just over a week to complete our mission, but the planning had begun many months earlier. The journey from the GT’s temporary home in Essex to Kristiansund in Norway is an absolute monster in itself - some 1,400 miles across seven countries - and because there are just two GTs in Europe at the moment (both looked after by Ford GB) Ford, quite understandably, didn’t want us to put that much mileage on the car merely by driving it to and from the location.
So a truck was organised to deliver it to our starting point in Norway: a very big truck that also happened to contain lots of spare tyres, one or two spare parts, a Focus ST estate camera car, and an awful lot of camera equipment. Which also meant that something called a carnet form had to be completed, detailing every last nut and bolt of the truck’s cargo, including serial numbers for every single item.
As you can imagine, the planning of this element alone took us weeks to get right. And once we join the Norwegians and finally leave the European Union, it will be exactly the same pantomime each and every time we travel abroad with professional camera equipment. So we’ve got that to look forward to post-Brexit. Cheers…
In the here and now however, what became abundantly clear is that the average Norwegian goes absolutely nuts over the Ford GT, because even as the truck was unloading in an otherwise deserted car park in the coastal town of Kristiansund - which sits at one end of “The 64” Atlantic Road - a sizeable crowd had already begun to form.
By the time the GT was off the truck and parked up, ticking over loudly, as it does, a sea of smiling faces was snapping the car from all angles on all sorts of phones. Within 10 minutes the entire staff from the local Ford garage had turned up, including the boss, all with their heads nodding and their eyes bulging in bewilderment.
I had to pinch myself for a second when, I finally stood back and realised that we’d actually put this thing together; that we’d made it to the location without any major issues, and that for the next week it would be all about driving the Ford GT. And not just driving it but also living with it, looking at it, photographing it, filming it, listening to it, and watching other people go completely berserk over it.
And at the end of that week we’d know all there was to know about the Ford GT. Not merely how quick it is or how lovely it is just to look at, but also how good it is as a supercar. And by the end of it all we could surely, genuinely, decide if a.) the new Ford GT actually warrants its £450,000 price tag or not, and b.) whether it deserves a place among the true greats?