Scotland is a country festooned with great driving roads. Motormessenger chats to Graham Davidson, the director of car storage company GT Storage Solutions, behind the wheel of a Ford GT.
The mid-noughties Ford GT is certainly a familiar shape, despite being taller, wider and longer than the original GT40 four decades its senior. Originally conceived in tribute to the Ferrari-baiting original, the GT benchmarked the contemporary Ferrari 360 Modena in terms of performance – with 550bhp from its mid-mounted V8 and an electronically-limited top whack of 205mph the end product.
As I slide down into the well-padded passenger seat, Graham talks me through the details of his model. It’s recently returned from a full engine rebuild with 60,000 miles on its digital odometer, and is putting out 750bhp and 700lb ft of torque thanks to the gorgeous Whipple supercharger over my left shoulder. I draw the light door shut, making sure not to give myself a haircut as the roof panel slides into place above my head.
On its second attempt at pushing the engine start button, the V8 flares into life before settling into a bassy idle. You need two hands to hook reverse as he demonstrates but we’re soon on our way, with beautiful sunshine streaming through the fly-spattered windscreen.
As petrolheads go, Graham is one of the most easy-going enthusiasts I’ve met. His cars get used regularly, with the stonechipped nose of the GT and two dark tyre marks down his driveway attesting to this fact.
Graham runs GT Storage Solutions – one of Scotland’s newest car storage businesses. With over 12,000ft of secure indoor storage space at his disposal, the GT Cup driver stores sports cars, classics, supercars and even normal cars for those needing somewhere secure to store their vehicles while they’re off on holiday. The highlight of the location is its ease of access to the Old Military Road, North Coast 500, or any other of Scotland’s great driving routes.
GTS Solutions has been around for a year now, with a steady uptake in customers making the most of a previously non-existent service north of the Central Belt. Dry or climate-controlled storage is offered, along with valeting or full detailing services thanks to the excellent Polished Bliss. There’s even the option for trailer hire, transport service, long-term maintenance of vehicles and an airport concierge scheme for those flying in – all designed to minimise the time between arriving and driving your toy.
The GT isn’t even trying. We’re in second gear with less than 3,000rpm on the dashboard, with the supercharger belt whirring away merrily. The rear Bridgestones squirm as the throttle is pressed and the Fordy’s 5.4-litre Modular V8 emits a deep rumble that suddenly makes the country lane we’re on feel very narrow indeed.
It’s an amazing route to Glen Esk, with single-track lanes, fields filled with cows and views of the glittering River Esk all part of the theatre and concerning street furniture. The groundswell of torque on offer genuinely seems to make it utterly irrelevant which gear you’re in, and as we drive the canopy of leaves reflects the roar back at us. Motoring gently through the villages of Aberdeenshire, we are greeted by surprised-looking pedestrians, who have clearly heard the brooding Ford’s imminent arrival well before it glides into view.
Despite the presence of some Ford switchgear (including the window controls from a Transit!), it’s an undeniably special experience to be in an analogue supercar such as this. It needs a momentary pause on the exit of corners while the chassis assumes a millimetric degree of lean before you can push on – something that Graham tells me makes it more malleable than a Ferrari 458 Speciale or McLaren 675 LT, for example.
It’s a perfect car for an awesome spring day such as this, and it even handles the bumps and potholes of the route better than my softer-sprung M3. Starting life in Detroit, Graham’s black-with-black stripes GT then found its way to the south of England before Graham took ownership of the car in 2014. It came with the remarkably few options available at the time, with the upgraded multi-spoke wheels replacing the standard chrome version and the factory red brake callipers replaced by larger AP Racing efforts.
It was his first foray into supercar ownership and still, he says, his favourite road car. After its run, it joins the rest of the vehicles in the GTS facility, nestled away in a climate-controlled carcoon.
To learn more about storing your car with GT Storage Solutions, visit the website or get in touch with Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Motormessenger thanks Graham and GT Storage Solutions for the country drive in Gran Turismo 4’s hero car