GT 1The story behind Ford and Carroll Shelby’s relationship with the Le Mans race circuit is almost as large as life itself. Even the very development by Ford of the original GT40 in the 1960s said something radical about the automaker’s capability to build an endurance car, and by the time all was said and done, it had become clear to the motorsport world that Ford was hell-bent on shutting-down Enzo Ferrari at Le Mans.

Consequently, the GT40 racer became Ford’s ultimate flagship, and so in 1966, Ford became the very first American automaker to win at Le Mans, their V-8 powered supercar conquering the world-famous racetrack three times after its initial victory. Because the performance behind the GT40 was one that was proven, the GT40 in itself became one of the Ford racing world’s most important milestones.

To celebrate their centennial anniversary, Ford decided to reintroduce the legendary GT40 design that put the company on the map in terms of professional road racing. An initial manifestation of what would become the modern GT popped-up in the guise of a concept car at the 2002 Detroit Motorshow.

The GT-R got the jump, but the GT said, 'not this time' and laid it all out.

The final cut of that production model would take the form of the Ford GT that became a supercar reality for the manufacturer from 2004-06, and it would evolve into a late-model classic that, with the help of Ford’s Special Vehicle Team, became an optimum street and track performer as well.

With no doubt in the mind of nearly any racing enthusiast, Ford’s GT became an instant hit worthy of the nameplate from which it was born. But in our featured video from CarBuzz, Ford’s blown supercar tries to take on one of Japan’s most notorious, high-speed beasts, the 2012 GT-R to regain some respect.

Nissan’s heavy but powerful GT-R has a bit of an off-the-line advantage over Ford’s supercharged GT, but does that mean that it can take-on the likes of SVT’s light and powerful Ferrari contender? Take a peek at our featured romp and decide for yourselves!

GT 2