If you love freedom, you really should tune into the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona today. Not only is is set to be a great race on its own—it always is—it’s also where we’ll see the rebirth of an American speed legend.

Ford shocked the world last year by unveiling the new twin-turbo V6 Ford GT, and not only will they put this modern supercar on sale this year, they’ll race it today. That’s a big deal.

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Now seems like an appropriate time to sum up why the new GT is such a big deal, and maybe re-tell the stories of how the original GT40 was designed to beat Ferrari at its own game—and did at Le Mans 50 years ago this year.

Here are some of our favorite Ford GT stories. Feel free to share yours too.

The Amazing History Of Ford’s Greatest Supercar

It’s been six years since Ford stopped making the GT, and forty four since they last won at Le Mans with a car so low most of us wouldn’t even fit in it. The original British-American GT40 racecar was good enough to kick Ferrari’s ass thanks to Carroll Shelby’s ideas, while the modern version was not only a brave answer to the question of an American supercar, but had also proven itself on the racetracks in GT1 and GT3 tunes. Carroll Shelby helped Ford with that as well.

Here’s A $7 Million 1965 Ford GT40 Prototype Flat Out At Willow Springs

After all the excitement about the new Ford GT going racing as early as this year, how about going back in time by hopping into GT/108, the most original and rarest GT40 in existence for a lap around Willow Springs International?

Ever Wonder What Happened To Grand Prix’s Ford GT40 Camera Car?

The 1965 Ford GT40 with the number P/1027 was purchased by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer soon after it was displayed at the 1966 Brussels Motor Show to be used as a high-speed camera car. But what happened to it afterwards?

Watch This And Learn How To Drive A GT40

The 1966 Ford GT40 is not like most cars. Sure, its got headlights, air conditioning, and a key, but that’s not my point.

Your Ridiculously Awesome Ford GT40 Wallpaper Is Here

Four times. The Ford GT40 won at Le Mans four times. In a row. Do you know what cars haven’t done that? Hint: it’s pretty much all of them, save for a few. The Bentley Speed 8 did not. The McLaren F1 did not. The Porsche 917K did not. The Jaguar D-Type did not. There’s a reason it’s a legendary.

Steve McQueen’s $11 Million GT40 Is The Most Expensive American Car Ever Sold

This Ford GT40 fetched $11 million on the Pebble Beach Auction block this weekend, making it the most expensive American car ever sold.

How Carroll Shelby And A Gang Of Nerds Beat Enzo Ferrari

If you only know the late Carroll Shelby for his tuner cars, you’re missing an amazing story of how, during the mid-1960s, his little, nerd-filled race shop in Los Angeles helped Henry Ford II exercise his famous vendetta against Enzo Ferrari. Playboy editor A.J. Baime tells that story in his book, Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans.

Here Are The Magnificent Lunatics Who Will Pilot The New Ford GT At Le Mans

Anyone wonder what ex-Nissan LMP1 driver Olivier Pla and ex-BMW factory driver Andy Priaulx were up to in 2016? Well, they’re joining ex-Aston Martin ace Stefan Mücke and Guy Who’s Driven Everything Marino Franchitti to pilot Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s new Ford GT in the World Endurance Championship.

The 2016 Ford GT Is The Coolest Thing Since Liquid Nitrogen

We just can’t get enough of this car.

We Went Looking For Cool Cars And Found The Designer Of The Ford GT

What happens when you go carspotting during Pebble Beach weekend? Well, sometimes you randomly bump into the man who designed the legendary Ford GT, with his car parked right on the street.

Watch The New Ford GT Race Car’s Shakedown For More Pops And Bangs

Long before the Ford GT race car’s public debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ford kept busy doing shakedowns to develop the perfect tool for next year’s race. Here’s some of that blue-white-red action.

The New Ford GT On Track Sounds Violently Sick

Here’s the new Ford GT on track and it sounds totally sick. I mean that both figuratively and literally.

Why Now’s The Perfect Time For The 2016 Ford GT

Ford is on a roll like an unhinged wrecking ball down Lombard Street with crazy cars right now, and the Ford GT is going to be their king. If you already figured that out, how about just an excuse to watch one wail around a track?

The Sound Of The Ford GT Race Car Will Make You Crap Bald Eagles

If you’re already amped about the new Ford GT race car and America’s glorious return to the Le Mans race, this video will turn your brain into a bicep while making your blood run red, white and blue. Uh, in a good way. If you haven’t seen the car... just hold on to your butts and push play.

This Is The Ford GT Race Car That Wants To Dominate Le Mans

It’s virtually impossible to mention the Ford GT, or its predecessor, the Ford GT40, without mentioning the monumental achievement that is Le Mans. The original GT40 racer was thrown down as a gauntlet against Ferrari. This new Ford GT race car is being thrown down as an in-your-face challenge to the entire world.

Ford GT: This Is It

Ford did it. They actually went and did it. It’s been rumored about and speculated on for months, but now we know it’s real. This is it: the new Ford GT. Ford just dropped a bomb on the rest of the world, and it’s got a 600 HP twin-turbo V6, if you can believe it.


Contact the author at patrick@jalopnik.com.