Ford GT [2004]
Credit: Jeff Haynes / AFP / Getty Images

Number planned: 1,500 per year
What one will cost you: $150,000 (est.)
Horsepower: 500
Engine: Supercharged and intercooled 5.4 liter, twin-cam V-8
Top speed: 180 mph
0-60 mph: 3.8 seconds

History: In the early sixties Henry Ford II thought he had wrested the Ferrari company away from its founder. Talks between Henry and Enzo, however, broke down at the last second, infuriating Ford and spurring him to say, legend has it, "Okay then, we'll kick his ass." Ford marshaled the full resources of his company to humiliate Ferrari where he lived: racing. For the venue, Ford chose the 24 Hours of Le Mans, that most brutal trial of a car's performance and longevity. For the car, Ford created the GT40, a 40-inch-high cowboy boot up Ferrari's stubborn Italian posterior. The GT40 finished 1-2-3 at Le Mans in 1966, and took first place there the following three years as well. The GT40, originally born of Ford's passion, aggression, and frustration, returns next year as an all new but faithfully sexy road machine called the Ford GT.

Design: "It has a heritage no one can match," claims Ford's vice-president of design, J Mays. "Essential elements of the original – including the stunning low profile and midmounted American V-8 – continue in this latest interpretation of the classic." Truly, more than just "essential elements" have been cribbed from the sixties cars. The Ford GT is line for line a masterfully updated photocopy of the GT40, with even more muscle under the hood. Ford made the world wait 35 years for a true production version of its endurance-racing legend, and then had the good sense not to screw it up. And whaddya know? The 500 hp GT throws another gauntlet at Ferrari – this time on the street, at its 360 Modena.