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Wilson's Auto Restoration Blog

Ford vs. Ferrari. The Story Comes to the Big Screen

It has been just over 50 years since the infamous 24 Hours of Le Mans played host to one of the greatest rivalries in automotive history.  It is such a legendary rivalry that the story of Ford vs Ferrari is now hitting the silver screen of Hollywood.

The story has it that in 1963 Ford struck a deal with Enzo Ferrari to possibly purchase the Italian supercar company. Despite many negotiations the deal fell through in the final hour. Enzo wanted to continue to run Ferrari racing division and also wanted to participate in the Indianapolis 500. Ford felt that would be a conflict of interest since Ford equipped Indy cars with Ford engines and didn’t want to compete against Ferrari in that race. This infuriated Enzo and the entire acquisition deal was called off.

Ford had spent millions of dollars getting the Ferrari acquisition lined up and now all of that money was out the window. Needless to say, Henry Ford II was pissed off about Enzo terminating the deal. It was that broken deal that made Henry order the Ford racing division to design a supercar of their own that would be fatal to Ferrari.  That car was the Ford GT40.

Fast forward to 1966 and Ferrari was reveling in their winning streak at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Ferrari took 9 wins from 1949 to 1965 which included 6 consecutive wins from 1960-1965.  That was all about to change.  For the first time, in 1966, Ford entered the Le Mans.  Not only did Ford win, they came in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place dominating the race with the Ford GT40.

That is what the movie is all about.  It is a portrayal of American car designer Carroll Shelby and the British-born driver Ken Miles who together build a groundbreaking race car for Ford Motor Company and take on Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.

Let’s also not forget that these two automotive superpowers met again at Le Mans for the 50th anniversary of that race where Ford once again conquered every other competitor in 2016.   Check out the trailer for the movie that comes out this Friday.

 

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