The History of Ford vs. Ferrari

December 20th, 2019 by

*Image sourced from https://performance.ford.com/enthusiasts/media-room/2019/11/ford-vs–ferrari-history.html

The Ford vs. Ferrari Rivalry

The Movie, Ford vs Ferrari, brings to life for the world to see, the history of an underdog going up against the champions of 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Considered to be the oldest endurance race in history, 24 Hours of Le Mans, is a grueling race that will push everyone involved to their absolute limit. It’s been held annually since the 1920s and is deemed to be the most prestigious race in the world.

The movie captures Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles, part of Ford’s racing team, as they try and take the title over Italy’s Ferrari.

Carroll Shelby and Shelby Cobra

Carroll Shelby wasn’t always a race car driver, but instead was a pilot in his early life. His piloting skills allowed him to serve in WWII as a flight instructor. After completing his service, Shelby decided to try his hand at racing. Due to his heart problems since an early age, Shelby decided that instead of racing fast cars, he would build them instead.

His greatest combination included sticking an American V-8, from Ford, in the body of an English AC Coupe. This combination would later spark the creation of the Shelby Cobra.

His work would later become noticed by the manufacturing giant Ford. After experiencing humiliation from Ferrari, Henry Ford II decided to prototype and test their new racecar, the GT40 MK I. Vice President Lee Lacoca of Ford, hires Shelby to help build the GT40.

Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles

Miles was a former British racer and mechanic, whom together with Carroll Shelby set out to beat Ferrari and claim the first American win at Le Mans.

Issues rose up during testing of the Ford GT40 MK I, which Miles had predicted before the beginning of the race. Henry Ford II experienced defeat when none of the cars could finish the race due to technical issues. But not all was in vain as Enzo Ferrari saw the power of the GT40 in action.

Commence the development of the GT40 MK II.

1966 24 Hours of Le Mans

Finally, the 1966 Le Mans race started, and with Henry II brimming with confidence, the Ford team set out with victory in mind. After a faulty door on the first lap, Ford did not give up and continued to push through.

Despite the slight setback, Miles would go on to dominate and set new lap records. Toward the end of the race, Miles is met with Bandini, the competing driver from team Ferrari. Dueling on the Mulsanne Straight for 1st place, and pushing their cars to the limit, Bandini ends up blowing up his engine, which eliminates Ferrari from the race.

This allowed the Ford team to take the podium finish for all three spots, completely declaring the Ford team as the victors.

Today, Henry Ford II, Carroll Shelby, and Ken Miles, are honored for the first American victory at 24 Hours of Le Mans. The tradition of high-performance and top of the line vehicles has been passed down to today’s Ford cars and trucks, all of which you can find at Gullo Ford.

Contact our team today to find the perfect new car or truck for you and own your own piece of supercar history!

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