Asked By: Gordon Alexander Date: created: Jan 30 2023

Why did Ford not win Le Mans in 1966

Answered By: Carlos Barnes Date: created: Jan 31 2023

Staff Member Admin Miami 2018 Owner – I know those were the “grey” rules back then and the stewards do what stewards do. however, by all reason of logic a race is the first one to cross the finish line. as mentioned, no timed events end right on the 24, 12, 3, or whatever. no race has operated on “distance traveled” for 40+ years? Yes, interesting guy, I met him at a party in Carmel during a Monterey Historics week, I think it was around 1992 or so. I ran a Merlyn MK 6a with which I won the Chopard award for presentation and performance in 1991. I remember we talked about big truck racing Down Under, He said he loved it. Phil Hill was there as well. Image Unavailable, Please Login m5shiv and TheMayor like this. The thing that really sucks is Ken was so far ahead and he decided to be a team player and got screwed! Six degrees of separation This talk about Ken Miles brought back memories: It must have been around 1961-2 or so when I and a my racing buddy bought a almost finished race car built by a guy named Phil Washburn in Oakland CA. It was what we called in those days a “Special” that is a hand built one of kind car.

This one was a loose copy of a Lotus Seven with a Chevy Two 4 cylinder motor running dual SU side drafts coupled to a Jaguar “Moss” gearbox then to a shortened Volvo rear axle. When we finished this project in 1963 we entered it in an SCCA /USRRC race at Laguna Seca and for a car name I came up with ” The Pandora Special ” after a box of the same name.

We were in one of the support races, not the USRRC race. Back to Ken Miles.The trailer we towed that car to the races on was built to carry another special, a home built car named the Flying Shingle. Both car and trailer were built by Ken Miles As described in the book Go Like Hell, with two hours remaining in the race, Miles was leading from Mclaren a lap down (and a Holman-Moody GT40 was 3rd, 12 laps down), but Shelby asked Beebe what he wanted to do about the finish. According to the book, Beebe answered”I don’t know.

I’d kind of like to see all three of them cross the finish line together.” Shelby thought a tie between the #1 and #2 cars would be a great idea, and replied “Oh hell, let’s do it that way then”. Beebe asked a Ford of France exec to check with the officials if a tie could be arranged, and the Ford of France exec came back to say the organizers had said that if Ford wanted to do it, they could arrange a tie and cooperate with Ford.

From then, Shelby briefed the drivers McLaren and Miles about the plan – Mclaren was fine with it, Miles was not at all happy about having to give up the outright win and share a tie. Nonetheless, after the two cars came in with one hour remaining for the final driver changes, Miles did slow his pace and let Mclaren catch up.

However – after the final pit stops, in the last hour, the Ford of France exec came back to tell Beebe that the Le Mans officials had changed their minds and now advised that a tie would not be possible, that because McLaren’s car started 20 feet farther back, it would have travelled further than Miles’ car and thus would win by 20 feet.

Beebe said “Oh my God, that’s not what we want at all. Is there any basis for appealing that?” He found himself in an excruciating predicament, but they didn’t have time to figure out how to change the drivers orders for the tie, it was too late. The book also says that after running side by side into the finish straight, McLaren suddenly moved his car ahead of Miles by a car length, not honoring the tie order anyway – that’s supported by the actual race finish photos, showing McLaren’s car ahead at the flag. It wasn’t grey, it was in the books; aside from the officials agreeing that Ford could do a tie and they would class it as such, then changing their minds after the drivers had been instructed. Le Mans always had their own set of rules, with a unique Index of Performance category and category sets that didn’t always match US or European endurance series rules. Nuvolari and 375+ like this.

Asked By: Devin Miller Date: created: Nov 09 2023

Who really wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966

Answered By: Donald Green Date: created: Nov 09 2023

The REAL Story of the Twisted “Ford v. Ferrari” Finish at Le Mans in 1966 Reg Lancaster // Getty Images

Writer David Phipps of Competition Press & Autoweek likened the Ford effort at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans to a “steamroller at work.” He also noted the “confusion at the finish when the two remaining Shelby American cars crossed the line almost side by side.” The Ford Mk II entries dominated the race, in part due to the mistakes of Enzo Ferrari, who entered just three Ferrari P3 chassis, none of which finished.

In the 100 years of the Le Mans 24 hour, being celebrated with this year’s centenary, no race had a more controversial finish than the, What really happened? David Phipps of Competition Press &, Brock Yates of, and s Henry Manney were all veterans of knee-deep-in-the-pits race coverage. Ken Miles, left, talks with during the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. Miles, in the eyes of many, had a win stolen from him that year. Bernard Cahier // Getty Images The winning assault of the Ford camp was “as classically executed as a von Clausewitz campaign,” according to Yates, citing the Prussian military man.

But the final hour “left the race blighted with mysterious anti-climax and corporate confusion.” Phipps likened the Ford effort to a “steamroller at work” and noted the “confusion at the finish when the two remaining Shelby American cars crossed the line almost side by side.” The Ford GT40 Mk II entries dominated the race, in part due to the mistakes of Enzo Ferrari, who entered just three Ferrari P3 chassis, none of which finished.

His team manager, Eugenio Dragoni, compounded the dearth of entries versus a phalanx of eight Mk IIs by not using a “hare” strategy of pushing the pace with one car and allowing the other two P3s to lag for the sake of endurance. And finally, both Ferrari and Dragoni participated in intramural politics during which John Surtees, Ferrari’s number one driver in F1, was told to give way to reserve driver Ludovico Scarfiotti. Ferrari was no match for the Ford of Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon on this day. GP Library // Getty Images With no threat from Ferrari after the retirement of the P3s, four of the eight Mk IIs entered were running like a train at the front of the field at the end of the 18th hour when the leading car of Dan Gurney and Jerry Grant retired due to a radiator hose that came unclamped.

With six grueling hours to go, the Shelby American Fords of Miles/Denny Hulme and Bruce McLaren/Chris Amon ran a relatively close first and second. The Mk II entered by Holman-Moody of Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson was a distant third. Road & Track ‘s Manney reported that the rivalry among drivers would result in an occasional “Nelsonian blind eye” turned toward any directives regarding lap times, referring to famed British Admiral Nelson’s loss of sight in one eye.

According to on-the-scene reports, several of the Ford drivers had been engaged in one-upping each other’s lap times, including Gurney, Miles, McLaren, Bucknum, and Graham Hill. Once the Gurney/Grant car went to the sidelines, all the drivers were told to stick to lap times of 4 minutes, which was about 20 seconds slower than the pace the Mk IIs could turn in race trim. After the directive to slow down was given, it was confirmed that Miles drew notable ire in the Ford pits with a lap of 3 minutes, 38 seconds, which was 22 seconds below the target lap time of four minutes! Miles was told by his team’s commander-in-chief and friend Carroll Shelby that he would be yanked from the race if he tried to sneak in another such lap.

Shelby was later quoted by Yates as saying, “I would have given $50,000 to have Ken win.” Miles was also quoted in response to drawing Shelby’s anger. “If you think I’m hard on a car, look at what’s left of Gurney’s.” Miles, of course, was seeking to become the only man to win the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, and Le Mans in the same year.

But the Ford hierarchy, led by competition chief Beebe, already had a plan in place for a formation finish and a photo of Ford’s dominance, which proved to be problematic. Manney, who spent much of the race in the pits conferring with drivers and crew members, reported that Beebe informed drivers during their final pit stops about the plan for the photo finish. The starting lineup actually ended up favoring the cars starting further back in the event of a “dead heat” finish. Bettmann // Getty Images We all know how the story ends. A dead heat, i.e. a formation finish, resulted in the French officials deciding that the Ford of McLaren/Amon had won due to a faster average speed after covering more distance in the same amount of time.

This was due to starting farther down the line (under the old Le Mans start where drivers ran to their cars) after Amon qualified in fourth place behind Miles’ second-place Ford. Adding to the eventual dismay was the lack of awareness, outside of those reporting from the pits, on why Miles had slowed from a substantial lead over McLaren to allow the latter to catch him in the closing hour, run in a drizzle, for the photo finish.

“We were told to finish neck-and-neck and that’s what we did,” said Miles, as quoted by Yates. “If they’d let Bruce and me race for it, we wouldn’t have had all this nonsense.” Neither TV commentators, subaltern French officials, nor the crowd were expecting McLaren and Amon on the winner’s podium according to all the magazine reports, because the Miles car had been the leader for so long. Bruce McLaren, Henry Ford II, and Chris Amon on the victory stand at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Bernard Cahier // Getty Images As reported by Manney, and as seen in photos, Miles intentionally braked at the finish to let McLaren pass at the checkered flag signifying the finish taken at about 50 mph.

It was also suggested that McLaren might have blipped his throttle and gained about three feet. According to the movie, Beebe played the heavy due to his disdain for Miles and the latter’s unruliness. Yates reported that the Ford hierarchy had communicated with the French officials during the final hour about their dead-heat calculations and how that would result in the car of McLaren/Amon being declared the winner.

But the photo finish went on as planned. One wonders what would have happened if the Gurney/Grant Mk II had continued in the lead. Since Gurney won the pole, the car and its two American drivers would not have been the winners in a “dead heat” formation finish according to the French method. Yates’ conclusion was typically hyperbolic “Morning light,” wrote Yates, “came with Gurney and Grant well on their way to victory, until cooling trouble ended their fine drive. That left Ken Miles and Bruce McLaren to act out their climatic drama and to send Ford away from Le Mans with the one checkered flag that they had sought with more determination, more poor luck, more frivolous waste, and more exhausting work by a small group of dedicated men than any other single project in the history of automobile racing.” It was estimated Ford spent $3 million (about $25 million in current dollars) for the privilege of steamrolling Ferrari.

Phipps came closest to summing up the storyline that would later become a very successful Hollywood movie. There was “outrage at the finish of the race with the organizers awarding McLaren and Amon the victory over Miles/Hulme on the basis of space between the cars as they were lined up for the start,” he wrote in Autoweek & Competition Press.

Miles, he continued, “maintained with some justice that this was making it mandatory for any driver who wished to be sure of winning the race with a Le Mans start to start dead last. “As usual, logic made little difference in the outcome of the decision.” At the first annual Ford motorsports banquet, a photograph of the Le Mans finish in 1966 was passed around for the company’s factory drivers and team members to sign. It shows the Mk II of Bruce McLaren edging ahead at the controversial finish. Ford publicity photo courtesy of Bob Riley : The REAL Story of the Twisted “Ford v. Ferrari” Finish at Le Mans in 1966

Why did Ken Miles not win?

How Accurate is Ford v Ferrari? The True Story of Ken Miles & Ford Questioning the Story: Did Ford almost buy Ferrari? Yes. In the early 1960s, Henry Ford II’s love for car racing was part of the reason that he decided that the Ford Motor Company would start competing.

  • The other part had to do with the fact that Ford needed a marketing boost in the face of slipping sales and stiff competition from GM, especially when it came to attracting younger buyers.
  • The only problem was that Ford didn’t have a sports racing car in its fleet.
  • By 1963, Henry Ford II (the grandson and namesake of the company’s founder) decided that the quickest way to get Ford on the racetrack would be to buy Ferrari.

Ford sent a group of dealmakers to Modena, Italy to hash out a deal with Enzo Ferrari, which took months of meticulous negotiation. The negotiations are expedited for the sake of the movie. The Ford v Ferrari true story reveals that Ford’s offer was $10 million.

At first, Enzo Ferrari agreed to the deal, but there was a clause in the contract which stated that Ford would control the racing budget (and in turn the decisions). Enzo Ferrari (also known as “Il Commendatore”) couldn’t handle the idea that anyone else would control the decisions regarding his race team, so he bailed on the deal.

Ferrari using Ford to leverage more money out of Fiat is fiction. Fiat didn’t buy a stake in Ferrari until early 1969, well after Ford’s first Le Mans win. It’s true that an angry Henry Ford II sought revenge by directing his company’s finances toward putting together a racing team and building a sports car that could beat Ferrari, specifically at the most prestigious car race in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

  • Henry Ford II (left) became determined to beat Ferrari at Le Mans after Enzo Ferrari (right) backed out of Ford’s offer to buy his company.
  • What is the 24 Hours of Le Mans?

First held in 1923, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which takes place in the town of Le Mans, France, sets itself apart because instead of being a fixed-distance sports car race that awards the win to the car with the minimum time, the 24 Hours of Le Mans gives the win to the car that covers the greatest distance in a span of exactly 24 hours.

Like in the film, one of the biggest challenges is to create a car that will have the endurance to last the full 24 hours without mechanical failure. Did Carroll Shelby stop racing because of heart problems? Yes. Shelby (portrayed by Matt Damon) had been only the third American driver to ever win at Le Mans, co-driving an Aston Martin DBR1 (with Englishman Roy Salvadori) to victory in 1959.

A Ford v Ferrari fact check confirms that a life-threatening heart ailment, angina pectoris, prompted Shelby to retire as a race car driver. Like in the movie, he was prescribed nitroglycerin tablets. He also wanted to put his focus into building cars.

  1. Did Ken Miles really drive tanks during WWII?

Yes. At the start of WWII, Christian Bale’s real-life counterpart, Ken Miles, was posted to an anti-aircraft unit. He then worked in machinery, and in 1942, he was promoted to staff sergeant. He participated in the 1944 D-Day landings as part of a tank unit.

Motor Sport As for his wife Mollie (Caitriona Balfe) and son Peter (Noah Jupe) in the movie, they’re indeed based on his real-life wife and son, Mollie Miles and Peter Miles. Were the early versions of the Ford GT40 really that dangerous? Yes. The Ford GT40s (they stood just 40 inches high) that competed at Le Mans in 1964 and 1965 were far from perfect.

While exploring how accurate Ford v Ferrari is, we learned that Ford failed to finish the race both years. Though the cars were fast, they broke down. Gearboxes failed, head gaskets blew, and the front brake rotors heated up to 1,500 degrees in seconds and stopping working.

  • The aerodynamics were also dangerously bad.
  • At over 200 mph, the cars developed so much lift they’d encounter wheelspin.
  • While test driving the vehicles in 1964, two aerodynamically unstable GT40s crashed.
  • The accidents prompted Ford test driver Roy Salvadori to quit.
  • I opted out of that program to save my life,” he commented.

-Popular Mechanics Was Ford involved in the making of the Ford v Ferrari movie? No. Other than providing certain archival materials for research, Ford didn’t participate in the production of the film. The movie is based on A.J. Baime’s 2009 book, by A.J.

Baime provided the basis for the Ford v Ferrari movie. Does the Ford v Ferrari movie omit some of the races? Yes. “There were more races than we could track.” said director James Mangold of Ford v Ferrari ‘s historical accuracy. “Growing up watching sports movies, I didn’t want to have to montage my way through seven or eight races as opposed to really landing in one.” Mangold said that omitting some of the earlier races was necessary because he wanted to have time to accurately communicate the idea of a 24-hour race and how hard it was on the vehicles and the men.

“The only way to communicate that is to not do the 24-hour race in 11 minutes. We’re making Saving Private Ryan in reverse. We watch 90 minutes of drama, then go to war. The race itself is almost an hour, an immersion.” -IndieWire Were Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles really as integral to the development of Ford’s GT40 race car? Not exactly.

  1. The Ford v Ferrari movie depicts automotive designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and British driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) as mavericks who fight corporate interference, namely from Ford’s racing director, Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas).
  2. In order to create a more compelling story around its two main characters, Shelby and Miles, the movie largely omits the vast cast of participants who were responsible for the success of the GT40 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

A Ford v Ferrari fact check reveals that in addition to Shelby and Miles, many other talented Ford employees and contractors worked to solve the complex set of engineering hurdles in an impossibly tight time frame. This included the Ford bureaucrats at the Dearborn, Michigan headquarters, nicknamed the Glass House.

  • Driver Ken Miles (left) at Le Mans in 1966 and Christian Bale (right) as Miles in the movie. Photos: The Henry Ford / 20th Century Fox
  • Did Carroll Shelby take Henry Ford II for a heart-pounding ride?

No. The Ford v Ferrari true story reveals that it was actually Ken Miles (Christian Bale’s character) who took Ford for a wild ride. There’s no record of Ford crying, which is fiction. Shelby also never locked Leo Beebe in an office while Ford was being taken for a ride.

  • IndieWire Did Dan Gurney have to push his car across the finish line at Sebring in 1966? Yes.
  • Though it’s not in the movie, investigating the true story confirms that this actually happened.
  • Gurney’s car expired on the final corner and Ken Miles passed him, taking first place.
  • Gurney then pushed his car across the finish line.

His son, Alex Gurney, also a racer, portrays him in the Ford v Ferrari movie. Did Ford perfect the GT40’s engine by running it on a dynamometer that simulated Le Mans? Yes. To guarantee that the engines would last at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ford ran them on a dynamometer (an instrument that measures the power output of an engine) controlled by a program that simulated durability and performance.

  • Computer-controlled servo actuators then ran or “drove” the engine just as it would be driven at Le Mans, complete with pit stops that included shut downs.
  • An engine was run until it exploded, at which time the engineers would address the problem and start the process over until their design was able to last back-to-back Le Mans simulations.

The result was a robust 427-cubic-inch V-8 engine. -Popular Mechanics Did all of the races in the movie actually happen in real life? No. During our exploration into Ford v Ferrari ‘s historical accuracy, we learned that the race at Willow Springs Raceway in California never actually happened in real life.

  1. It was created to help develop the personalities and relationship of race-team leader Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and his driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale).
  2. Car and Driver Ford driver Ken Miles (left) and actor Christian Bale as Miles (right).
  3. Did the Ford bureaucrats, including racing head Leo Beebe, refuse to send Ken Miles to Le Mans in 1965? No.

The conflict between Ken Miles and the Ford bureaucrats is played up significantly in the movie, in addition to Miles’ hot temper. Historically, there wasn’t nearly as much push-back from Ford regarding Ken Miles competing at Le Mans. Unlike what’s seen in the movie, Miles did go to Le Mans in 1965, losing to Ferrari.

  • He was forced to stop due to gearbox failure.
  • Did Carroll Shelby bet his business on Ken Miles winning a race? No.
  • Carroll Shelby never bet Henry Ford II his entire business so that Ken Miles could drive at Le Mans.
  • Ford’s right hand Leo Beebe (portrayed by Josh Lucas) did object to risks that Ken Miles took on the track, but the tension between Shelby and Beebe in the movie is significantly dramatized.

Shelby also never carried a sign over to the shoulder of the track that read, “7,000+ go like hell.” Did Henry Ford II hand racing division head Leo Beebe a handwritten note that said, “You better win.”? Yes. Not included in the movie, this happened several weeks before the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.

  • Ford wrote the message on a business card and handed it to Beebe, who kept it in his wallet for the rest of his life.
  • In the film, Leo Beebe is portrayed by Josh Lucas.
  • What year did Ford finally beat Ferrari at Le Mans? The Ford GT40 brought Ferrari’s dominance at Le Mans to an end in 1966, when the Ford GT40 Mark IIs captured first, second and third place.

Ford also took the top spot at Le Mans the following three years – 1967, 1968 and 1969. Factory support was withdrawn after the 1967 win. Privately owned GT40s captured the top spot in ’68 and ’69. Top: The Ford GT40 Mark II at Le Mans in 1966. Bottom: The movie version of the GT40 Mark II at Le Mans.

Was Enzo Ferrari at Le Mans? No. “The biggest cheat in this movie: Ferrari never showed up at Le Mans,” says director James Mangold. “I insistently put him there. I couldn’t stand the idea of cutting to the kid and mom and Ferrari on the phone or on radios, I couldn’t do it. Sorry, history!” As for Henry Ford II, he was present at Le Mans.

-IndieWire Are the movie’s racing scenes real or CGI? The film’s intense racing footage is 100% real with no computer generated effects. One of the only things that is CGI is the shots of the crowd, due to the enormous size of the audience, which would have been difficult to recreate.

  1. Were the real-life cars that competed at Le Mans used in the movie? No.
  2. The cars that still exist are worth millions and are far too valuable to be used in a movie.
  3. Instead, period-correct replicas were built for the film, including the Le Mans-winning Ford GT40s and Ferrari 330 P3s.
  4. The Ford GT40 that takes first place at Le Mans in the movie is a Superformance GT40 Mk II replica that was borrowed from Shelby collector William Deary.

It is an exact copy of the original (pictured below), both inside and out.

  1. The real Ford GT40 Mark II driven by Ken Miles at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.
  2. Did Ford win the 1966 Le Mans because of brakes?

To a large degree, yes. Ford engineer Phil Remington (portrayed by Ray McKinnon) came up with a brake system that would allow the pit crew to quickly swap out the pads and rotors during a driver change. This meant that brakes would no longer have to be run beyond their limits.

The Ford v Ferrari true story confirms that the other teams indeed cried foul, complaining that it gave Ford an unfair advantage, but there was no rule against it. -Popular Mechanics Own a replica Ken Miles/Denny Hulme 1966 Ford GT40 Mark II #1 Le Mans 1:18 diecast. Is the finish of the race at the end of Ford v Ferrari based on the true story? Yes.

Video and photos exist of the three Ford race cars finishing together at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. It’s true that Ken Miles had been minutes ahead of the other cars, but due to self-serving instructions from Ford, combined with a technicality, Miles was given second place instead of first.

  • Ford management had indeed instructed him to slow down so that all three of their cars could cross the finish line together.
  • Miles wasn’t as outraged over the idea as he is in the movie.
  • In an effort to please the company he worked for, he let off the gas.
  • It is believed that despite team orders, Bruce McLaren accelerated just ahead of Miles at the last moment in an attempt to finish in the top spot (in the film, all three cars cross at the same time).

Even if Ken Miles had been slightly ahead or tied with McLaren when the race ended, the fact that he obeyed orders from Ford and slowed down is what cost him the win. This is because race officials ruled that since Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon started the race further back, they therefore covered a greater distance in the same time.

The bungled photo finish resulted in Ken Miles being denied the coveted chance of winning Sebring, Daytona, and Le Mans all in the same year. Unlike in the movie, Carroll Shelby admitted to being involved in ordering the three Ford cars to cross together, a decision he regretted for the rest of his life because of what it cost Ken Miles.

Top: The three Ford GT40s approaching the finish line at Le Mans. Bottom: Bruce McLaren (left) finishes just ahead of fellow Ford driver Ken Miles (portrayed by Christian Bale). How much money did Ford spend trying to win Le Mans? It’s estimated that Ford spent no less than $25 million on its effort to win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (some have put the estimate around $100 million).

  1. After their 1966 and 1967 wins, Ford burned another $1 million preparing for the 1968 race, but then decided to withdraw financial support from the racing division (private GT40 owners won in ’68 and ’69).
  2. Today, companies still spend big amounts on their race teams.
  3. During Audi’s recent span of victories at Le Mans, they invested approximately $250 million per year on their race team.

Ferrari reportedly pumps $500 million per year into its Formula One program. While Ferrari offers street-legal versions of their cars largely to fund their racing program, it’s harder for companies like Audi or Toyota to justify the expense, since their car sales arguably are not dependent on their racing programs.

Did Ken Miles die shortly after the 1966 Le Mans race? Yes. Ken Miles, who is portrayed by Christian Bale in the film, died two months after the 1966 Le Mans. He was killed during a freak accident while test driving the Ford J-car, which was to be the successor to the Ford GT40 Mk II. Miles was approaching the 1-mile, downhill back straight at the Riverside International Raceway in Southern California, going over 200 mph.

Rear end lift caused the car to loop, flip, crash and catch fire, breaking into pieces and ejecting Miles. He died instantly. The real Ken Miles (left) after a win (prior to Le Mans) and actor Christian Bale (right) celebrating in the movie. Photos: The Henry Ford / 20th Century Fox

How Accurate is Ford v Ferrari? The True Story of Ken Miles & Ford

Did Ford Shelby win Le Mans?

Ford’s decision to take on Ferrari at Le Mans had roots in a failed business deal – Henry Ford II at 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 18, 1966 in Le Mans, France Roger Viollet—Getty Images As depicted in Ford v Ferrari, Ford had actually been interested in purchasing the Italian sportscar maker, according to Motorsport, When Ferrari rebuffed the sale at the last minute, Henry Ford II (the grandson of founder Henry Ford, played by Tracy Letts) decided he would have his revenge by taking the Italians’ most prized racing title.

Asked By: Chase Washington Date: created: Mar 10 2024

Did Shelby make Ford cry

Answered By: Seth Hayes Date: created: Mar 10 2024

5. Carroll Shelby never took Henry Ford II for a joyride in a GT40 – As much as we wish this was true, it just never happened. In the film, Carrol Shelby takes Henry Ford II for a joyride in his creation, which results in the industry giant bursting into a mixture of sobbing and laughter. It’s depicted as part of a ploy intended to secure Miles a race seat for Le Mans ’66. But as we mentioned above, Ford didn’t oppose the British driver taking part, making the scene unnecessary. googletagfluid#show googletag:hide->googletagfluid#hide resize@window->googletagfluid#refresh > googletag#show googletag:hide->googletag#hide resize@window->googletag#refresh > Secondly, it is highly unlikely that the executive of one of America’s largest car makers was taken for a joyride in a race car sans helmet. Safety regulations were pretty loose back then, but not that loose. The final nail in the factual coffin for this scene is there is no record of it ever happening. You’d think if Henry Ford II jumped into a GT40 someone would have noted it. MORE

Asked By: Neil Martin Date: created: May 07 2023

Did Ford GT40 win Le Mans

Answered By: Ralph Smith Date: created: May 08 2023

Finish and post-race – With the field covered it was now that Leo Beebe, Ford racing director, contrived to stage a dead heat by having his two lead cars cross the line simultaneously. The ACO told him this would not be possible — given the staggered starting formation, the #2 car would have covered 20 metres further, and thus be the race winner.

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But Beebe pushed on with his plan anyway. The GT40 of Miles/Hulme, who finished 2nd overall At the last pit stop, the Mark IIs were still in front. Miles/Hulme were leading, followed by McLaren/Amon holding station on the same lap. The gold Bucknum/Hutcherson car was third, but twelve laps behind. Miles was told to ease off to allow McLaren to catch up with him.

Just before 4pm, it started to drizzle again. As the Miles’s #1 car and McLaren’s #2 car approached the finish, McLaren crossed the finish line just ahead of Miles. Miles, who was upset about the team orders, lifted off to allow McLaren to finish a length ahead.

  • Additionally, McLaren had covered more distance during the race due to the starting positions.
  • Regardless of the reason, McLaren’s #2 was declared the winner.
  • The Porsche 906/6 LH of Siffert/Davis, which finished 4th overall, won the 2.0 liter prototype class and claimed the index of performance.
  • At their last pitstop, the 7th-placed Porsche of and Sten Axelsson was stopped by engine problems.

Gregg parked the car waiting for the last lap, but at 3.50pm he could not get it restarted and missed the formation finish. The other Porsches came in 4th to 7th led by Siffert/Davis, who also claimed the Index of Performance. The / car in 7th was the first, and only, Sports car to finish.

Finally, the new 911 GT ran well and finished 14th starting a long record of success. Four Alpines finished this year, 9-11-12-13, with that of Delageneste/Cheinisse from the Ecurie Savin-Calberson winning the Thermal Efficiency Index. The final finisher was the little Mini Marcos. Formerly the object of laughter, it had become a crowd favourite running like clockwork.

As car after car ran into trouble and dropped out, the little Marcos, by this time nicknamed ‘la puce bleue’ (the blue flea) wailed on. Despite finishing 26 laps behind the rest of the field. the car eventually came home at an incredible 15th overall. It had taken three attempts for Ford to win and the NASCAR Championship, and now it added the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Chrysler had first entered in 1925, and after 41 years it was the first win for an American car. The official press release, dated July 5, 1966, claimed: The McLaren-Amon and the Miles-Hulme cars were running within seconds of each other as the race neared its end, with the Bucknum-Hutcherson car hanging back as insurance.

A decision was made in the Ford pits to have the cars finish side by side in what hopefully would be considered a dead heat. All three cars went over the finish in formation, but any chance for a dead heat disappeared when officials discovered a rule that in case of a tie, the car that had started further down the grid had travelled the farther distance.

  1. Since McLaren and Amon had started 60 feet behind Miles and Hulme, they were declared the winners.
  2. Both who now reside in England, it was the most important victory yet for the two youngsters.
  3. McLaren, who builds his own Formula and sports cars, is 28.
  4. Amon 22, is the youngest winner in the history of the event.

It was a record shattering performance as the winning car covered more miles (3,009.3) at a faster speed (125.38 mph) than any previous entry. It demonstrated that production engines could compete with racing powerplants and that an American-built car could top Europe’s best.

The Ford team’s decision was a big disappointment for Ken Miles, who was aiming for the Triple Crown’—winning Daytona-Sebring-Le Mans—as a reward for his investment in the GT40 development. “I’m disappointed, of course, but what are you going to do about it.” Beebe also later admitted he had been annoyed with Miles racing Gurney, disregarding team orders by potentially risking the cars’ endurance.

Two months later, Ken Miles died at while testing the next generation Ford GT40 J-Car, which became the Mk IV that won Le Mans in 1967. In a race of attrition it was fortunate the big teams brought such quantity – only 3 of the 13 Fords finished and only the two GTs finished from the 14 Ferraris entered.

  • By contrast, 5 of the 7 Porsches finished (including their 911 in the GT class) as did four of the six Alpines, showing much better reliability.
  • It was the first time that the 3000 miles/125 mph mark had been exceeded.
  • With the bitter failure of Ferrari’s 330 P3 mirroring the failure of the Ford prototypes the previous year (and with salt rubbed into the wound with Ford’s formation finish), the “Ford-Ferrari War” moved into its climactic phase.

The Le Mans results boosted Ford over Ferrari for the, Ford’s answer to Ferrari’s next weapon, the, was delayed by development problems, handing Ferrari a rematch with the Mk IIs that so dominated them at LeMans, at the 1967, After a defective batch of transaxle shafts sank Ford’s effort, Ferrari took a 1-2-3 finish with their new P4s and returned the favor of Ford’s victory formation.

  1. Ford’s was ready in time for the, where it won on its maiden outing.
  2. Three more examples were produced and prepared for the Le Mans 24 Hours, while Ford’s championship hopes rested on the older and the new GT40-derived to gain points in the intervening races.
  3. After a disappointing showing at and a controversial denial of championship points from a Mirage win at the event, Ford saw limited opportunity for taking the Manufacturers’ title again and instead concentrated on a last hurrah at Le Mans, where the leading Mark IV, driven by Dan Gurney and A.J.

Foyt, won handily. Ferrari took the Manufacturers’ title for 1967, edging up-and-coming Porsche by two points. The Ford-Ferrari War was ended by new rules for 1968 that eliminated the P4s and Mark IVs from eligibility for the Sports Prototype class with a 3-litre engine capacity limit.

The GT40s met the production requirement and 5 litre limit for in the new class. Ferrari found the production requirement for homologating the P4 under Group 4 daunting and withdrew from competition in the sport-racer classes. Neither Ford nor Ferrari fielded a factory team for the Manufacturers’ Championship that year; however, the team running the Group 4 brought home the title for Ford and in 1969 achieved wins with the GT40 at Sebring and Le Mans.

When Ferrari was able to enter a homologated car for 1970, the class they competed in was dominated by the, Several cars of the original 24-hours race have survived and have been restored to their former glory. The crowd-pleasing Mini Marcos was club raced, rallied and hill climbed, road registered twice and repainted five times only to be stolen in the night of 30 October 1975 from beneath a flat in Paris.

Did Michael Schumacher win Le Mans?

Similarly, Formula 1 champs like Michael Schumacher or Jenson Button competed at Le Mans but never got to add an overall win to their resumes.

What did Enzo Ferrari say to Ford?

The Ferrari Deal – The easy solution was to buy Ferrari — a racing juggernaut that was focused on winning first and producing cars second. As Ford put the plan together, it seemed perfect — Ford would acquire a flashy, struggling company that would attract that new generation who wanted something fast and edgy.

  1. Once negotiations started, Enzo himself seemed to like the deal, as well, as he was becoming tired of having to handle the day-to-day dealings of the company.
  2. Negotiations continued for months.
  3. In the Spring of 1963, Ford and Ferrari seemed on the verge of closing the deal.
  4. The Ford offer came with a caveat — Enzo would have to give up control of the budget.

In turn, this would mean Enzo would no longer have a complete say over the Ferrari racing team. This clause of the deal was too much for Enzo. Winning on the track was Enzo’s legacy — the one thing he held dear to his heart and that he would never give up — not even for millions of dollars.

  1. In the last moments, Ferrari pulled out of the deal.
  2. Ugliness ensued.
  3. Instead of merely retracting from the deal, Enzo seemed to be personally affronted by the offer.
  4. Enzo Ferrari communicated to Ford II that he would never sell under those conditions.
  5. He called the company ugly, Ford’s cars ugly and the factory in which they were built ugly.

It is also rumored that Enzo then went after Henry Ford II personally, making comments about how his grandfather had been a much better man than he was and that the real Henry Ford was dead, leaving Ford II as a poor, unfit replacement.

Did Ken Miles get the Triple Crown?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia In automobile endurance racing, three events have come to form a Triple Crown, They are considered three of the most challenging endurance races over the decades: the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, and 24 Hours of Le Mans,

  1. As of 2023 only 9 drivers have completed the Triple Crown by winning all three races, Hans Herrmann was the first do so in 1970, and Timo Bernhard is the most recent to do so in 2010.
  2. No driver has won the three events in the same year.
  3. En Miles lost the chance to win all three events in the same year when a problem with the Ford team orders for a photo finish made him lose the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans,

This incident was dramatized in the 2019 film Ford v Ferrari, He died two months later testing the Ford J-car. Hurley Haywood and Al Holbert have won the three races at least twice each. Numerous drivers have won only two out of the three events. Bold on year indicate at which race the driver achieved his Triple Crown.

Driver Year Completed 24 Hours of Daytona 12 Hours of Sebring 24 Hours of Le Mans Total Wins
Hans Herrmann 1970 1968 1960, 1968 1970 4
Jackie Oliver 1971 1971 1969 1969 3
Hurley Haywood 1977 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1991 1973, 1981 1977, 1983, 1994 10
A.J. Foyt 1985 1983, 1985 1985 1967 4
Al Holbert 1986 1986, 1987 1976, 1981 1983, 1986, 1987 7
Andy Wallace 1992 1990, 1997, 1999 1992, 1993 1988 6
Mauro Baldi 1998 1998, 2002 1998 1994 4
Marco Werner 2005 1995 2003, 2005, 2007 2005, 2006, 2007 7
Timo Bernhard 2010 2003 2008 2010, 2017 4

Did Ford ever beat Ferrari at Le Mans?

Bruce McLaren, Henry Ford II and Chris Amon at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Race, June 1966 – Digital image Ford Motor Company launched its effort to beat Ferrari at Le Mans in 1964. After two disappointing years when Fords failed even to finish the race, 1966 brought a thrilling 1-2-3 sweep for the American automaker.

What was the deadliest 24 Hours of Le Mans?

1955 Le Mans disaster

The initial collision between Lance Macklin and Pierre Levegh
Date 11 June 1955 ; 68 years ago
Venue Circuit de la Sarthe
Location Le Mans, Sarthe, France
Coordinates 47°56′59.5″N 0°12′26″E  /  47.949861°N 0.20722°E
Type Crash
Cause Track layout
Deaths 82
Non-fatal injuries At least 120
Inquiries Official government inquiry

The 1955 Le Mans disaster was a major crash that occurred on 11 June 1955 during the 24 Hours of Le Mans motor race at Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, Sarthe, France, Large pieces of debris flew into the crowd, killing 82 spectators and French driver Pierre Levegh, and injuring nearly 120 more.

It was the most catastrophic crash in motorsport history, prompting Switzerland to institute a nation-wide ban on motorsports altogether that lasted until 2023. The crash started when Jaguar driver Mike Hawthorn pulled to the right side of the track in front of Austin-Healey driver Lance Macklin and started braking for his pit stop,

Macklin swerved out from behind the slowing Jaguar into the path of Levegh, who was passing on the left in his much faster Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, Levegh rear-ended Macklin at high speed, overriding Macklin’s car and launching his own car through the air.

  • Levegh’s car skipped over a protective earthen berm at 200 km/h (125 mph) and made at least two impacts within the spectator area, the last of which caused the car to disintegrate, throwing him onto the track where he was instantly killed.
  • Large pieces of debris, including the Mercedes’ engine block, radiator, front suspension, and bonnet (hood), were sent flying into the packed spectator area in front of the grandstand.

The rear of Levegh’s car landed on the berm and exploded into flames. There was much debate over blame for the disaster. The official inquiry held none of the drivers specifically responsible and criticised the layout of the 30-year-old track, which had not been designed for cars as fast as those involved in the crash.

What did McLaren say about Le Mans 66?

From The Archives: Who Really Won Le Mans ’66? With 2019’s Le Mans 66 movie now out in physical and digital form for us all to rewatch during the lockdown (), now’s the perfect time to dig up some buried treasure from the DSC archives related to the fabled 1966 running of the 24 Hours.

  • The piece below is a look back piece from Dave Friedman on the finish of the race which saw controversy surrounding the two Ford GTs gunning for the win, featuring fabulous shots and direct quotes from the key personalities involved.
  • It’s the perfect complement to a re-watch of last year’s box-office, Academy Award-winning hit! Did Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon really win the 1966 race at Le Mans, or did Ken Miles and Denny Hulme win, and have the race stolen away from them in a political move that was well beyond their control? These and other questions have been hotly debated by the Shelby American crew, journalists and historians who were at Le Mans in 1966 – for over 40 years now.

I am sure that, after looking at the pictures and reading the quotes by those who were involved with the Ford effort that day, the debate will carry on for another 40 plus years.1. Following team orders (featured), Dan Gurney leads Ken Miles out of the Mulsanne Hairpin during the early part of the race.

  1. According to the official Shelby American race report, Dan Gurney was instructed to lead the race and break the Ferraris.
  2. He was instructed to lap at between 3:37.0 and 3:38.0.
  3. En Miles was to run second and lap one to two seconds slower than Gurney, while Bruce McLaren was to run third and lap between 3:41.0 and 3:42.0.

Dan Gurney: “I didn’t get the best start, but I took the lead on the second lap and Jerry Grant and I never let up. We led most of the race, at record speed, until we retired with an overheating engine at the end of the 17th hour.” Charlie Agapiou – Crew Chief: “There was some talk in the pits that Ford thought that Ken did not follow team orders and pushed Gurney to the point of breaking.

  1. That was absolute bullshit.
  2. En followed his directions to the letter.
  3. When he pitted on the first lap in order to fix the door, Ken lost several places.
  4. After returning to the race, he had to go like hell in order to get back in second place behind Gurney.
  5. That’s where he was told to be and that’s where he was.” 2.

The Bucknum / Hutcherson Holman & Moody entered Ford moved from ninth starting position to third position at the end of the first hour, and that’s where they eventually finished. Dick Hutcherson: “That race track was kind of neat. In 1966 there wasn’t any guardrails or nothin’, just trees, which people used to hit rather regularly, linin’ the racetrack. When it started raining, I told John Holman that if he wanted that sucker to go any faster he better put someone else in there because I was slowin’ my ass down.

He said ‘Just keep it on the road Hutch.’ Ken Miles and them guys drove those cars faster in the rain than they did in the dry, but I’d never driven a race in the rain before. There were times when I was runnin’ down the Mulsanne, in the rain, at night, at over 200 mph, where I thought what the fuck am I doing here.” 3.

Bruce McLaren takes the Ford that he shared with fellow New Zealander Chris Amon through the Mulsanne hairpin. Bruce McLaren: “When Chris and I first saw our car in the garage, we both immediately agreed that we’d never seen a better-prepared car. Chris and I really enjoyed everything about Le Mans. Two New Zealanders in a car painted black and silver, New Zealand’s sporting colours, what could be better?” 4. Ken Miles takes his Ford through the Mulsanne Hairpin. Ken Miles: “I took my time at the start and did up my belts, something the faster starters failed to do. I was away with the Chaparrals and tried to stay out of harm’s way. Driving into the late afternoon or early morning sun is a bloody nuisance; you can’t see anything, it absolutely blinds you.” 5. Charlie Agapiou: “Ford didn’t want Ken to win at Le Mans. They wanted the headlines to read Ford Wins Le Mans, not Miles Becomes The First to Sweep Daytona, Sebring, and Le Mans. Ken told me that, in spite of any Ford decision, he wasn’t going to finish second.” 6. Jacque Passino – Special Vehicle Division, Ford Motor Company: “I guess that 1966 will always be remembered for the huge controversy that was created by the arranged finish. As you remember we had three cars running up at the front as the race was drawing to its conclusion.

Ken Miles was in one and Dick Hutcherson and Bruce McLaren were in the others. All of those guys were real racers. Miles would race his grandmother to the breakfast table and the other two weren’t much better. We figured that in order to ensure a Ford win and keep those three guys from racing each other to the end, that we would have a dead heat finish.

We didn’t want to risk those guys crashing each other or breaking the cars. In hindsight, we probably should have done it differently, but we were trying to control our destiny and insure a Ford win and we did just that.” 7. The final stop for the Miles / Hulme Ford finds Carroll Shelby (far right) telling Ken Miles and Denis Hulme of the decision to have a blanket finish. Carroll Smith – Shelby American Race Team Manager: “I could tell that something was up regarding the finish but I wasn’t advised of what that decision was. We all wanted Ken to win Le Mans after his successes at Daytona and Sebring because he would have been the first to win all three of those races in one year.

I don’t know what they told Ken during that final pit stop, but he wasn’t very happy as he entered the car to finish the race. I leaned over and told him ‘I don’t know what they told you, but you won’t be fired for winning Le Mans.’ He would never talk about it after the race was over and we were the best of friends.” John Collins – Shelby Team Mechanic: “After Carroll talked to Ken during the final pit stop, I heard Ken say, in a loud voice, ‘So ends my contribution to this bloody motor race,” and he threw his sunglasses across the pit.” 8.

Bruce McLaren prepares to leave the pits after his car’s final pit stop is completed. Mechanics Charlie Agapiou, Max Kelly and Phil Remington watch from the pit wall, while Ford racing boss Leo Beebe points out something to Ford Division Vice President Don Frey in the top right corner. Chris Amon: “I remember when I came in for our last pit stop and Bruce told me that Ford wanted to do a blanket finish, I said ‘ Who is supposed to win?’ Bruce said ‘I don’t know, but I’m not going to lose.’ ” 9. Bruce McLaren leads Ken Miles and Dick Hutcherson across the finish line in one of the most controversial finishes in the history of Le Mans. Leo Beebe – Manager of Ford’s Special Vehicle Dept.: “I wanted Ford to win. We called Ken in and slowed him down so that Bruce and Chris would win. I think that they deserved to win. They ran a good race and did what we had told them to do.” 10. Bruce McLaren drives to the victory stand with Chris Amon sitting on the deck lid. But had they really won? 11. Ken Miles heads for the victory stand, with Denny Hulme sitting on the deck lid waving to the crowd. Who had won? Charlie Agapiou: “We thought we had won and we attempted to push the car to the victory stand. The French officials stopped us and said that we didn’t belong there, that we’d finished second. Ken was sitting in the car and said to me ‘I think I’ve been fucked’.

We were all under the distinct impression that, despite the finish, that we were a lap ahead at the end.” 12. A shocked and dismayed Denis Hulme and Ken Miles enjoy a glass of champagne on the winner’s stand, as Bruce McLaren (far left) and Chris Amon (far right) enjoy the victor’s laurels. Bruce McLaren: “After the win at Daytona I said that the Fords could and should win at Le Mans.

No one in England would believe me. They all said Le Mans is different, Le Mans is a car breaker and you can’t beat Ferrari there. Well, now it’s all history. This is by far the biggest race that I’ve ever won and the same goes for Chris. The whole thing really seemed to be so simple.” 13.

The Miles / Hulme Ford Mk. II sits abandoned at the finish line as the victory celebration continues in the background. Bob Negstad – Senior Project Engineer, Ford Motor Company: “At Le Mans, I was the guy that Jacque Passino sent over to Ken Miles to tell him to back off and let the other guys catch up.

Ken got tears in his eyes and said: ‘No, this is my only opportunity to do this and I can’t do that and I won’t do that.’ During the next pit stop, Ken’s co-driver was told to slow down and let the others catch up and Denny did as he was told. It was during this time that Passino sent John Cowley down to the scorer’s and timer’s tower and told them that we had miscredited a lap on Ken’s car and to take a lap away from that car.

When the car came in for its final stop, Ken got back into the car and refused to participate in the prescribed finish. That’s why he laid back when the three cars crossed the finish line. Ken was a lap ahead at the finish, that’s true, that’s absolutely, totally, true. He was a lap ahead and Passino and Cowley went down and took the lap away.

Le Mans – The Biggest Bentley Race for 100 Years

They absolutely stole that race from Ken and it’s about time that the truth is told, Ken’s memory deserves that.” When I showed this quotation to Carroll Smith and asked for his opinion, he told me “Bob Negstad is one of the most truthful people that I have ever known.” Bob died shortly after this interview was conducted and many of us feel that it was a dying declaration to see justice finally done for his good friend, Ken Miles.14.

Ken Miles is besieged by spectators seeking autographs, and press and photographers wanting to know what happened at the finish. Carroll Shelby: “In 1966, Ford didn’t cost Ken Miles the race at Le Mans, I did, and I regret it to this day. Leo Beebe came up to me and said ‘ Who do you think should win the race?’ I thought, well hell, Ken’s been leading for all of these hours, he should win the race.

I looked at Leo Beebe and said ‘What do you think ought to happen Leo?’ He said ‘ I don’t know, I’d kind of like to see all three of them cross the finish line together.’ Leo Beebe did not tell me what to say or do so I said: ‘Oh hell, let’s do it that way then,’ not knowing that the French would interpret the rules the way that they did.

  • En should have won the race, and in most everyone’s mind, he did win the race.
  • That was my fuck up, I take full responsibility for it, and I’m very sorry for it because, as you know, Ken was killed at Riverside two months later.
  • Every time you go racing, you put your reputation on the line.” Carroll Smith – Shelby American Race Team Manager: “I knew the ramifications of a dead heat at Le Mans.

My job was to know all of those things, but I wasn’t consulted when the decision was being discussed.” A close examination of the official ACO scoring records of the Miles / Hulme car, of which I have copies, does not indicate that any lap was ever deleted from the final tally of laps run during the race.

The only other source that might have revealed any possibility of an irregularity in the scoring would have been the official Shelby American scorers. Unfortunately, their records are lost and they have both passed away. At this point, there seems to be no clear cut answer and I’m sure that the controversy will continue to rage on in the eyes of those of us who were there.

: From The Archives: Who Really Won Le Mans ’66?

Why did McLaren accept the win?

One of the first changes made for the 1966 racing season was the establishment of the Le Mans Committee, which was comprised of the heads of a number of Ford divisions involved, including the Engine and Foundry, General Parts, and also expanded the role of the Dearborn Motorsports and Styling and Engineering teams. Ken Miles’ car in action in the 1966 Le Mans race. Additionally, Ford Motor Company decided to bring on its NASCAR racing team Holman & Moody in addition to Shelby American. The Committee established a monthly meeting cadence with extensive preparation and John Cowley was placed in charge of the day-to-day operations of the GT Program, with Homer Perry named day-to-day liaison to Shelby American and Holman & Moody.

With time and resources now fully available to the Le Mans Committee, the perfect partnership of Ford Engineering, and the racing acumen of Shelby and Holman & Moody, combined to fully develop the 427 GT40. Phil Hill and Ken Miles continued to race and modify the car, and by mid-September had made enough changes to the body, suspension, fuel system, and brakes that the new model, now designated the Mark II, was ready for testing in the Dearborn wind tunnel.

One of the changes was to use heavier gauge metal, which increased weight and stress on the brakes. Ken Miles continued testing a short-nosed body style which added eight mph to the car. The team finally felt that they had a winning car, with the brakes and gearbox the biggest concerns. The photo finish of three GT Mark IIs at the 1966 Le Mans race. The initial race of the year was in February at Daytona, which was increased from 12 hours to 24 hours. Ford fielded five teams, three under Shelby and two under Holman & Moody, including an experimental automatic transmission.

Ferrari did not enter any of their factory cars and the race was over within an hour of the start, as the leading competition fell out of the race. The Ken Miles/Lloyd Ruby team led from the beginning and were easily the winner, with Ford sweeping the first three places. Next on the schedule was the endurance race at Sebring.

There had been discussions among the Le Mans Committee whether the heavier more powerful Mark IIs were better than the lighter 289 GT40s on a course that required more agility and maneuverability, so a selection of the two were entered under the Shelby American, Holman & Moody, and Alan Mann racing banners.

  • This time, Ferrari entered one of its factory 330P3 cars driven by a team including the great Mike Parkes.
  • Over the course of the night, it became apparent that the two lighter 289 GT40s did not have the topline speed to keep up with the Ferrari, while the Mark IIs piloted by Ken Miles and Dan Gurney cruised along, keeping pace.

Whereas Ken Miles had been given permission for the quicker lap time in Daytona, during the team meeting prior to the Sebring, Dan Gurney had been given the faster lap time with Miles to run two seconds slower. The Ferrari transmission began to give out in the 7th hour and eventually was forced to retire.

With the last of the major competition out of the race, the slow down signal went out to Gurney and Miles – and was ignored by Ken Miles as he continued to push the car in a private race with Dan Gurney. Eventually, Carroll Shelby climbed on a block and waved a hammer at Ken Miles, who finally obeyed the signal to slow down to spare the cars and ensure they finished.

That lack of team play would come back to haunt Ken Miles. Bruce McLaren, Henry Ford II, and Chris Amon on victory rostrum after 24 Hours of Le Mans 1966. With the slowdown in place, Gurney built a lead of a lap on Miles and was cruising along to victory until the unthinkable happened. The engine threw a rod with the car rolling to a stop a mere hundred yards from the finish line.

Gurney was not quite sure what to do when a minor official told him he could push the car across the finish line. Unfortunately for Gurney, he was instant disqualification as drivers are not allowed to push their cars unless pushing them off the track for safety reasons. Ken Miles was awarded the victory, his second of the season, as Ford once again swept the first three places on the podium.

The issue with Dan Gurney’s engine proved to be a blessing in disguise, as the Ford Engine and Foundry team stripped the engine down to examine all of the components to see if it could be improved. Ken Miles assisted the team by developing a dynamometer “tape” of Le Mans, so the engines could be tested under race conditions.

  • This tape allowed the team in Ford’s test block 17D to attempt to perfect an engine that could run for up to 48 hours, twice as long as the race itself.
  • Ford Engineer Gus Gussel noted that with the dyno tape created “it was like Ken Miles was in that control room running that car.” Learn more about the dyno tape in the historic video in the last tab of this story.
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Finally, by the end of May, an engine producing 6,400 RPM and 485 horsepower was consistently lasting the desired 48 hours. They then built 12 of them to specifications of the test engine and shipped them to Shelby American, Holman & Moody, and Alan Mann Racing for the Le Mans cars.

  • The other major engineering obstacle was the brakes.
  • With the increased weight and speed of the Mark II cars, the brakes took a beating on each circuit.
  • Slowing from speeds of more than 200 mph into a hairpin curve would cause enough heat to boil the brake fluid, warp the rotors and crack the brake pads.

Gradually, in experimentation with Ford and Kelsey-Hayes engineers, better materials were sources for the pads and rotors. A story that circulated among the teams was that one of the foundries could not produce enough material for the pads, so Ford Motor Company purchased them to ensure all necessary materials would be delivered.

  • With a true team effort, Phil Remington of Shelby American developed a quick change system for the calipers and John Holman built a quick change setup for the rotors, so even if there were issues, the brakes could be changed out in mere minutes.
  • Finally June arrived, and a virtual army of Ford Engineers descended on Le Mans to support the armada of Ford Motor Company cars.

One of those was Mose Nowland who said, “the atmosphere was electrified instantly, because we knew the assignment was very important to Mr. Ford. It was just carte blanche for us. The hours of work, the materials required, the places to be, and so on. We knew the mission was important, from the very get-go.” Eight factory cars were entered, three each from Shelby and Holman & Moody, with two more supplied from England by Alan Mann Racing.

The main competition would come from 11 Ferraris, which included three 330P3s and four 385P2s. As the day of the race drew closer, the Ford Le Mans Committee arrived to support the team. Henry Ford II had been named honorary chairman of the race and would serve as starter with his wife and son Edsel with him in tow.

As the clock hit 4:00 PM on June 18th, Henry Ford II waved the starter flag and the drivers ran across the track to start their cars and the race. Ken Miles, who had the second fastest qualifying time after Gurney, had immediate issues as the door struck his helmet and he had to quickly pit for repairs.

The rest of the cars roared on with the Fords and Ferraris trading the lead through much of the early race. The crowds watched knowing that the Fords had often been the fastest cars but never completed the endurance race. After midnight, the tables began to turn. The Ferraris began to drop out with mechanical difficulties and while Ford had some withdrawals, the bulk of the team raced on and at one point held the 1-2-3-5-8 spots.

By 4:00 AM, the last of the Ferraris was out of the race and the order went out for the teams to slow the pace to ensure the most cars could complete the race. The drivers slowed from the early pace of 3:30 per lap to a more strategic 3:50 per lap. Dan Gurney was in the lead most of the evening, with the Ken Miles and Bruce McLaren teams trading 2nd and 3rd place depending upon their pit stop order.

When Gurney’s car went out with engine problems around 10:00AM, Ford still had the first three places between the Shelby American and Holman Moody teams. With two hours left in the race, Leo Beebe and Carroll Shelby met to discuss the end of the race. With the Ford cars running 1-2-3, there was little question as to winning the race, but what order should the finish take? If Miles and McLaren continued their personal race, a malfunction such as the one Dan Gurney had at Sebring might occur.

The team also discussed having the cars come across in a tie and inquired of the ACO (Le Mans race organizing committee) if that was permitted. The ACO agreed that this was possible and so the drivers (at this time Ken Miles and Bruce McLaren) were told the news at their next pit stop.

While neither was thrilled with the decision, both acquiesced with Ken Miles saying “I work for the Ford Motor Company if they want me to win the race, why, I’ll do it and if they ask me to jump in a lake, why I’ll guess I will have to do that as well.” Miles (who had just taken the lead during a McLaren pit stop) and McLaren began to slow down to allow the third car, driven by the Holman & Moody driver Dick Hutcherson to catch up.

By this time, word had come back from the ACO that a tie would in fact not be permitted and since the Bruce McLaren team had started 8 meters further back from the start line it would have traveled further and would be declared the winner. The ACO ruling is a matter of some debate as there was nothing written in the sporting regulations from that year that accounted for the rules in the event of a tie.

  • The decision to notify the drivers of the change in ACO policy rested with Leo Beebe and Carroll Shelby.
  • As the two conferred, there were a number of considerations.
  • While Ken Miles had done the bulk of the race prep work on the Mark II to prepare it for competition since his first drive in February, 1965, Bruce McLaren had been with the program since its inception in 1963 and had always been a true team player driving at the assigned speed.

Both drivers felt they could win in a race to the finish as neither had more than a lap or two lead during the second half of the race. Leo Beebe ultimately made the decision to not notify the drivers and let the dead heat occur, which would make the McLaren team the victor.

Beebe later noted that “to have Ken win would have been more expedient and popular, but the extent to which McLaren and Amon had played exactly according to our rules mitigated against Miles. The result was not necessarily even popular with me.” Ultimately, Beebe felt that Ken Miles trying to push the Dan Gurney car at Sebring was a big enough strike against him to give the nod to the McLaren/Amon team.

During the final lap, the three Ford cars rode in tandem with Miles and McLaren crossing the finish line in a dead heat with Hutcherson close behind in 3rd place. Photos at the time appear to show McLaren surging ahead at the final moment, but the checkered flag is actually waved some distance from the final finish line, which was being monitored by newly installed IBM electronic time keeping devices.

  1. The photo finish was intact.
  2. As the cars approached the victory circle, Ken Miles and fellow driver Denny Hulme who hanging out of the passenger side door, were surprised when they were waved off to allow McLaren and Amon to the victory podium.
  3. Both were crestfallen when they learned of the changed ACO rule interpretation, but Ken Miles had the most to lose.

He would have been the first driver to win Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans in the same year. In an interview a few months after the race he was philosophical, noting once again that he worked for Ford and would accept whatever outcome occurred. This victory was a culmination of three years of engineering, design, and research to develop a winning car and winning team.

  1. Motorsport racing requires a combination of engineering, artistry and intuition from the drivers.
  2. With the Mark II all three elements were in play.
  3. Ford Motor Company engineering did tremendous work on the elements of the car and many were highlighted in papers to the Society of Automotive Engineers, while the stellar teams of Shelby American and Holman & Moody provided the artistry to turn the cars into unbeatable racing machines, and the drivers provided the vision and courage to navigate the difficult courses.

For the Ford Engineers like Mose Nowland, it was the culmination of years of hard work. He described the scene in the Ford pit area when they knew the race was won. “There was a lot of tears, a lot of joy. There wasn’t a lot of glad-handing in those days.

But I think the most rewarding thing that day was the smile on Mr. Ford’s face because he so dearly wanted to win that race. You just felt that you had made a very fine contribution, because there’s that gentleman, and he was very satisfied. For us who worked on it, there was a glow that lasted for weeks, and now all these years.” Three years after being rejected by Ferrari, Ford Motor Company had developed one of the best endurance cars in the world and won on the field of contest.

With the LeMans victory, Ford Motor Company won the Manufacturer Championship because of their combined scores. The 289 GT40 also won the Sports 50 (at least 50 street versions produced) title for Ford as well.

Did 3 Fords cross the finish line?

Ford Archives in Dearborn Shares Back Story to Famous 1966 Le Mans Race as Prelude to Friday’s Hollywood Release of “Ford v Ferrari” Ford Motor Co. showed some of its rare artifacts in anticipation of “Ford v Ferrari,” a movie opening Friday. // Photograph by R.J. King With Friday’s release of the new movie, “Ford v Ferrari,” Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn recently arranged a showing of rare artifacts at its archives near The Henry Ford.

  • The film tells the story of how famed auto designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and British race car driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) helped develop the revolutionary GT40 for Ford to compete against the racecars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.
  • Below is the back story that Ford Archives shared on the historic races.

The archives team said it shared some historic photos with the film team to make sure the race scenes were accurate. The exhibit the archives team put together includes artifacts from the race, merchandise, an internal “Confidential” report that ignited the program called the “GT and Sports Car Project.” From the Ford Archives Team Entry and Failure – 1964 A sparsely worded newswire release was issued on May 22, 1963 noting, “Ford Motor Co.

And Ferrari wish to indicate, with reference to recent reports of their negotiations toward a possible collaboration that such negotiations have been suspended by mutual agreement.” The flurry of negotiations between the companies had ended, but Ford’s desire to become a player in performance motorsports remained strong.

A month later, the High Performance and Special Models Operation Unit was formed with the mission to design and build “A racing GT car that will have the potential to compete successfully in major road races such as Sebring and Le Mans.” The unit’s resulting work, the GT Program book, circulated internally on June 12 th and contained the initial design concepts for the GT40.

  • The high-performance team included Ford’s Roy Lunn, who already developed a preliminary design in the GT Program Book, along with Carroll Shelby and a few other Ford officials.
  • Their first job was to identify a team that could build the cars.
  • As project engineers, they chose Eric Broadley, whose Lola GT was considered groundbreaking, and John Wyer, who had won Le Mans with Carroll Shelby driving for Aston Martin as the race manager.

This established a four-pronged team with Lunn and Broadley designing and building the cars, Wyer establishing the race team and Shelby acting as the front man in Europe. With ten months until the 1964 race, a workshop was established in Broadley’s garage in Bromley, south of London.

But when established as Ford Advanced Vehicles moved the operations to Slough. As one of the major design features, Roy Lunn had lowered the height two inched from Broadley’s initial Lola to a mere 40 inches and work on the cars began. the car began. Interestingly, the first seven produced had a VIN number beginning with Ford GT, while the cars after those had a VIN beginning with Ford GT40.

New Zealander Bruce McLaren was the initial test track driver as the car was put through its paces. Early issues with the car were apparent as the Ford Motor Co. team tried to accomplish in 10 months what Ferrari had perfected over decades. By April the first car was completed, and was quickly shipped to New York to be used for a press conference prior to the Mustang launch.

  1. During the time trials in Le Mans in mid-April, the car’s speed was tremendous, but the aerodynamics needed work as it was difficult to control at high speeds.
  2. With McLaren doing the development driving, a spoiler was added and other modifications made.
  3. The car was now as ready for racing as it could be for the 1964 season.

Disappointments were soon to follow. While the Ford GT40s were undoubtedly fast, endurance was an issue at all of the races. The suspension let loose in Nuremburg, and while they led for a portion of the race at Le Mans and driver Phil Hill set a lap record, the Colotti gearboxes gave out under the strain of the speed and number of shifts required to complete the loop.

All three Ford cars were out of the race 12 hours into the required 24. Further disappointments culminating in a disastrous showing in Nassau in December left the program in shambles, and the decision was made in Dearborn to move the work back to the US, with Carroll Shelby given operational control and Roy Lunn engineering control.

The 427 GT40X – 1965 When the remaining cars arrived at Shelby’s workshop in Los Angeles in December, Ken Miles, Shelby’s developmental driver, got to work on them. Miles discovered that the initial design settings had been lost and when he reset the suspension to the original settings, performance increased substantially.

The team began to test the aerodynamics with both the aid of a computer installed by Ford Aeroneutronics and the old fashioned way with yarn taped to the cars on both the track and in the Dearborn wind tunnel. They soon discovered that the airflow was worse than had been imagined. They gained up to 79 horsepower as Shelby America engineer Phil Remington rearranged ducting to change airflow.

The changes continued as lighter weight fiberglass replaced heavier aluminum and steel, and wider magnesium wheels replaced the wire spoke version along with a hundred other modifications. Suddenly the GT40 began to not only look like a racing car, but to perform like one.

  1. The first race of the year was in Daytona and for the first time, the Fords completed an endurance race taking first and third, with a Shelby Cobra (running a Ford engine) sandwiched in between in second place.
  2. The 1965 season had started well – at least the cars were capable of finishing.
  3. After a second place showing at Sebring, the cars were shipped to France for testing at Le Mans during the time trial weekend in April.

The Ferraris dominated the time trials as the Ford team scrambled to make modifications to the cars, experimenting with different engines and gearboxes. While things did not look good for Le Mans, in Dearborn Roy Lunn and his team had a new version of the GT40 ready for testing.

  • Ford Motor Co.
  • Had been working to develop and perfect a 7-liter 427 cubic inch engine.
  • Lunn and his team had worked an engineering marvel to fit the larger engine in the mid-engine car while retaining aerodynamic integrity.
  • En Miles and Phil Remington flew from Le Mans to Dearborn to test the car at the Romeo test track.

Just before lunch, Miles took over the development driving and work continued on the car as spoilers were added and modified, and speeds increased until Miles hit 210 mph on the straight away. When Lunn asked for opinions, Miles said, “That is the car I want to drive at Le Mans this year.” With only four weeks until the race, the team decided prepare two of the cars with the 427 engine (called the GT40X) and to supplement the team with the existing GTs with the existing 289 engines that were already racing in Europe.

During the practice laps, the 427 set the lap record at 3:33, almost five seconds faster than the Ferraris! Ken Miles received his wish as he and Bruce McLaren teamed up to drive one of the GT40X cars. While the Ford had set the lap record, the race was an unmitigated disaster. In the rush to prepare the newer GT40Xs, small mistakes were made in the gearbox (Roy Lunn later said he cost the team the race in rebuilding them just before they were shipped to France.) The team did not know that the new 289 engines were unstable, as the engineering team had been devoting its attention to the Indianapolis 500 engines, sending untested engines to Le Mans.

That evening, Leo Beebe called all the teams together and while they expected the worst, Beebe told them it was a “victory meeting! Next year we we’re going to come back here and win, and we might as well start now.” The Le Mans Committee – Victory in 1966 One of the first changes made for the 1966 racing season was the establishment of the Le Mans Committee, which was comprised of the heads of a number of Ford divisions involved, including the Engine and Foundry, General Parts, and also expanded the role of the Dearborn Motorsports and Styling and Engineering teams.

  1. By doing so, the Committee was able to slash through the vast amounts of red tape, which had hindered the program to date.
  2. Additionally, Ford Motor Co.
  3. Decided to bring on its NASCAR racing team Holman & Moody in addition to Shelby American.
  4. The Committee established a monthly meeting cadence with extensive preparation and John Cowley was placed in charge of the day-to-day operations of the GT Program, with Homer Perry named day-to-day liaison to Shelby American and Holman & Moody.

With time and resources now fully available to the Le Mans Committee, the perfect partnership of Ford Engineering, and the racing acumen of Shelby and Holman & Moody, combined to fully develop the 427 GT40. Phil Hill and Ken Miles continued to race and modify the car, and by mid-September had made enough changes to the body, suspension, fuel system, and brakes that the new model, now designated the Mark II, was ready for testing in the Dearborn wind tunnel.

  • One of the changes was to use heavier gauge metal, which increased weight and stress on the brakes.
  • En Miles continued testing a short-nosed body style which added eight mph to the car.
  • The team finally felt that they had a winning car, with the brakes and gearbox the biggest concerns.
  • Interestingly, the Mark IIs only used four speed manual transmissions, as the bigger engine put out so much torque that a five-speed gear box was considered unnecessary.

The initial race of the year was in February at Daytona, which was increased from 12 hours to 24 hours. Ford fielded five teams, three under Shelby and two under Holman & Moody, including an experimental automatic transmission. Ferrari did not enter any of their factory cars and the race was over within an hour of the start, as the leading competition fell out of the race.

The Ken Miles/Lloyd Ruby team led from the beginning and were easily the winner, with Ford sweeping the first three places. Next on the schedule was the endurance race at Sebring. There had been discussions among the Le Mans Committee whether the heavier more powerful Mark IIs were better than the lighter 289 GT40s on a course that required more agility and maneuverability, so a selection of the two were entered under the Shelby American, Holman & Moody, and Alan Mann racing banners.

This time, Ferrari entered one of its factory 330P3 cars driven by a team including the great Mike Parkes. Over the course of the night, it became apparent that the two lighter 289 GT40s did not have the topline speed to keep up with the Ferrari, while the Mark IIs piloted by Ken Miles and Dan Gurney cruised along, keeping pace.

  • Whereas Ken Miles had been given permission for the quicker lap time in Daytona, during the team meeting prior to the Sebring, Dan Gurney had been given the faster lap time with Miles to run two seconds slower.
  • The Ferrari transmission began to give out in the 7 th hour and eventually was forced to retire.

With the last of the major competition out of the race, the slow down signal went out to Gurney and Miles – and was ignored by Ken Miles as he continued to push the car in a private race with Dan Gurney. Eventually, Carroll Shelby climbed on a block and waved a hammer at Ken Miles, who finally obeyed the signal to slow down to spare the cars and ensure they finished.

  1. That lack of team play would come back to haunt Ken Miles.
  2. With the slowdown in place, Gurney built a lead of a lap on Miles and was cruising along to victory until the unthinkable happened.
  3. The engine threw a rod with the car rolling to a stop a mere hundred yards from the finish line.
  4. Gurney was not quite sure what to do when a minor official told him he could push the car across the finish line.

Unfortunately for Gurney, he was instant disqualification as drivers are not allowed to push their cars unless pushing them off the track for safety reasons. Ken Miles was awarded the victory, his second of the season, as Ford once again swept the first three places on the podium.

The issue with Dan Gurney’s engine proved to be a blessing in disguise, as the Ford Engine and Foundry team stripped the engine down to examine all of the components to see if it could be improved. Ken Miles assisted the team by developing a dynamometer “tape” of Le Mans, so the engines could be tested under race conditions.

This tape allowed the team in Ford’s test block 17D to attempt to perfect an engine that could run for up to 48 hours, twice as long as the race itself. Ford Engineer Gus Gussel noted that with the dyno tape created “it was like Ken Miles was in that control room running that car.” Finally, by the end of May, an engine producing 6,400 RPM and 485 horsepower was consistently lasting the desired 48 hours.

They then built 12 of them to specifications of the test engine and shipped them to Shelby American, Holman & Moody, and Alan Mann Racing for the Le Mans cars. The other major engineering obstacle was the brakes. With the increased weight and speed of the Mark II cars, the brakes took a beating on each circuit.

Slowing from speeds of more than 200 mph into a hairpin curve would cause enough heat to boil the brake fluid, warp the rotors and crack the brake pads. Gradually, in experimentation with Ford and Kelsey-Hayes engineers, better materials were sources for the pads and rotors.

A story that circulated among the teams was that one of the foundries could not produce enough material for the pads, so Ford Motor Co. purchased them to ensure all necessary materials would be delivered. With a true team effort, Phil Remington of Shelby American developed a quick-change system for the calipers and John Holman built a quick-change setup for the rotors, so even if there were issues, the brakes could be changed out in mere minutes.

June finally arrived, and a virtual army of Ford Engineers descended on Le Mans to support the armada of Ford Motor Co. cars. One of those was Mose Nowland who said, “the atmosphere was electrified instantly, because we knew the assignment was very important to Mr.

  • Ford. It was just carte blanche for us.
  • The hours of work, the materials required, the places to be, and so on.
  • We knew the mission was important, from the very get-go.” Eight factory cars were entered, three each from Shelby and Holman & Moody, with two more supplied from England by Alan Mann Racing.
  • The main competition would come from 11 Ferraris, which included three 330P3s and four 385P2s.

As the day of the race drew closer, the Ford Le Mans Committee arrived to support the team. Henry Ford II had been named honorary chairman of the race and would serve as starter with his wife and son Edsel with him in tow. As the clock hit 4:00 PM on June 18th, Henry Ford II waved the starter flag and the drivers ran across the track to start their cars and the race.

  • En Miles, who had the second fastest qualifying time after Gurney, had immediate issues as the door struck his helmet and he had to quickly pit for repairs.
  • The rest of the cars roared on with the Fords and Ferraris trading the lead through much of the early race.
  • The crowds watched knowing that the Fords had often been the fastest cars but never completed the endurance race.

After midnight, the tables began to turn. The Ferraris began to drop out with mechanical difficulties and while Ford had some withdrawals, the bulk of the team raced on and at one point held the 1-2-3-5-8 spots. By 4:00 AM, the last of the Ferraris was out of the race and the order went out for the teams to slow the pace to ensure the most cars could complete the race.

The drivers slowed from the early pace of 3:30 per lap to a more strategic 3:50 per lap. Dan Gurney was in the lead most of the evening, with the Ken Miles and Bruce McLaren teams trading 2 nd and 3 rd place depending upon their pit stop order. When Gurney’s car went out with engine problems around 10:00AM, Ford still had the first three places between the Shelby American and Holman Moody teams.

With two hours left in the race, Leo Beebe and Carroll Shelby met to discuss the end of the race. With the Ford cars running 1-2-3, there was little question as to winning the race, but what order should the finish take? If Miles and McLaren continued their personal race, a malfunction such as the one Dan Gurney had at Sebring might occur.

  1. The team also discussed having the cars come across in a tie and inquired of the ACO (Le Mans race organizing committee) if that was permitted.
  2. The ACO agreed that this was possible and so the drivers (at this time Ken Miles and Bruce McLaren) were told the news at their next pit stop.
  3. While neither was thrilled with the decision, both acquiesced with Ken Miles saying “I work for the Ford Motor Co.

if they want me to win the race, why, I’ll do it and if they ask me to jump in a lake, why I’ll guess I will have to do that as well.” Miles (who had just taken the lead during a McLaren pit stop) and McLaren began to slow down to allow the third car, driven by the Holman & Moody driver Dick Hutcherson to catch up.

  • By this time, word had come back from the ACO that a tie would in fact not be permitted and since the Bruce McLaren team had started 8 meters further back from the start line it would have traveled further and would be declared the winner.
  • The ACO ruling is a matter of some debate as there was nothing written in the sporting regulations from that year that accounted for the rules in the event of a tie.

The decision to notify the drivers of the change in ACO policy rested with Leo Beebe and Carroll Shelby. As the two conferred, there were a number of considerations. While Ken Miles had done the bulk of the race prep work on the Mark II to prepare it for competition since his first drive in February, 1965, Bruce McLaren had been with the program since its inception in 1963 and had always been a true team player driving at the assigned speed.

  1. Both drivers felt they could win in a race to the finish as neither had more than a lap or two lead during the second half of the race.
  2. Leo Beebe ultimately made the decision to not notify the drivers and let the dead heat occur, which would make the McLaren team the victor.
  3. Beebe later noted that “to have Ken win would have been more expedient and popular, but the extent to which McLaren and Amon had played exactly according to our rules mitigated against Miles.

The result was not necessarily even popular with me.” Ultimately, Beebe felt that Ken Miles trying to push the Dan Gurney car at Sebring was a big enough strike against him to give the nod to the McLaren/Amon team. During the final lap, the three Ford cars rode in tandem with Miles and McLaren crossing the finish line in a dead heat with Hutcherson close behind in 3 rd place.

Photos at the time appear to show McLaren surging ahead at the final moment, but the checkered flag is actually waved some distance from the final finish line, which was being monitored by newly installed IBM electronic time keeping devices. The photo finish was intact. As the cars approached the victory circle, Ken Miles and fellow driver Denny Hulme who hanging out of the passenger side door, were surprised when they were waved off to allow McLaren and Amon to the victory podium.

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Both were crestfallen when they learned of the changed ACO rule interpretation, but Ken Miles had the most to lose. He would have been the first driver to win Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans in the same year. In an interview a few months after the race he was philosophical, noting once again that he worked for Ford and would accept whatever outcome occurred.

  • This victory was a culmination of three years of engineering, design, and research to develop a winning car and winning team.
  • Motorsport racing requires a combination of engineering, artistry and intuition from the drivers.
  • With the Mark II all three elements were in play.
  • Ford Motor Co.
  • Engineering did tremendous work on the elements of the car and many were highlighted in papers to the Society of Automotive Engineers while the stellar teams of Shelby American and Holman & Moody provided the artistry to turn the cars into unbeatable racing machines, and the drivers provided the vision and courage to navigate the difficult courses.

For the Ford Engineers like Mose Nowland, it was the culmination of years of hard work. He described the scene in the Ford pit area when they knew the race was won. “There was a lot of tears, a lot of joy. There wasn’t a lot of glad-handing in those days.

  1. But I think the most rewarding thing that day was the smile on Mr.
  2. Ford’s face because he so dearly wanted to win that race.
  3. You just felt that you had made a very fine contribution, because there’s that gentleman, and he was very satisfied.
  4. For us who worked on it, there was a glow that lasted for weeks, and now all these years.” Three years after being rejected by Ferrari, Ford Motor Co.

had developed one of the best endurance cars in the world and won on the field of contest. With the LeMans victory, Ford Motor Co. won the Manufacturer Championship because of their combined scores. The 289 GT40 also won the Sports 50 (at least 50 street versions produced) title for Ford as well.

Did Ken Miles ever race again?

James Mangold’s Ford vs. Ferrari starring Matt Daman and Christian Bale came out this November, and Roxana’s review is spot-on : It is a highly satisfying Dad movie. I knew nothing about the story going in, and had never even heard of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race at the center of the story.

  1. Broadly, the movie is about the efforts of Henry Ford II to defeat the dominant Enzo Ferrari’s race team in the 1960s at the Le Mans after Ferrari rejected Ford’s offer to buy his company and sold, instead, to Fiat.
  2. SPOILERS Some dramatic liberties are obviously taken — Henry Ford II likely did not get in a racecar with the designer of the Ford’s GT40, Carroll Shelby; Shelby probably didn’t get into a fistfight with Ken Miles; and who knows if the wrench was real or an invention of the film (probably the latter) — but the film sticks to the broad strokes of the true story.

Shelby, Ken Miles, and Phil Remington designed the GT40, and after years of losing to Ferrari, Ford finally won the Le Mans in 1966 (contrary to what is depicted in the film, Miles actually did compete in the ‘65 race, and he didn’t finish — completing only 45 laps — because the gearbox malfunctioned).

As depicted in the movie, Miles was well ahead in the ‘66 race but slowed down on the orders of Ford exec Leo Beebe, which ultimately resulted in him finishing second, which also cost Miles the Triple Crown of 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, and the Le Mans. It wasn’t so much the speed of the Ford that won the race, but its endurance (none of three Ferraris finished the race), back in a day when racecars were not necessarily designed to be able to withstand 24 hours of speed.

Interestingly, the movie also doesn’t make mention of Miles’ co-driver, Denny Hulme, who would go on to win 8 Grand Prix titles. He was very good in his own right. Miles was never able to compete in the race again because — as depicted in the Ford vs. Ferrari — he died while test-driving the Ford GT40’s successor at the Riverside International Raceway. There remains some dispute about the exact manner of his death — including at least one conspiracy theory that he never died — but everyone seems to agree that it couldn’t have been driver error and that a car malfunction or design error led to the deadly crash.

  • His death was only two months removed from his win at the Le Mans.
  • In either respect, when the movie ended, the first thing I wanted to find out was how close to the true story Ford vs.
  • Ferrari is (very!), and immediately, my second thought was: What happened to his son, Peter, who was 15 at the time of his father’s death (that would make him nearly 70 years old today).

Peter Miles is still actually around. In fact, he attended the premiere of Ford vs. Ferrari, and attended a private screening with Christian Bale. Here he is at the premiere: Peter Miles also consulted with Bale on the film, at least in a limited capacity, as he told LeMans, I gave Christian Bale info about my dad from press clippings and magazine articles, and I showed him personal photos and shared audio recordings with him.

  1. Bale was looking to remain as faithful as possible to my father.
  2. I also met Caitriona Balfe and gave her snapshots of my mother and described her as best as I could.
  3. From what limited information is available online, it appears that Peter joined his father in the car business, and oversaw the development and production of ten Ken Miles Limited Edition 427 Cobra replicas.

He is also the executive administrator of a vintage car collection valued at over $80 million. Peter was also an off-road racer himself. In fact, in the 1990s, he was a mechanic and crew chief for Ivan Stewart, a hugely successful off-road racer known as the “Ironman,” who was later inducted into the Off-road Motorsports Hall of Fame,

Peter, as depicted in the movie, was on site when his father died in the car accident (although, he was kept from the immediate scene). “It was the last lap of the day, and I just saw a ball of fire. They kept me away, but I could see him” Also, as depicted in the film, he did not attend the ‘66 Le Mans, but Peter Miles did attend the ‘65 Le Mans, where his father did not finish.

It’s the last Le Mans Peter Miles ever attended. Many have also asked about Mollie Miles, the wife of Ken Miles, and unfortunately, there is very little information available about Mollie after the death of Ken, except that she remained in California, as she wrote in Road and Track soon after Miles’ death: May I, through Road & Track, express my thanks to the hundreds of people who, from all over the world, sent flowers and messages.

Nothing could ever replace what I have lost—but the love and kindness showered upon me has been unbelievable. I am trying to acknowledge all the messages, but inevitably there are a few addresses I do not have. It has been a great life out here (in California)—sometimes controversial, sometimes turbulent, but we have been happy, and when I was asked if I planned to continue living here, I was honestly dumbfounded.

All I could think of to say was “Of course, this is our home.” And it is. Thank you all for making it so. Very sincerely, Mollie Miles, November 1966 Header Image Source: 20th Century Fox

Asked By: Gregory Hill Date: created: Sep 30 2023

What did Carroll Shelby died of

Answered By: Ashton Scott Date: created: Oct 02 2023

Carroll Shelby 1923–2012 The automotive world’s most famous failed chicken farmer, Carroll Shelby, died Thursday, May 10, at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, 110 miles due west of tiny Leesburg, Texas, where he was born on January 11, 1923. Shelby, 89, had been ill for eight months, and his cause of death was listed as pneumonia.

  1. Shelby often said that if he had been better at raising chickens, he never would have had to resort to his career plan B: building and racing cars.
  2. That the automotive icon lasted as long as he did surprised no one more than Shelby, who was first diagnosed with heart problems 52 years ago, which effectively ended his race-driving career—near the end he was downing nitroglycerin tablets while he drove.

One year earlier, he had won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but he did not complain about the cards dealt to him, so seamless was his transition to car designer and builder. “We are all deeply saddened, and feel a tremendous sense of loss for Carroll’s family, ourselves, and the entire automotive industry,” said Joe Conway, board member and president of Carroll Shelby International. ROLOFSON PHOTOS, ERICK F. LIEDER, BOB EAST, DAVE FRIEDMAN, JULIUS WEITMANN, TOM BURNSIDE, JESSE ALEXANDER, D.M. BARTLEY, THE MANUFACTURER Shelby’s path to sports cars was a typical one for the era. He began as a hobbyist in 1952, drag-racing hot rods. By May of that year, he had won his first road race, driving an MG TC in Norman, Oklahoma, beating faster, more powerful cars.

Not surprisingly, he soon sought more powerful cars to drive, building a reputation that led to an invitation in 1954 to drive an Aston Martin DB3 at Sebring and then an Aston DBR1/300 at Le Mans. Three years later—the chicken-raising business forgotten—he founded Carroll Shelby Sports Cars in Dallas.

In 1960, Shelby was preparing to race a Maserati 250F, but everything changed a month later when he experienced chest pains, and a doctor confirmed he had angina pectoris, a heart condition. His final professional race was in December 1960. One year later, though, Shelby set in motion the sort of innovation and entrepreneurship that made him a legend. ROLOFSON PHOTOS, ERICK F. LIEDER, BOB EAST, DAVE FRIEDMAN, JULIUS WEITMANN, TOM BURNSIDE, JESSE ALEXANDER, D.M. BARTLEY, THE MANUFACTURER Shelby’s new outfit—named Shelby-American—began a racing program for the Cobra in 1962. The car would record a DNF in its first race in October 1962, but in January 1963, Dave MacDonald and Ken Miles took first and second at Riverside, beating the Corvette Sting Rays.

Racing continued with drivers like Dan Gurney and Phil Hill. Then, in September 1963, Shelby began the Daytona Cobra coupe project for Le Mans, and in June 1964, the Cobras and Shelby-American won the GT class and placed fourth overall at the 24 Hours. That same year, Shelby began work on a Ford Mustang hot rod, resulting in the 1965 Shelby GT350.

Based largely on that success, Ford handed over development of the GT40 to Shelby. In 1966, GT40s took first, second, and third at Le Mans, achieving Ford’s central goal: beating Ferrari. It was about that time that Carroll Shelby began to assume a larger-than-life persona in the automotive media. ROLOFSON PHOTOS, ERICK F. LIEDER, BOB EAST, DAVE FRIEDMAN, JULIUS WEITMANN, TOM BURNSIDE, JESSE ALEXANDER, D.M. BARTLEY, THE MANUFACTURER Ford and Shelby soon parted ways, but he continued to build cars and wheels and became a successful tire distributor; Shelby had a way with money.

In 1982, Lee Iacocca (the first executive at Ford who really believed in him) was running Chrysler, a company that badly needed to develop credibility with the performance crowd. Shelby lent his talent and, more important, his name to the four-cylinder Dodge Shelby Charger and Dodge Omni GLH and GLHS, among other Chrysler products.

Shelby helped develop the Dodge Viper and made multiple public appearances on its behalf. But finally, his fickle heart caught up with him. In June 1990, he received a heart transplant. In May 1991, less than a year later, he paced the Indianapolis 500 in a Viper.

  • His own heart problems led him to found the Carroll Shelby Foundation that funds heart transplants for kids.
  • His health failed again in 1996, at which time his son Michael donated a kidney to his father.
  • The next year, his relationship with Chrysler over, Shelby partnered with Oldsmobile on the Shelby Series 1 sports car.

By 2003, though, Shelby had returned to Ford, working on the Ford GT project that would help the company celebrate the Ford centennial. That August, Chris Theodore, Ford’s vice-president of advanced product creation, announced that the company would, once again, manufacture a line of “Shelby-Ford” vehicles. ROLOFSON PHOTOS, ERICK F. LIEDER, BOB EAST, DAVE FRIEDMAN, JULIUS WEITMANN, TOM BURNSIDE, JESSE ALEXANDER, D.M. BARTLEY, THE MANUFACTURER Over the past few years, Shelby continued to make appearances for Ford and for his charities, despite declining health.

Shelby American headquarters, next to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, is a frequent tourist destination. This summer, the 662-hp, 200-plus-mph Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will debut, and Ford executives insist that Shelby had more than a little input into its development. None of this is to say, though, that Shelby and Car and Driver always saw eye to eye.

In March 2008, the magazine on the various lawsuits that involved Shelby—some filed by him, some filed against him—as well as referencing an exposé by another publication that suggested that the Carroll Shelby Foundation had taken in far more than it had paid out.

  1. It also covered the ongoing disagreements between Shelby and the Shelby American Automobile Club.
  2. Most of the controversies were resolved by the end of the year, though, and Car and Driver, too, following a lengthy discussion with Shelby, then 85.
  3. The way he characterized many of the issues, he knew his time left was limited, and he wanted to make sure his legacy was in order and in the hands of people who had his best interests at heart.

“I don’t care how people remember me,” Shelby told Car and Driver then. “But I just want to make sure they have the story straight.” ROLOFSON PHOTOS, ERICK F. LIEDER, BOB EAST, DAVE FRIEDMAN, JULIUS WEITMANN, TOM BURNSIDE, JESSE ALEXANDER, D.M. BARTLEY, THE MANUFACTURER : Carroll Shelby 1923–2012

Asked By: Thomas Sanchez Date: created: May 15 2024

Why did Ken Miles slow down

Answered By: Jake Simmons Date: created: May 18 2024

Racing career – After the war, Miles raced Bugattis, Alfa Romeos, and Alvises with the Vintage Sports Car Club, He then turned to a Ford V8 Frazer-Nash, In 1952 Miles moved from England to the US, and settled in Los Angeles, California as a service manager for Gough Industries, the Southern California MG distributor.

In 1953, he won 14 straight victories in SCCA racing in an MG-based special of his own design and construction. For the 1955 season, he designed, constructed and campaigned a second special based on MG components that was known as the “Flying Shingle”. It was very successful in the SCCA F modified class on the west coast.

Miles raced the “Flying Shingle” at Palm Springs in late March, finishing first overall against veteran driver Cy Yedor, also in an MG Special, and novice driver, actor James Dean in a Porsche 356 Speedster. Miles was later disqualified on a technical infraction because his fenders were too wide, thus allowing Yedor and Dean to get ‘bumped up’ to first and second.

During 1956, Miles raced John von Neumann’s Porsche 550 Spyder at most of the Cal Club and SCCA events. For the 1957 season (in co-operation with Otto Zipper), Miles engineered the installation of a Porsche 550S engine and transmission in a 1956 Cooper chassis and body. It was the second successful race car to be known on the West Coast as “the Pooper”, the first being an early 1950s Cooper chassis and body powered by a Porsche 356 power train that was built and campaigned by Pete Lovely of Tacoma, Washington.

The resulting car dominated the F Modified class of SCCA on the west coast in the 1957 and 1958 seasons with Miles driving. Due to his great skill and talent, both as a driver and mechanical engineer, Miles was a significant member of the Shelby / Cobra race team in the early 1960s.

Miles described himself this way: I am a mechanic. That has been the direction of my entire vocational life. Driving is a hobby, a relaxation for me, like golfing is to others. I should like to drive a Formula One machine, not for the grand prize, but just to see what it is like. I should think it would be jolly good fun! With a very pronounced Brummie accent (from his hometown of Birmingham, renowned for car manufacturing) combined with a seemingly obscure and sardonic sense of humour, he was affectionately known by his American racing crew as “Teddy Teabag” (for his tea drinking) or “Sidebite” (as he talked out of the side of his mouth).

He played a major role in the development and success of the racing versions of the Shelby Cobra 289 in SCCA, USRRC and FIA sports car racing between 1962 and 1965 as well as the Daytona Coupe and 427 versions of the Cobra and the Ford GT (GT40), He became the chief test driver of Shelby-American in 1963. GT40 Mk II rear In 1965, he shared a Ford GT Mk II with Bruce McLaren at the 24 Hours of Le Mans but retired with gearbox trouble. Earlier in the year, also with McLaren, he had finished second at the 12 Hours of Sebring, The next year he won the 24 Hours of Daytona, sharing the Ford GT Mk II with Lloyd Ruby, and then won the 12 Hours of Sebring,

Several months later, sharing the drive with Denny Hulme, Miles was leading the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans in the #1 car, but Ford Motor Company executive Leo Beebe, desiring a publicity photo of three of Ford’s cars crossing the finish line together, instructed Miles to slow down, which he did. Accordingly, on the final lap the next car from Ford driven by Bruce McLaren/ Chris Amon and the third-place car from Ford drew up, and they cruised to the line together.

The French race officials, after initially agreeing to Ford’s dead-heat “photo-finish”, reneged during the final hour of the race. Miles’s #1 car and McLaren’s #2 car crossed the finish line almost at the same time, with photos showing McLaren’s #2 as slightly ahead when crossing the line.

Asked By: Alejandro Torres Date: created: Feb 16 2023

How many Le Mans has Ferrari won

Answered By: Morgan Hall Date: created: Feb 16 2023

Ferrari 499P wins on debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans Ferrari won the Centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the 499P driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, who shared the number 51 car with James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi, covering 342 laps of the French track.

  • The Maranello manufacturer claimed an historic result on its return to the top class after half a century, with the Ferrari – AF Corse team triumphing in the world’s most famous endurance race.
  • At the chequered flag Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen finished fifth in the 499P number 50, delayed during the night by repairs that knocked the crew out of contention for the podium, despite an excellent performance that saw them climb several places back up the standings.

The Ferrari 499Ps started from the top two positions on the grid with Hypercar numbers 50 and 51, respectively, thanks to the times posted during the Hyperpole when Fuoco took pole. This was the Prancing Horse’s tenth overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to go with those collected in 1949, 1954, 1958, and 1960-1965.

How many Ford GT40 are left?

One of the 3 Remaining Ford GT40 Prototypes Is Now up for Sale Published on July 23, 2020 A lot of time and effort goes into the development of any car, let alone one as historically and culturally significant as the GT40. And now, one of the five prototypes models used during testing, could be yours after it was listed for sale.

  1. The prototype, chassis number GT/105, was an integral step in the car’s journey to its eventual Le Mans triumph and has now been in the UK.
  2. While all test models are used to identify and work out mechanical issues, this just might be the car most responsible for paving the way for GT40 MkII that would earn the Detroit automaker its most famous racing win.

As portrayed in last year’s Ford v Ferrari, the GT40 was born out of Henry Ford Jr.’s desire to beat the Italian performance giants at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a race the latter company had dominated. And with the help of iconic auto designer Carroll Shelby, legendary race car driver Ken Miles and a couple years’ time, Ford was able to do just that, finishing 1-2-3 at the endurance race in 1966. 1964 Ford GT40 Prototype Duncan Hamilton Rofgo This car was the last of the five initial prototypes built in the UK in 1964. Used for testing, developing and racing, it was the first GT40 to be outfitted with 289-cubic-inch V8 and ZF gearbox and the first built with the car’s production-spec bodywork.

While it was never driven by Miles himself, racing legends like Richard Attwood, Bruce McLaren, Phil Hill and Bob Bondurant all spent some time behind the wheel. The car, which has more test miles on it than any of the other prototypes, was also used as the company’s test car at Le Mans in 1965. Despite all this, the dealership claims the car is in impeccable shape, having suffered no significant damage.

If you want to add this GT40 to your collection, you’ll have to reach out to Duncan Hamilton Rofgo for pricing information. Just be ready to lighten your wallet by about seven figures. Of the five initial GT40 prototypes, only three remain today, and the other two are currently in the Shelby Heritage Center in Las Vegas.

Did Ken Miles get the Triple Crown?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia In automobile endurance racing, three events have come to form a Triple Crown, They are considered three of the most challenging endurance races over the decades: the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, and 24 Hours of Le Mans,

  • As of 2023 only 9 drivers have completed the Triple Crown by winning all three races, Hans Herrmann was the first do so in 1970, and Timo Bernhard is the most recent to do so in 2010.
  • No driver has won the three events in the same year.
  • En Miles lost the chance to win all three events in the same year when a problem with the Ford team orders for a photo finish made him lose the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans,

This incident was dramatized in the 2019 film Ford v Ferrari, He died two months later testing the Ford J-car. Hurley Haywood and Al Holbert have won the three races at least twice each. Numerous drivers have won only two out of the three events. Bold on year indicate at which race the driver achieved his Triple Crown.

Driver Year Completed 24 Hours of Daytona 12 Hours of Sebring 24 Hours of Le Mans Total Wins
Hans Herrmann 1970 1968 1960, 1968 1970 4
Jackie Oliver 1971 1971 1969 1969 3
Hurley Haywood 1977 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1991 1973, 1981 1977, 1983, 1994 10
A.J. Foyt 1985 1983, 1985 1985 1967 4
Al Holbert 1986 1986, 1987 1976, 1981 1983, 1986, 1987 7
Andy Wallace 1992 1990, 1997, 1999 1992, 1993 1988 6
Mauro Baldi 1998 1998, 2002 1998 1994 4
Marco Werner 2005 1995 2003, 2005, 2007 2005, 2006, 2007 7
Timo Bernhard 2010 2003 2008 2010, 2017 4

Who won the 1967 Le Mans?

1967 24 Hours of Le Mans 35th 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race 1967

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Index: | The 1967 was the 35th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 10 and 11 June 1967. It was also the seventh round of the, and, driving a, won the race after leading from the second hour, becoming the first (and, as of 2023, only) all-American victors – car, team and drivers – of the race.

Asked By: Sebastian Scott Date: created: Apr 16 2023

What did Carroll Shelby died of

Answered By: Alexander Powell Date: created: Apr 18 2023

Carroll Shelby 1923–2012 The automotive world’s most famous failed chicken farmer, Carroll Shelby, died Thursday, May 10, at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, 110 miles due west of tiny Leesburg, Texas, where he was born on January 11, 1923. Shelby, 89, had been ill for eight months, and his cause of death was listed as pneumonia.

  • Shelby often said that if he had been better at raising chickens, he never would have had to resort to his career plan B: building and racing cars.
  • That the automotive icon lasted as long as he did surprised no one more than Shelby, who was first diagnosed with heart problems 52 years ago, which effectively ended his race-driving career—near the end he was downing nitroglycerin tablets while he drove.

One year earlier, he had won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but he did not complain about the cards dealt to him, so seamless was his transition to car designer and builder. “We are all deeply saddened, and feel a tremendous sense of loss for Carroll’s family, ourselves, and the entire automotive industry,” said Joe Conway, board member and president of Carroll Shelby International. ROLOFSON PHOTOS, ERICK F. LIEDER, BOB EAST, DAVE FRIEDMAN, JULIUS WEITMANN, TOM BURNSIDE, JESSE ALEXANDER, D.M. BARTLEY, THE MANUFACTURER Shelby’s path to sports cars was a typical one for the era. He began as a hobbyist in 1952, drag-racing hot rods. By May of that year, he had won his first road race, driving an MG TC in Norman, Oklahoma, beating faster, more powerful cars.

Not surprisingly, he soon sought more powerful cars to drive, building a reputation that led to an invitation in 1954 to drive an Aston Martin DB3 at Sebring and then an Aston DBR1/300 at Le Mans. Three years later—the chicken-raising business forgotten—he founded Carroll Shelby Sports Cars in Dallas.

In 1960, Shelby was preparing to race a Maserati 250F, but everything changed a month later when he experienced chest pains, and a doctor confirmed he had angina pectoris, a heart condition. His final professional race was in December 1960. One year later, though, Shelby set in motion the sort of innovation and entrepreneurship that made him a legend. ROLOFSON PHOTOS, ERICK F. LIEDER, BOB EAST, DAVE FRIEDMAN, JULIUS WEITMANN, TOM BURNSIDE, JESSE ALEXANDER, D.M. BARTLEY, THE MANUFACTURER Shelby’s new outfit—named Shelby-American—began a racing program for the Cobra in 1962. The car would record a DNF in its first race in October 1962, but in January 1963, Dave MacDonald and Ken Miles took first and second at Riverside, beating the Corvette Sting Rays.

Racing continued with drivers like Dan Gurney and Phil Hill. Then, in September 1963, Shelby began the Daytona Cobra coupe project for Le Mans, and in June 1964, the Cobras and Shelby-American won the GT class and placed fourth overall at the 24 Hours. That same year, Shelby began work on a Ford Mustang hot rod, resulting in the 1965 Shelby GT350.

Based largely on that success, Ford handed over development of the GT40 to Shelby. In 1966, GT40s took first, second, and third at Le Mans, achieving Ford’s central goal: beating Ferrari. It was about that time that Carroll Shelby began to assume a larger-than-life persona in the automotive media. ROLOFSON PHOTOS, ERICK F. LIEDER, BOB EAST, DAVE FRIEDMAN, JULIUS WEITMANN, TOM BURNSIDE, JESSE ALEXANDER, D.M. BARTLEY, THE MANUFACTURER Ford and Shelby soon parted ways, but he continued to build cars and wheels and became a successful tire distributor; Shelby had a way with money.

In 1982, Lee Iacocca (the first executive at Ford who really believed in him) was running Chrysler, a company that badly needed to develop credibility with the performance crowd. Shelby lent his talent and, more important, his name to the four-cylinder Dodge Shelby Charger and Dodge Omni GLH and GLHS, among other Chrysler products.

Shelby helped develop the Dodge Viper and made multiple public appearances on its behalf. But finally, his fickle heart caught up with him. In June 1990, he received a heart transplant. In May 1991, less than a year later, he paced the Indianapolis 500 in a Viper.

  1. His own heart problems led him to found the Carroll Shelby Foundation that funds heart transplants for kids.
  2. His health failed again in 1996, at which time his son Michael donated a kidney to his father.
  3. The next year, his relationship with Chrysler over, Shelby partnered with Oldsmobile on the Shelby Series 1 sports car.

By 2003, though, Shelby had returned to Ford, working on the Ford GT project that would help the company celebrate the Ford centennial. That August, Chris Theodore, Ford’s vice-president of advanced product creation, announced that the company would, once again, manufacture a line of “Shelby-Ford” vehicles. ROLOFSON PHOTOS, ERICK F. LIEDER, BOB EAST, DAVE FRIEDMAN, JULIUS WEITMANN, TOM BURNSIDE, JESSE ALEXANDER, D.M. BARTLEY, THE MANUFACTURER Over the past few years, Shelby continued to make appearances for Ford and for his charities, despite declining health.

Shelby American headquarters, next to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, is a frequent tourist destination. This summer, the 662-hp, 200-plus-mph Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will debut, and Ford executives insist that Shelby had more than a little input into its development. None of this is to say, though, that Shelby and Car and Driver always saw eye to eye.

In March 2008, the magazine on the various lawsuits that involved Shelby—some filed by him, some filed against him—as well as referencing an exposé by another publication that suggested that the Carroll Shelby Foundation had taken in far more than it had paid out.

It also covered the ongoing disagreements between Shelby and the Shelby American Automobile Club. Most of the controversies were resolved by the end of the year, though, and Car and Driver, too, following a lengthy discussion with Shelby, then 85. The way he characterized many of the issues, he knew his time left was limited, and he wanted to make sure his legacy was in order and in the hands of people who had his best interests at heart.

“I don’t care how people remember me,” Shelby told Car and Driver then. “But I just want to make sure they have the story straight.” ROLOFSON PHOTOS, ERICK F. LIEDER, BOB EAST, DAVE FRIEDMAN, JULIUS WEITMANN, TOM BURNSIDE, JESSE ALEXANDER, D.M. BARTLEY, THE MANUFACTURER : Carroll Shelby 1923–2012

How many times did Ford win Le Mans?

Ford – 5 Titles – Ford were the first American car manufacturer to win at Le Mans. The 1966 race was a big wake up call to the Europeans as Ford filled the podium wining first, second and third place. The in 1966 race has been immortalised in the Hollywood blockbuster “Le Mans 66” and the Ford GT40 became a supercar in motorsport legend. Ford won in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1975.