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Ford v Ferrari: The Legendary Story of Le Mans Rivalry!

This time the review is in order to welcome, haha , the film Ford v Ferrari which will premiere November 15 next. Actually, it’s been a while since I wanted to discuss the Ford v Ferrari story. But since there are still queues on other review topics, so I haven’t had time to write them down yet. It was only when approaching the time to air the Ford v Ferrari film, I thought I’d write it and welcome the film.

Previously, let us talk a little about the film. Especially motorsport films or films that take the main theme of car racing. The amount is not so much. The most popular include Rush, Senna, Initial D, and Tokyo Drift. If the film with the ‘seasoning’ car or car racing feels quite a lot. In fact, it seems like most action movies have car chases, or motorcycles.

In fact, in my opinion a film with the topic of motorsport has great potential to become an interesting film. Not just because I’m a fan of the car. But think about it, motorsport like other sports has many values ​​that can lift a film into a tense and moving drama! Call it like the value of struggle, rivalry, friendship, teamwork, defeat, accident, death, heroics, sacrifice and others.

Not yet added action scenes thrilling racing action and if necessary add a little spice of romance romance, beuuhh . Also present is the right song and music soundtrack. Already complete! A motorsport really has complete potential to be processed into a thrilling and moving drama!

But maybe because it involves a lot of stunts and acrobatics, it’s also hard to set up and record scenes from car racing films. Hopefully one day there will be a local Indonesian film with the theme of motorsport.

Back to topic. Ford v Ferrari. In this review we will discuss the true story that happened between Ford and Ferrari.

Let’s just start. Prepare the coffee.

Ford v Ferrari: The Movie

Ford v Ferrari is a film based on the true story of the rivalry drama that occurred between Ford and Ferrari in the 1960s. Films planned to premiere in theaters on November 15 save a lot of potential to become promising films. Not only because of the adaptation of a true story or the motorsport theme, but this film stars Hollywood’s top film players!

The two main characters in the film, racer Ken Miles, are played by Christian Bale, and his engineer Carroll Shelby is played by Matt Damon. Hearing these two names can certainly be a guarantee that this film is not a haphazard film. Not to mention other actors / artists who have been poor across the world of cinema such as Caitriona Balfe, Jon Bernthal, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, and Remo Girone.

Ford v Ferrari director is James Mangold who also directed the film The Wolverine and Logan. In the beginning, two other Hollywood class A stars, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, were rumored to be starring in the film.

For the review score on Rotten Tomatoes, Ford v Ferrari gets 88% of 56 criticisms with an average score of 6.82 / 10. The IMDb score is 7.4 / 10 and the score on the metacritic gets 70/100 from the 13 criticisms received.

Ken Miles: The Hot-Head Racer

This British man was once a motorbike racer. When World War 2 broke out, he joined the battlefield as a tank commander. After the war ended, he returned to his original profession as a racer. Only this time it’s not a motorcycle, but a car racer.

Ken Miles rode with Bugatti and Alfa Romeo until he finally decided to move to America. This is where his career continues to develop. Aside from being a reliable racer, Miles is also known for his impressive mechanical engineering capabilities. Miles has repeatedly designed and built his own car for racing. The results were tested with various achievements and victories!

Ken Miles has a grumpy, reactive, complicated but very good character both behind the wheel and in the mechanical affairs of the car. The combination of a driver as well as a reliable mechanic is what later made Carroll Shelby invite him to join as a test driver. Their relationship was getting closer until finally Shelby invited him to build and race a Ford GT40 .

Carroll Shelby:  “My Name is Carrol Shelby and Performance is My Business”

The name is definitely familiar. We often find this in a performance series of the Ford Mustang called the Ford Mustang Shelby.

Carroll Shelby has long liked engineering and mechanics. After graduating from high school he had enrolled in a major in aeronautical engineering. But then there was World War 2 which caused him to not go to college and enlist the military as an instructor and pilot test.

After the war, he was interested in cars and tried to race amateur cars using his friend’s car. His career was very good even he even had time to race in the Formula 1 championship in 1958-1959.

Interestingly, when we discuss the feud between the Ford v Ferrari, Carroll Shelby actually already had its own ‘grudge’ with Ferrari. He was once rejected as a Ferrari driver at the Le Mans championship. In addition, there are fellow drivers who have died in accidents due to competition among fellow drivers who were ignited by Enzo Ferrari. Shelby then became an Aston Martin racer and reciprocated by defeating Ferrari and winning 24h Le Mans in 1959!

But it is unfortunate at the end of 1959, Shelby declared retiring from the race for health reasons.

The following year, early 1960, Ferrari dominated the championship, especially the GT class. Still saving rivalry with Ferrari, Shelby could not be silent. Although his health condition did not allow for the race he built a Ford V8 engined car , the Cobra AC. This car won a lot of success including the Daytona Coupe championship which attracted Henry Ford.

In 1964, Ford came to meet Shelby with the Ford GT40, which was still warm and dirty and damaged after failing to continue racing. The car that carried the Ford v Ferrari revenge mission did not match the expectations of its employer. Ford wants Shelby to continue its mission of stopping the dominance of Ferrari by upgrading the Ford GT40.

Henry Ford II v Enzo Ferrari: A Business Deal Gone Bad

Henry Ford II was the first grandson of founder Henry Ford who saved Ford from signs of destruction. He made an aggressive management reshuffle. In his leadership Ford also first became a public company whose shares were sold publicly.

In the early 1960s, Henry Ford II wanted to raise Ford’s name by increasingly appearing in the world motorsport arena, especially in the prestigious racing Le Mans. Unfortunately at that time Ford did not have a division that truly did well in the race.

In early 1963, Henry Ford II heard that Enzo Ferrari wanted to sell his company to Ford. Even though at that time Ferrari was dominating but financially their company was having a hard time. Surely this news is something that makes Henry Ford II happy and excited! He immediately went close to Italy, Ferrari headquarters. Reportedly, Ford has spent millions of dollars on asset audits and legal negotiations.

But unexpectedly, in the middle of the road Enzo Ferrari unilaterally canceled this acquisition process.

Just when he was about to sign the contract, Enzo saw an article he had never seen before. This article states that Ford will take over not only the Ferrari commercial car division, but also its racing division. Enzo was angry and out of the meeting room left Ford in confusion.

Enzo Ferrari thought that after the acquisition, he would still have control and become the sole operator for the racing division. But with that article Enzo realized that if the acquisition was complete Ford would prohibit Ferrari from participating in the championship including the Indy 500 . Ford has long participated in the championship.

Hearing Enzo cancel the acquisition, Henry Ford II was furious. He was furious not only because he had spent millions of dollars in time and cost. He was also offended by this arrogant Ferrari’s decision. Indeed, at that time Ferrari was insanely dominating the world GT race. While Ford is only known as an American car manufacturer for daily commercial cars.

Henry Ford II then ordered his men to build a racing car that could crush Ferarri. Ford called in Lola, Lotus, and Cooper to provide a proposal for this race car project. Lola was then elected and together with the Ford engineering team began to build the Ford GT40, a racing car carrying Ford’s revenge mission.

But beyond expectations, the Ford GT40 was plagued with various problems. This car is often retired and cannot continue racing due to various damages.

In 1964, as soon as this car was damaged pulled from the race, Ford immediately took it to Carroll Shelby. Still in dusty and damaged condition of the race, Ford submitted the GT40 project to be continued by Shelby.

Ford GT40: The Ferrari Killer!

The failure of the acquisition of Ferrari by Ford in 1963 further motivated Ferrari to continue to dominate at Le Mans. The Italian car manufacturer continues to slaughter its opponents on the stage of this prestigious GT endurance. They won the Le Mans six times in a row from 1960 to 1965!

In 1964, Ford had put together a team and strategy of revenge on Ferrari. Lola MK6 is used as a base project for racing cars. Two Lola MK6 imported from England to be developed by the Ford team. This initial prototype had a 4.2L Ford V8 engine which was later upgraded to 4.7L. This car is then called the GT40 which is taken from the height of the car which has a height of 40 inches.

After 7 months of development, Ford was ready to bring its iron horse to fight in a real championship match. GT40 follows 1000km Nurburgring but this car has suspension damage! GT40 also followed Le Mans in 1964 and as a result all 3 GT40 units all suffered damage and left the match!

This result is certainly very disappointing. GT40 is a fast car but for a long endurance match, this car is far from ready.

Ford then shifted their engineering team to Carroll Shelby, who won Daytona in a Ford V8 engine, the Cobra AC. Shelby then invited Ken Miles to join this mission to develop and race the GT40.

In 1965, a new day began to be seen when they won the Daytona 2000km shortly! Even though they returned, they still failed at Le Mans. None of the GT40s included reached the finish line.

Shelby then overhauled the GT40 with a larger capacity engine that is 7.0L Ford FE Engine! GT40 Mk.II also has a new exhaust system design, modifications to the chassis, strengthening the suspension and gearbox. Mk.II only has 4 speed gear compared to Mk.I which has 5 speed. This car will later become the legendary racing car that succeeded in subverting the triumph of Ferrari at Le Mans!

Sweet Taste of Revenge…Bitter Taste of Defeat

Ahead of Le Mans 1966, Ford, who was impatient, added one more team to the GT40. The new team is led by Holman Moody, Ford racing mechanic specialist NASCAR. Ford hopes that the two teams can create competition and increase their chances of winning.

Two weeks before Le Mans, Henry Ford II gave handwritten notes to his team that read “You better win” . He doesn’t want to hear any more excuses and really wants Ford to win to destroy the Ferrari.

These big boss instructions are carried out perfectly. After 24 hours of racing almost over, three Ford GT40 lead the game in a dashing manner! They then succeeded in winning the match and successfully carrying out Ford’s revenge mission. Ferrari who won Le Mans 6 times in a row finally fell!

But behind the sweet story of Ford’s retaliation is also stored sad story of Ken Miles.

Towards the victory, Ford wanted the GT40 car to simultaneously enter the finish. The reason? So that it can look cool and beautifully captured on photos!

Three GT40 are also seen in a triangle formation. Car # 1 (Ken Miles) and car # 2 (Bruce Mclaren) in front are side by side, while car # 3 (Ronnie Bucknum) is behind. Finally car # 1 and car # 2 enter the finish line together!

There was confusion throughout the stadium! Both the audience, the racing team, and even the committee were confused who won? The committee then found the article of the rules if the car finishes together then the winner is the one who takes the biggest mileage. GT40 cars Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon were declared winners because they started 8 meters behind Ken Miles. This means that their mileage is greater than 8 meters and they are the winners of Le Mans 1966!

This is a hard blow for Ken Miles. In the video he looks speechless with a face that holds a great disappointment. Miles has spent a lot of time and thought in developing GT40. In addition, Miles is also aiming for ‘ Endurance Racing Triple Crown’, which won Daytona, Sebring, and Le Mans.

Two months later, Ken Miles died in an accident at the Riverside, California circuit while driving a Ford GT40 J-Car. This car later became the GT40 Mk. IV who won Le Mans the following year in 1967.

A tragic story is kept behind the cheers of the Ford v Ferrari victory!

Thus the review this time.

Ford v Ferrari is undeniably one of historic motorsport drama that is full of intrigue. The story of the lash of titans between two automotive giant manufacturers to prove who is the best. Of course, enthusiasts can no longer wait for the screening of this Ford v Ferrari film in the next 2 weeks, November 15th.

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