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  • OT: movie review, Ford vs Ferrari....

    If you like cars it's a good movie, PG-13.

    Took my 10 year old grandson yesterday. He's getting to the age of interest in fast cars, etc. Recently we'd gone to the local Ford dealership to check out the $125K, 750hp Shelby Mustang which can't be legally sold in the State of Washington. After the Ford dealership we went to the Seattle Ferrari dealer and saw the $649K "super fast" Ferrari with 800hp. Sales guy said the Ferrari would run circles around the Mustang. So the grandson was looking forward to the movie.

    Interesting story how Carroll Shelby tied in with Ford to win the 1966 Le Mans. At the time Ford was hurting image-wise with no racing connection, Shelby was hurting money-wise and so was driver/mechanic Ken Miles. Lee Iaccoca came up with the racing idea and Henry Ford II gave Shelby a blank check to beat Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans with only 90 days to build a winning car (appears to be some embellishment of the 90 day time frame).

    Lots of the usual racing footage and crashes you'd expect. For me it was almost more interesting to see how the bureaucracy at Ford tried to guide and manage the project as Shelby is telling Ford II a committee can't build a winning race car.

    After we got home I watched an hour and a half youtube interview with Shelby that clarified a few points about him and the movie story. Quite a career Shelby had. Died at 89 in 2012.

  • #2
    Incidentally I just came from movie theater after watching the same movie. (In rest of the world the movie is known under the name "Le Mans -66" )

    Interesting flick but those homoerotic staring competitions between drivers at the end of Mulsanne Straight at 230MPH speed were turn-off. Anyone who has raced on track knows that there is no time for staring contest when you are entering tight corner at 200MPH
    Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DR View Post
      Sales guy said the Ferrari would run circles around the Mustang
      No doubt it does, at its primary function, which I don't think has much to do with speed or corning
      in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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      • #4
        I went yesterday with my good wife to see that film. Wife and I both liked it. I'm not one who often goes to see films, but I thought that one was quite well done.---Brian
        Brian Rupnow
        Design engineer
        Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DR View Post
          At the time Ford was hurting image-wise with no racing connection
          Really ? The movie says FORD had no racing connection ... ??

          Sorry, that just isn't how it was.

          Le Mans - Of course the GT40 project got underway in l-1963 and the cars first competed in long distance sports car racing in 1964. The Mk1 was developed by committee w/ Roy Lunn stirring the pot and people with little if any significant racing experience over-ruling and interfering with John Wyer, the guy in charge who had a stellar record coming into the project and who subsequently took over the assets of FAV when FORD walked away renamed the venture J.W. Automotive Engineering and together with John Horsman proceeded to successfully campaign GT40's with the support of Grady Davis of Gulf Oil until Wyer took over Porsche's evil handling 917 and turned THAT into a champion.

          INDY - Thanks to Colin Chapman, Jim Clarke, Dan Gurney, Graham Hill, AJ Foyt and a growing cast of others, FORD had come to OWN the grid at INDY by 1966
          ..
          1963 LOTUS 29 256 CI FORD V8 w/ Aluminum Block
          Jim Clark 2nd, Dan Gurney 7th

          1964
          LOTUS 34 COSWORTH-FORD DFV
          Dan Gurney 17th, Jim Clark DNF

          LOTUS 29 256 CI FORD V8 w/ Aluminum Block
          Bobby Marshman 25th

          1965 LOTUS 38 COSWORTH-FORD DFV
          Jim Clark 1st, Dan Gurney 26th

          1966 LOTUS 38 COSWORTH-FORD DFV
          Graham Hill 1st, Jim Clark 2st,



          NASCAR - FORD & Mercury had, ahh, something of a presence on the oval circuits. A quick check shows that for 1965 Ned Jarrett claimed the title and FORD collected the Manfacturer's Championship. You can look up other results for yourself.

          NHRA - The formation of the FORD Factory Drag Team occurred in 1964 with great effect for the company. Guys like Bob Tasca, Mickey Thompson, Ed Martin and others all brought the spotlight to shine on FORD in Super Stock at the drag strip. Guys like Pete Robinson and Don Gunther carried the torch in Top Fuel classes.

          This is just the tip of FORD's connection with racing in all its forms prior to engaging Carroll Shelby, Holman-Moody, Carroll Smith and others in the GT40 project
          Last edited by EddyCurr; 11-17-2019, 07:50 PM.

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          • #6
            "Really ? The movie says FORD had no racing connection ... ??"

            Hey, it's only a movie, would you really expect everything to be exact? Besides that, what I came away with is only my recollection.

            I believe one of the Ford people in the movie, probably Ford II, said something about in the public's image the Chevy Impala was eating Ford up the tailpipe. That struck me odd since I never considered the Impala a race type car. Anyway, in watching the movie I came away with Ford wanting to make the public more aware of Ford in racing.

            While the movie was supposed to be based on actual happening after hearing the Shelby interview on youtube he talked about they could have won Le Mans in 1965 if one of their suppliers had correctly heat treated head bolts. That would make the 90 days to build for 1966 not right, apparently they already had the car. Shelby also said in the interview something about Ford having motors on 15 dynos that Ken Miles had programmed to simulate the Le Mans course. I only recall a slight mention of Holman-Moody and it wasn't related to helping develop the car.

            What MattiJ mentioned about the homoerotic staring of the drivers was something that should have been edited out. It made no sense to show them taking their eyes off the road at those speeds.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by EddyCurr View Post

              Really ? The movie says FORD had no racing connection ... ??

              Sorry, that just isn't how it was.

              Le Mans - Of course the GT40 project got underway in l-1963 and the cars first competed in long distance sports car racing in 1964. The Mk1 was developed by committee w/ Roy Lunn stirring the pot and people with little if any significant racing experience over-ruling and interfering with John Wyer, the guy in charge who had a stellar record coming into the project and who subsequently took over the assets of FAV when FORD walked away renamed the venture J.W. Automotive Engineering and together with John Horsman proceeded to successfully campaign GT40's with the support of Grady Davis of Gulf Oil until Wyer took over Porsche's evil handling 917 and turned THAT into a champion.

              INDY - Thanks to Colin Chapman, Jim Clarke, Dan Gurney, Graham Hill, AJ Foyt and a growing cast of others, FORD had come to OWN the grid at INDY by 1966
              ..
              1963 LOTUS 29 256 CI FORD V8 w/ Aluminum Block
              Jim Clark 2nd, Dan Gurney 7th

              1964
              LOTUS 34 COSWORTH-FORD DFV
              Dan Gurney 17th, Jim Clark DNF

              LOTUS 29 256 CI FORD V8 w/ Aluminum Block
              Bobby Marshman 25th

              1965 LOTUS 38 COSWORTH-FORD DFV
              Jim Clark 1st, Dan Gurney 26th

              1966 LOTUS 38 COSWORTH-FORD DFV
              Graham Hill 1st, Jim Clark 2st,



              NASCAR - FORD & Mercury had, ahh, something of a presence on the oval circuits. A quick check shows that for 1965 Ned Jarrett claimed the title and FORD collected the Manfacturer's Championship. You can look up other results for yourself.

              NHRA - The formation of the FORD Factory Drag Team occurred in 1964 with great effect for the company. Guys like Bob Tasca, Mickey Thompson, Ed Martin and others all brought the spotlight to shine on FORD in Super Stock at the drag strip. Guys like Pete Robinson and Don Gunther carried the torch in Top Fuel classes.

              This is just the tip of FORD's connection with racing in all its forms prior to engaging Carroll Shelby, Holman-Moody, Carroll Smith and others in the GT40 project
              So you are not a Chevy guy then?

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes. Films often leave accuracy upside down, bent and smoking in the ditch.

                At Le Mans in 1966, 3rd place was awarded to the gold #5 GT 40 entered by Holman-Moody and driven by Ronnie Bucknum & Dick Hutcherson. H-M were brought into the GT 40 program in 1965 after Shelby American were deemed to be making unsatisfactory progress on their own. A reference suggests that all later tubs were marked as built by H-M. I see that John Holman's son, Lee appears to have the rights to make GT 40 continuation models for those who can afford them.

                Impalas were raced in NASCAR by the likes of Smokey Yunick, Junior Johnson, Ray Fox and others.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by thaiguzzi View Post

                  So you are not a Chevy guy then?
                  Ahh. Actually, I am.

                  Jim Hall's Chaparrals went to Le Mans.

                  Briggs Cunningham was first to take C1 Corvettes there, John Greenwood followed him with a succession of increasingly radical variations of the C3, Corvette Racing took up the torch with their C5.R in '99 and has participated each year since.

                  Although Bruce McLaren drove the original GT 40s for FORD, he was in that strictly for the money. His REAL love were his Chevy-powered Can-Am dominating unlimited Group 7 cars.

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                  • #10
                    While the movie was supposed to be based on actual happening....
                    Not to nitpick, but it never was intended to be based on anything, and really isnt. Unlike "The 24 Hour War" documentary which was thoroughly researched and collaborated on by drivers, crew, Ford & Ferrari families, H&M, and all four companies, "Ford vs Ferrari" purposely excluded outside input and has been blasted for months by most everyone interested in history. Its Apollo 13 on the track.

                    As to Ford, H&M, and Shelby...Shelby himself was well-known for tall-tales, was nearly fired many times by Ford, and by many accounts H&M was brought onboard as much to expand their odds as it was due to Ford losing faith in Shelby.
                    "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by justanengineer View Post

                      Not to nitpick, but it never was intended to be based on anything, and really isnt.
                      Yeah, FORD vs Ferrari was intended to be based on something.

                      From Fox Film's website:
                      .
                      "Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in FORD v FERRARI, based on the remarkable true story of the visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby (Damon) and the fearless British-born driver Ken Miles (Bale)"

                      Originally posted by justanengineer
                      As to Ford, H&M, and Shelby... by many accounts H-M was brought onboard as much to expand their odds as it was due to Ford losing faith in Shelby.
                      Naah, FORD could see pretty clearly that, despite all his, err, Texan braggadocio, 'ol Shel wasn't getting the job done on his lonesome in '65,. Especially after Le Mans that year.

                      (For their part, H-M didn't get off to a great start, either.)

                      1965 - SHELBY American GT 40 Programme Results (Mk I & Mk II)
                      .
                      Feb - Daytona: 1st & 3rd
                      Mar - Sebring: 2nd & DNF (Rr Susp)
                      Apr - Monza: 3rd & DNF
                      May - Targa Florio: Did not enter
                      May - Nurburgring: 8th & DNF
                      Jun - Kyalami: Did not enter
                      Jun - Le Mans: DNF & DNF
                      (Also:
                      FORD Adv Vehicles: DNF
                      Rob Walker: DNF & DNF
                      FORD France: DNF
                      Scuderia Filipinetti: DNF)
                      Nov - Nassau: Did not enter
                      (Also:
                      Essex Wire: DNF & 3rd
                      Holman-Moody: DNF & DNF

                      I'll go to see the film, probably watch it again when it comes out on video so I can turn on captions and replay scenes.

                      Just feel it is a shame that they appear to have decided that the amazing, even unbelieveable reality of the true FORD vs Ferrarri story needed to be altered, rewriting history in the process

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by EddyCurr View Post
                        Just feel it is a shame that they appear to have decided that the amazing, even unbelieveable reality of the true FORD vs Ferrarri story needed to be altered, rewriting history in the process

                        -You have to remember, first and foremost, that it's a movie. It's entertainment. If it were detail-perfect, it'd be ten hours long and mostly boring. The movie was, for want of a better word, a representation- in reality, the pits at LeMans were numbered in order, with Ford taking up something like the first eight spaces. Ferrari, fielding cars in the 20s, were much further down the line. But in the movie, they were put next door to each other to show the animosity- it is a "versus" movie, after all. (Also in reality, Enzo wasn't at the '66 event anyway.)

                        Thing is, I was only knew a little in passing about the Ford/Ferrari thing, and I was greatly entertained by the movie. I'm a gearhead and part-time car nut and loved seeing the vintage cars. And the storyline, to someone with only a passing interest in Shelby and little or none in Iaccoca or Miles, was still very interesting. I'd say it's the best movie I've been to all year, except it was also the only movie I've been to all year.

                        But in the end, it's entertainment, and a commercial product- it has to make a profit, and to make a profit it has to appeal to a wide market, not just the gearhead who's going to point out that the Ferrari crew should have immediately recognized that the nut wasn't one of theirs, since coming from the American crew, it most likely would have been Imperial- AND, for a LeMans fastener, it wasn't drilled for safety wire or a cotter pin rabble rabble rabble!

                        Doc.
                        Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

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                        • #13
                          the Ford GT40, and Sandra Bullock, are two amazing timeless things built in 1963. the GT40 makes everyone who sees it for the first time say "wow". I believe that, over time, this will remain true for the GT40 longer than it does for Sandra Bullock

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                          • #14
                            Alot of the cars made in the movie come from S Africa.The ceo of superperformance is Lance Stander ,a South African.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by plunger View Post
                              Alot of the cars made in the movie come from S Africa.The ceo of superperformance is Lance Stander ,a South African.
                              HuH! Didnt know that. Superformance is a leader in the glass car market. JR

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