Ford distances itself from Le Mans '66 film

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Jake Williams-Smith

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The new Le Mans ’66 film brings the story of Ford vs Ferrari to the world of Hollywood but, despite being the victors, Ford hasn’t shone a light on the movie

Ken Miles and Denny Hulme's Ford GT40 Mk II during the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours

Ford won at Le Mans but hasn’t celebrated with the arrival of Le Mans ’66 to screens Photo: Motorsport Images

It’s hard to miss the publicity blitz around the Le Mans ’66 film, which tells the story of Ford’s triumphant victory over Ferrari, but there is one place where you’re guaranteed to find no mention whatsoever of the movie: Ford’s own social media channels.

Despite it throwing the spotlight on Ford’s historic achievement, the company has not acknowledged the film’s release across its Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts.

On November 15, the day that the film was released, Ford UK posted nothing on its Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts.

One clue as to the company’s detachment may be a statement, sent to Motor Sport where it said: “We hope audiences realise that movies—even movies that are based on real events—often employ a bit of dramatic license.”

The company may be referring to the casting of Leo Beebe, Ford’s racing director, as the villain in the tale of in Henry Ford II’s endorsed war against the Italian marque at Le Mans, fighting against Ken Miles, as he moved from test driver to leading the 1966 race.

Henry Ford II, then the company president, is presented as a bumbling executive with no understanding of the racing world.


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Though Ford initially provided archive material to producers, it was not involved beyond this stage. The company made clear that the film had received “no official backing from Ford”.

Ford’s statement distanced itself from the Le Mans ’66 movie, saying that, despite a huge amount of interest generated in the story, events might not have been portrayed accurately.

“The Ford GT team’s triumph at Le Mans in ’66 was a proud moment in our history and we appreciate the interest in Ford’s racing heritage. It’s great that the movie is an entertaining throwback, sparking renewed interest in the history of Ford’s success at Le Mans, but of course we hope audiences realise that movies—even movies that are based on real events—often employ a bit of dramatic license.”


Ford vs Ferrari: behind the scenes on Hollywood’s racing film of the decade
In the latest Motor Sport Magazine

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