Fords And The Furious / 24 Hours Le Mans, France / 18-19 June 1966
Ford’s staged finish of the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1966 was one of the most controversial and mysterious chapters in the GTs saga. Although they dominated the race with not one but three of their GT40s leading with 16 laps ahead of the closest competitor, the final outcome was convoluted. Ken Miles and Denis Hulme in their blue #1 GT40 were leading the race until they received the order to slow down and let the other two GT40s catch up for a staged photo finish with all three crossing the finish line only car lengths apart. Miles was announced winner and about to approach the podium when the officials corrected their statement and confirmed, he was only second. The black #2 GT driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon actually won as they had covered the most distance within the 24 hours, after being placed 40 yards behind Miles at the start. Despite Ford winning the race regardless, it was a slight loss for the Americans as they could have achieved a triple triumph with Miles, as his blue GT had previously won Daytona and Sebring – something even Ferrari never managed to do. Rumor has it, it was the Italian rivals who actually pointed out the mistake in the first place.
Initially the GT40 was not only built for racing purposes but also as an act of revenge targeting Enzo Ferrari. In 1963, Henry Ford II intended to combine forces with Ferrari before the Italian sports car manufacturer abruptly ended all negotiations at the last minute. Furious about this decision, Ford decided to get its revenge by beating the long term winner at Le Mans – which they managed to repeat the following three years.
In the end it didn’t really matter who took the victory amongst the drivers as long as the race was a win for Ford over Ferrari.
About the Automobilist Fine Art Prints
The fine art prints depict unique moments in motorsport history, uniquely brought to life. Starting life as car illustrations, the team of artists then use the very latest CGI modelling techniques to build the cars from scratch – incorporating car photography to create the environments down to the very last detail. It’s automotive fine art like you’ve never seen before.
Please note that these products are shipped from international vendors. As a result, orders may have additional international customs duty & VAT charges payable on receipt of the product by the customer.