Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Ford v Ferrari


Also known as Le Mans ‘66 in Europe. Presumably they might not enjoy seeing Henry Ford II, Lee Iacocca, the legendary Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon), and the legendary but lesser known Ken Miles (Christian Bale) hand the super-legendary Enzo Ferrari his ass.

The insanity of Le Mans is a 24-hour endurance race run at speeds well over 225 mph. The cars are street legal, must be able to restart in the pits, and of course they need things like headlights, as they race through the night, often in the rain. Ferrari had dominated the race forever, often taking the top four places. If they had been allowed ten race cars, they probably would have won the first ten places, they were that good. Ford decided to challenge that, and assigned Shelby to make a car that could do it. From the start they had trouble with Miles, a wild man from England. They didn’t win their first races, but in 1966 they placed one two three. It would have been nice if they raced the Ferrari cars to the end, but all those European firecrackers either wrecked or blew the engine.

I understand that considerable liberties were taken, which is only to be expected in a crowd-pleasing story like this. And, who cares? This is a fun movie. The racing scenes are spectacular, hair-raising. What compels people to take a car up to 250 mph (the Le Mans record) and the engine up to 8000 rpm? Hey, I like going fast, but I define fast as 80 mph on an Interstate straightaway. Well, more power to them. We really enjoyed this. It is pure entertainment. Shouldn’t have been on the Oscar ballot, but it didn’t win so, again, who cares?