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Ford GT40 MKII

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#98 Ford GT40 MKII

Drive by Christian Bale as Ken Miles in Ford v Ferrari (2019)

Ford vs Ferrari is a 2019 American sports action drama film directed by James Mangold and staring Matt Damon and Christian Bale. The film follows a determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and his British driver, Ken Miles (Christian Bale). Both men are dispatched by Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca with the mission of building the Ford GT40, a new racing car to win long-distance sports car races against Ferrari, which won every 24 Hours of Le Mans race from 1960 to 1965.

Ford GT40

The GT40 broke Ferrari’s streak in 1966 and went on to win the next three annual races. The Mark II’s victory was the first win for an American manufacturer in a major European race since Jimmy Murphy’s triumph with Duesenberg at the 1921 French Grand Prix.

The Ford GT40 is a mid-engine, rear wheel drive race car with a 4-speed manual transmission. For the 1966 Mark II, Shelby replaced the small-block 4.2-litre, 255 cu inch V8 with the 7.0-litre, 427 cu in unit Shelby had used so famously in the Cobra. With the 1-2-3 finish at the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 7.0-litre V8 was now producing 463bhp, enough grunt to see almost 200mph on the track’s banking. Early cars were simply named “Ford GT” for Grand Touring, the name of Ford’s project to prepare the cars for the international endurance racing circuit.

The “40” represented its height of 40 inches (1.02 m), measured at the windshield, the maximum allowed.

Since the actual GT40s are worth millions, Ford vs Ferrari used recreations of original race winning cars for filming. The #98 GT40 MKII is the screen used car for the Ken Miles victory at the 1966 24 Hours of Daytona.