Probably not everybody is as geeked by hot cars as my husband is . . .
but even if you’re not into speed and racing, I think you might find the 2019 Ford v Ferrari fascinating. At least—I sure did! (“Terrifying” also comes to mind.)
It’s based on the true story of Ford Motor Company’s frenetic battle to develop a car that could beat Ferrari in the world’s premiere 24-hour Le Mans race.
Like the Le Mans itself, the movie is a grueling 2.5 hour heart-clutching experience, but the acting was superb and the story gripping.
This 2019 masterpiece (IMBd 8.2, PG-13) left me amazed and elated as well as angry and sad.
Like all of the world’s best true stories, there was triumph—
but also tragedy.
Ford v Ferrari had such an emotional impact on me that I had to do some research to figure out what really happened versus what was scripted to make for more tension in the movie.
Although Henry Ford II and Leo Beebe were ruthless, it appears they weren’t quite as despicable as portrayed in the movie.
It sounds like the close relationship between the Texan designing maven, Carroll Shelby, and his British-born driver, Ken Miles was real. (Ken was a mechanic by trade but had nerves of steel . . . he really had driven a tank onto the beach of Normandy in 1944.)
Also authentic was the beautiful love relationship between Ken Miles and his sweet wife, Mollie.
Ditto for the love and devotion that existed between Ken and his son, Peter. (In fact, it sounds like Ken truly was an awesome person and highly respected by all who knew him . . . even if they did tease him about being “Teabag Teddy” for loving his English tea!)
One of the most amazing things about the movie (for me personally) was learning that all the super intense racing sequences were 100% real without any computer generated effects! Since all the original cars are now worth millions of dollars, they didn’t try to use originals but went to great pains to build authentic-looking replicas.
The only computer-generated visual effects were the crowds! Can you imagine how many extras they’d need to portray the thousands of spectators attending the 1966 Le Mans race?!
The movie failed to give full credit where credit was due for the development of the Ford GT40. Although Shelby and Miles were perhaps the most invested, there was an entire team of Ford engineers scrambling to analyze and perfect their company’s entry for the 1966 Le Mans race.
However, for better and worse, the story’s major triumphs and tragedies were real and powerfully portrayed. It’s a story that made me really admire the life and legacy of Ken Miles.
I want to be as determined and tough as he was.
I want to be as brave and steady as he was under pressure.
I want to endure like he did.
I want to be willing to run the race of life with everything I’ve got!
And, I want to remember at all times that doing my best and being my best are even more important than winning the world’s acclaim.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
(P.S.— I wrote this post just before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, and then it seemed superficial to be thinking about cars and crowds for a while, but the sentiment is so true that I’m now ready to share it with you. Amidst all the suffering and destruction, I believe we need encouragement to persevere!