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In Reply to: RE: Documentary posted by Victor Khomenko on May 03, 2020 at 12:00:48
I poked into this a little bit.
Did Beebe and Miles actually have a grudge going? No testimonial I found on line affirmed it, although some agreed that heated words were exchanged on one occasion. Unknown if it carried through to the LeMans race. Beebe said that he did make the decision for the 3 remaining racers to slow down after the last Ferrari broke down, but no mention of whether the 3 Ford drivers were instructed by him to cross the line together -- costing Miles the win -- thus casting Beebe as the all-time prick in the car biz.
Was Beebe the real life arrogant, suck-up he was shown as in the movie? A lot of testimony said no; that he was a stand-up guy, sought out by presidents to head task forces. Lots of post-movie talk about how he didn't deserve that treatment. But Beebe moved on from Ford a short time after the first LeMans. Testimony indicates that he might have had different personas both with and post-Ford. Most of the positive appreciation of Beebe was from knowing him after he moved on.
Did Shelby and Miles have a wrestling match on the lawn? Not really. Added for fun. But Miles was a bit of an edgy personality.
Was Henry Ford II the imperial prima dona he was shown to be? Comments found said that no one could recall having ever seen or heard the man; surrounded by his sycophants all the time -- which was shown. Having grown up in Detroit during those years, I know that Ford II was never a man spoken of positively except in walking-on-eggshells rhetoric or news stories. Not a lot of press about him at all. Did he try to buy Ferrari and take total control? Yup. Did Enzo Ferrari use the opportunity to screw Ford and throw in with Fiat? Yup.
All true basically, but with hyped characters, as expected.
Not much cgi; they bought more that $2,000,000 worth of Ferraris for this film -- and drove the wheels off of them.
Movie: Shelby is depicted as nearing the end of his rope, and aligning with Ford was a lifeline.
Fact: Shelby began in early 1962 by combining a Ford V8 with chassis from AC cars in England. By late 1963 Shelby and Cobra were dominating US sports car racing and humiliating the Chevy Corvette racing program. Ken Miles was a key development driver and Cobra employee.
Movie: Ford tries to buy Ferrari, fails then pledges to defeat them on track.
Fact: Movie accurately depicts Ford's attempt to buy Ferrari and then pledging to defeat Ferrari at LeMans when Ferrari turns Ford down (and leverages Ford's interest into an injection of cash from FIAT).
Movie: Ford develops the GT40 and Shelby convinces Ford to let him run it.
Fact: Ford tried to run the GT40 program and publicly failed. Shelby, having already succeeded in the US, is brought in as a savior for the program. Shelby and co heavily modified the GT40 and it wins its first race at Daytona 1965.
Movie: Ford tries hard in 1965, and fails again. Miles is pointedly left out of the driver lineup.
Fact: A combination of faulty parts, and Ford's insistence on running the big block 427 engine leads to failure. Ken Miles not only drove in the race, but shared a GT40 MKII with Bruce McLaren who won the following year.
Movie: Leo Beebe was a prick who hated Ken Miles
Fact: Leo Beebe was a senior manager for Ford, charged with overseeing the investment Ford made in Shelby and the GT40. He made decisions from a corporate perspective. HE DID NOT HATE KEN MILES.
Movie: Ken Miles hated Ford
Fact: Ken Miles enjoyed working for Shelby and Ford
Movie: Beebe suggested the 3 abreast finish
Fact: Beebe suggested the 3 abreast finish and all agreed- Shelby etc included.
Fact: There was pushback after about how Miles was screwed.
Better to have a flawed movie than none at all.....
The way he was portrayed made him nearly impossible to work with BUT being able to win makes the difference.
I don't recall a lot of immediate press on the race heralding how Miles got screwed.
I suspected as much, great comments, especially the wrestling match and locking in Beebe to ttake Ford for a ride.
It's still a fun ride in my mind, while Mike didn't like it so much, it was a rare 4 star on my scale. I never give 5s.
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