Recently dispatched movie Ford v. Ferrari depends on the genuine story of the bombed endeavor by the Ford Motor Company to buy Ferrari and the resulting endeavors by Ford to create a vehicle to beat Ferrari at the esteemed 24 Hours of Le Mans. Principal to the achievement of Ford GT40 that would finally beat Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966, was Carroll Shelby, a previous American racing driver turned vehicle creator and British-conceived racing driver and engineer, Ken Miles. In the movie, Matt Damon assumes the part of Shelby and Miles is played by Christian Bale. And as often with motorsport, there are some cool watches involved.
Caroll Shelby dashed in Formula One from 1958-59 and won the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans driving an Aston Martin DBR1 with co-driver Roy Salvadori.
Shelby resigned from active racing because of medical conditions a couple of months after his victory at Le Mans 1959. Shelby continued to open an elite driving school and in 1962 established Shelby-American, a vehicle customisation company. Shelby created the AC Cobra (sold as the Shelby Cobra in the United States), which depended on the undercarriage of the British-made AC Ace and a Ford V8 engine. Assisting Shelby in the testing of the vehicle was Ken Miles.
Ken Miles was brought into the world in Birmingham, England and served as a Tank Commander in World War II prior to starting a profession in engine racing. In the mid 1950s, Miles moved from England to the United States, settling in Los Angeles, where he continued to race. In 1953, Miles dominated 14 straight races in a MG-based vehicle of his own plan and development in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) racing. In 1955, Miles entered his initial 24 Hours of Le Mans finishing in 12th place racing a MG with co-driver John Lockett.
Miles is presented underneath talking to Steve McQueen at the Los Angeles Examiner Grand Prix on March 8, 1959.
In 1964, Shelby was drawn closer by Ford to consummate the Ford GT40, which had still neglected to beat Ferrari at Le Mans. As a confided in test pilot, Miles was heavily involved with Shelby and the remainder of their group to resolve any issues in the vehicle. Miles additionally aided the testing of the Shelby Mustang GT350.
In 1965, Miles and his co-driver Lloyd Ruby, driving a Ford GT40 Mk II, won the Daytona Continental 2,000 km, marking the first run through the GT40 dominated a lofty race. I discovered the photo which showed Miles and Ruby each receiving a Rolex 6541 Milgauss with smooth bezel, for winning the race.
Ken Miles’ normal watch was a Breitling Co-Pilot Chronograph, which he is wearing while at the same time sitting in a Porsche 906 in April of 1966.
In Ford v Ferrari, Bale as Miles is demonstrated to be wearing a Heuer Autavia several scenes and Damon as Shelby wore a Heuer Carrera reference 7753, as featured by On The Dash here . It has a white dial with dark sub-dials. It was made in the mid 1970s, which was long after the events of the film, so it is a little blooper.
I have seen photographs of Shelby from 1959 to 1965 with a Rolex Oyster and a two-register chronograph yet not a Heuer Chronograph.
Shelby is wearing his two-tone Rolex in an image taken for Sports Illustrated in 1959.
At Le Mans in 1964, Shelby was all the while sporting the two-tone Rolex
1966 saw a change to the organization of the Daytona Continental. Instead of a 2,000 km race, it followed the equivalent time period as Le Mans and the race turned into the 24 Hours of Daytona. Miles and Ruby won the inaugural 24 Hours of Daytona, indeed driving the GT40 Mk II and the second and third spot vehicles were likewise Mk II GT40s.
At the 1966 12 Hours of Sebring, with Miles and Ruby driving a GT40 X-1, they finished in the lead position, further highlighting the GT40 as an impressive machine.
The 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, saw Ford finally win over Ferrari with the Ford GT40 taking first, second and third spot.
The finish of the race was controversial, as Ford needed the initial two vehicles to go too far at the same time. The Ken Miles/Denny Hulme GT40 #1 that was leading the race eased back down to permit the second GT40 #2 of Chris Amon/Bruce Mclaren to pull close by to cross the finish line together.
Due to a standard at Le Mans in the event of a tied finished, the vehicle that began the race furthest back toward the beginning of the race on the framework would be considered to have finished first. As Amon and Mclaren’s vehicle #2 had begun 20 feet behind Miles and Hulme’s GT40 #1, they were announced the winners.
This new development denied Ken Miles winning the perseverance racing “Triple Crown” of the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours Of Le Mans.
Miles died in a testing mishap on the 17th of August 1966, two months after the 24 Hours Of Le Mans. Carroll Shelby continued to plan vehicles under his Shelby brand, just as Dodge, Ford and Oldsmobile. Shelby died in 2012 at the time of 89.