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Ford v Ferrari: The Facts and the Fiction

Ferrari at Le Mans Italy 1963

From the casual driver to the Formula 1 devotee, most Chicago residents have an opinion on an auto rivalry or two. 2019 brings a particularly famous competition to the silver screen: Ford v Ferrari. A telling of Ford’s determination to win the 1966 Le Mans after half a decade of Ferrari dominance, Ford v Ferrari features Matt Damon and Christian Bale as Ford’s designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles.

While Ford succeeded and unleashed a string of Shelby performance vehicles on the world shortly after winning the 1966 Le Mans, they wouldn’t return to the race for 50 years, and Shelby’s modern namesake falls short of every model in the Ferrari lineup.


The Story

Ferrari has produced automobiles that are as elegant as they are powerful for nearly a century, but there have always been challengers to the throne. After winning the 1958 Le Mans and then going undefeated from 1960-65, everyone was gunning for Ferrari’s top spot. 

In 1963, Ford Motor Company made an offer to buyout Ferrari, but negotiations were cut short when Enzo Ferrari discovered Ford wanted to take hold of Scuderia Ferrari and claim Le Mans for the American automaker. Furious at being spurned, Henry Ford II poured resources into their racing division with a single goal: defeat Scuderia Ferrari. 

While Shelby, Miles, and Ford went down in history for their victory at the 1966 Le Mans, it was all power, no elegance — and it kicked off a legacy of Ford production models failing to compete with what Ferrari puts forward.

Ferrari Racing Crew

2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 vs. Ferrari SF90

The latest models in the legacies of Ford and Ferrari are the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and the Ferrari SF90 Stradale. While some may like the blocky look and enormous grille of the Mustang, the Ferrari’s curves are beautifully sculpted and smooth, ready to cut through the air.

As to what’s under the hood, we’ll let those numbers speak for themselves:

  • The 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 sports a 760-hp supercharged V8 with a 0-100 mph time of 10.6 seconds.
  • The Ferrari SF90 Stradale’s hybrid V8 engine is rated at a record-breaking 986 hp, allowing the vehicle to hit 200 km/h (124 mph) in just 6.7 seconds.
 
 Ferrari SF90 Stradale Powertrain

Discover True Performance at Ferrari Lake Forest

We’re sure Ford v Ferrari will be entertaining, but the facts tell a slightly different story: the 1966 Le Mans was a blip, a victory built out of spite that Enzo Ferrari wouldn’t let his racing team be bought. Interested in learning more about the legacy of Ferrari? Contact us at Ferrari Lake Forest.

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