It’s everything we wanted it to be...and then some

Ford’s incredible victory at Le Mans in 1966 — and the subsequent dominance that followed — has been shared, told, and written about numerous times, none in better detail than A.J. Jaime’s book, Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans. But the story has never been told through the silver screen. That changes this year when Le Mans ’66 hits theaters on November 15, 2019. Before we experience the spectacle of the greatest race in history and the back-story that led to it happening in the first place, the movie’s first official trailer will serve as a proper appetizer for what we can expect when the movie comes out in November. As far as trailers go, this one is a fantastic way to spend the next two minutes of your lives on. There’s star power, humor, incredible racing scenes, and enough exposition to properly set the table for the actual movie. It doesn’t hurt that the film stars a number of Hollywood heavyweights, including Matt Damon, Christian Bale, and Jon Bernthal. It’ll probably not reach Avengers: Endgame status, but for those who are fans of car racing and the history it has created, Le Mans ’66 is the true must-watch movie of the year.

Ford vs. Ferrai (Le Mans ’66) Movie Trailer

The motorsports world is a place where hyperbole isn’t in short supply. But there’s nothing exaggerated about the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari, particularly the patriarchs of both companies — Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari. It’s been told numerous times in various mediums that Ford II’s bitterness towards his Italian counterpart came after Enzo Ferrari shut down Ford’s attempts to buy the Italian marquee at the last-minute.

Ford had tried to purchase Ferrari at that time, and when Enzo Ferrari changed his mind in the 11th hour, Henry Ford II was out for blood, vowing to get even for the deal that ultimately fell apart.

I’m not going to dive into the specifics of the all-out war Ford launched against Ferrari, but the former set its sights on usurping the latter’s dominance in the endurance racing scene. That set into motion Ford II’s last-minute effort to put together a racing program specifically created to beat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. And so, Ford’s “Sixties Le Mans” program was born. It didn’t come easy for the American automaker at that time. It was regarded as the underdog trying to topple the Ferrari dynasty. Failure after failure marked the project in its early stages. But after building one prototype after another, Ford finally landed on an all-conquering race car — the GT40 — that not only won the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, but it also won in 1967, 1968, and 1969, ushering in one of the most improbable motorsports dynasties of all time.

The First Trailer for Le Mans '66 aka The Ford vs. Ferrari Movie is Out
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It’s unclear how much of that story will appear in the movie, but judging from the trailer, it looks like a lot of the perspective is taken from Ford’s side, including most of the famous names that were on that side of the battle lines.

Le Mans ’66 stars Matt Damon, who plays Carroll Shelby.

His co-stars include Christian Bale, who plays British driver Ken Miles and Tracy Letts, who plays Henry Ford II.

Jon Bernthal is also in the movie, playing the role of Lee Iacocca, who spearheaded the program with Ford II that ultimately led to the creation of the GT40 race car. Curiously, Enzo Ferrari doesn’t appear in the trailer of the movie, though the movie’s IMDb page indicates that the Ferrari patriarch will be in it. Italian actor Remo Girone will play the role of the man behind Ferrari.

The First Trailer for Le Mans '66 aka The Ford vs. Ferrari Movie is Out
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The trailer itself is incredible. It packs enough exposition to help viewers, particularly those who don’t know the history between Ford and Ferrari, understand the stakes that were on the line at that time. The racing scenes are top-class, too, though it helps that we live in a world where movie-making technology makes every darn thing look real. Props to HD cameras, I say! All told, the trailer accomplishes what it set out to do. Car crashes are mixed in with fist fights, and back-stories are interjected with enough humor to keep some form of levity in the room. And all that happened in the space of two minutes.

There are far too much history and side notes about the Ford-Ferrari Le Mans rivalry to fit into one Hollywood movie.

So as you wait for the movie to come out in November, you have around five months to dive deep into the story behind the story. You can watch the fantastic documentary, The 24-Hour War, directed by Nate Adams and Adam Carolla, on Amazon Prime. You can research about it on the Internet. Or you can read what is arguably the single greatest resource of that chapter in motorsports history, the best-selling book, Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans, written by award-winning author and Wall Street Journal contributor A.J. Jaime.

The First Trailer for Le Mans '66 aka The Ford vs. Ferrari Movie is Out
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There are enough materials to learn all about this fascinating and era-defining rivalry between two of the most storied automakers in the world. Come November; we finally get to watch that story unfold on the big screen when Le Mans ’66 arrives. Go like hell, November! We can’t wait!

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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