Texas Car-Designer Carroll Shelby Back in Headlines with ‘Ford v Ferrari’

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Tony Maples Photography


One of the greatest rivalries in auto racing history, Ford v Ferrari, is making bold-faced headlines again. Texas race car designer Carroll Shelby and British-born Ken Miles took on famed Italian designer Enzo Ferrari’s team at Le Mans in 1966. To everyone’s astonishment, they won! The history-making race is back in the news again, over 50 years later.

Their new-found fame is thanks to 20th Century Fox’s highly-anticipated November 15 film release, “Ford v Ferrari.” The film stars Matt Damon as Shelby and Christian Bale as Miles. They fought back against corporate meddling while building Ford Motor Company’s revolutionary GT racing car.

Texas Car-Designer Carroll Shelby Back in Headlines with 'Ford v Ferrari'

Photo: Facebook/Ford v Ferrari

Team Shelby and Ferrari Club of America plan to honor the film’s release with a charity fundraising weekend in the Austin area November 15-17. A welcome cocktail reception takes place at the headquarter hotel, Sonesta Bee Cave, on the 15th. Team Shelby and Ferrari Club of America will hold a cocktail reception, dinner, and screening of “Ford v Ferrari” on the 16th. A scenic drive through the Hill Country and numerous social events are featured throughout the weekend. On November 17, participants will join fellow race enthusiasts at Cars & Coffee Austin for Circuit of the Americas (COTA) races.

“The film ‘Ford v Ferrari’ is a magical retelling of motoring history with an iconic Texan at its heart,” Tracey Smith, Team Shelby International Director, recently noted. “And for Team Shelby members, a weekend in the Texas Hill Country is akin to a homecoming. Texas imbued the young Carroll Shelby with a fierce independence and influenced his professional success worldwide. The movie recalls a pivotal moment in Shelby’s career, while Texas reminds us how he got there.”

While Shelby grew up in rural East Texas, Enzo Ferrari came from Maranello in Italy. Both men shared independent attitudes, driving skill, and nerves of steel, plus respect for engineering and design. They also shared a lifelong desire to win, against all odds. Ferrari is played by Italian actor Remo Girone in the new film, with Tracy Letts featured as Henry Ford II.

Quarto Books’ “Ford GT”

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Photo: Facebook/Ford v Ferrari

Quarto Books’ new “Ford GT,” written by Preston Lerner with photography by Dave Friedman, tells the back story of the Ford/Ferrari rivalry. Henry Ford II tried unsuccessfully to buy Ferrari in 1963, and Enzo’s refusal fueled his dream of winning at LeMans. Ford was vindicated when his powerful V8 GT40 made motor-sports history by winning back to back races at LeMans in 1966 and 1967. Marking the 50th anniversary of this legendary event, the new Ford GT won again in 2016.

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