Ken Miles was to run second and lap one to two seconds slower than Gurney, while Bruce McLaren was to run third and lap between 3:41.0 and 3:42.0. When I showed this quotation to Carroll Smith and asked for his opinion, he told me “Bob Negstad is one of the most truthful people that I have ever known.” Bob died shortly after this interview was conducted and many of us feel that it was a dying declaration to see justice finally done for his good friend, Ken Miles. After working for Alfa Romeo, Ferrari decided to open his own performance vehicle company in 1939.

By 1963, a $10 million (approximately $78 million in today's money) deal was on the table, but in the eleventh hour, Ferrari balked at the clause that would cede control of his beloved race team to the American company which left Ford returning to Detroit empty handed and humiliated. The controversial finish of the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours, with the two Ford Mk II of Ken Miles/Denny Hulme and Bruce McLaren/Chris Amon finishing a few meters apart. Carroll Shelby (center) talks to the winning team Chris Amon (left) and Bruce McLaren (right). He was instructed to lap at between 3:37.0 and 3:38.0. From what is known, he got his start racing motorcycles and continued doing so during his time in the British Army. All that changed after the outbreak of the Second World War put the brakes on his car career. All of those guys were real racers. 5. 2. Miles and Denny Hulme carried first place. Ken Miles (second right, in woolly hat) shares a laugh with (from left) Chris Amon, Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme after their 1966 Le Mans victory.

Ferrari tersely responded, 'Yes, I know. According to the official Shelby American race report, Dan Gurney was instructed to lead the race and break the Ferraris. We led most of the race, at record speed, until we retired with an overheating engine at the end of the 17th hour.”, Charlie Agapiou – Crew Chief: “There was some talk in the pits that Ford thought that Ken did not follow team orders and pushed Gurney to the point of breaking.

Other than a conspiracy theory about Miles somehow surviving the crash and living a quiet life in Wisconsin, Ken Miles’ death is considered one of the greatest tragedies of auto racing. Henry Ford II, grandson of Henry Ford the business automotive magnate was used to getting what he wanted. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. All three GT40s in 1964 broke down less than halfway through the race, one of which burst into flames.

This seems likely because of Miles’ position on the Shelby American team as a test driver and developer. Ken Miles with Carroll Shelby during the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.

All Rights Reserved. Reducing the speed of a 3,000 pound car going 200 mph every few minutes over a prolonged period of time was by an engineering conundrum. They ran a good race and did what we had told them to do.”.

Roy Salvadori, a test driver told Popular Mechanics: 'I opted out of that program to save my life.'.

Race car driver Ken Miles puts a Cobra through its paces.

After returning to the race, he had to go like hell in order to get back in second place behind Gurney. 10. The Ferrari 330P3 of Lorenzo Bandini and Jean Guichet leading the Ford GT40 Mk. Chris and I really enjoyed everything about Le Mans. Bob Negstad – Senior Project Engineer, Ford Motor Company: “At Le Mans, I was the guy that Jacque Passino sent over to Ken Miles to tell him to back off and let the other guys catch up.

Ken Miles is besieged by spectators seeking autographs, and press and photographers wanting to know what happened at the finish. Ken Miles was ordered to purposely slow down so that he could finish the race side by side with his Ford team mate but in the end he dropped slightly behind, which ceded his First Place victory to Amon. He eventually sold the car and used the money to building something better: his famed 1954 MG R2 Flying Shingle. Twentieth Century FoxChristian Bale and Matt Damon in Twentieth Century Fox’s Ford v. Ferarri. He would show up to the racetrack in overalls straight off the farm; a look that later became his trademark.

Both men drove for Ford on different teams at the 1966 Le Mans. A shocked and dismayed Denis Hulme and Ken Miles enjoy a glass of champagne on the winner’s stand, as Bruce McLaren (far left) and Chris Amon (far right) enjoy the victor’s laurels.

Born November 1, 1918, in Sutton Coldfield, England, not much is known about Miles’ early life. Two months later, he was killed test driving a Ford J-car at a California raceway. Ferrari wasn't interested in creating consumer vehicles for the road; instead he devoted all his money and time to his race team; going as far as living in an apartment above his workshop and eventually buying the restaurant across the street where he lunched every day. Bruce McLaren takes the Ford that he shared with fellow New Zealander Chris Amon through the Mulsanne hairpin. Driving a stock MG TD at the Pebble Beach road race, Miles was disqualified for reckless driving after his brakes failed. Shelby retired from driving and moved to Los Angeles to begin focusing his attention on building sports cars.

Now that you’ve read about racing legend Ken Miles, check out the story of Carroll Shelby, who worked with Miles to build the Ford Mustang GT40 and Shelby Cobra, or about Eddie Rickenbacker, the World War I fighter pilot and Indy 500 star. The top three Ford GT40s forge through the sheets of rain toward the end of the race. As you remember we had three cars running up at the front as the race was drawing to its conclusion.

In 1939, Ferrari struck out on his own to create his eponymous line of high-performance vehicles which suffered a few setbacks during WWII when the Allies bombed his Maranello factory in 1944 and 1945. I don’t know what they told Ken during that final pit stop, but he wasn’t very happy as he entered the car to finish the race. With three Ford GT40s in the lead, it was clear Ford was going to win the race. Ferrari was known to be a short-tempered perfectionist who famously created a 'Museum of Horrors' which was a wall that displayed every failed car part for all his employees to see, 'These two guys were larger than life,' explained A.J.

Although that glory was short-lived for Miles, who died behind the wheel soon after, he is still considered one of racing’s great American heroes with his feat inspiring the recent film Ford v Ferrari. He made his debut as a race car driver in 1923 to little fanfare but eventually transitioned into running the racing operation for Alfa Romeo. 'Auto racing was a very different sport in 1966,' said Preston Lerner, author of Ford GT: How Ford Silenced the Critics, Humbled Ferrari and Conquered Le Mans to Popular Mechanics.

They would run these tests until the engine gave out so they could analyze and fix what went wrong.

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