Ken Miles’ death in Ford v Ferrari isn’t too far off from what really happened – though the movie changes some details for storytelling purposes. For years, Hollywood wanted to adapt the true story of Ford’s triumph over the perennial champion Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race, and for good reason. It’s a fascinating tale of clashing egos, behind the scenes machinations, and talented artists struggling to balance creative integrity with commercial viability, all culminating in a thrilling vehicular race where one false step could mean a horrific crash and possibly immediate death for the drivers involved.
There isn’t a film out there that is based on a true story that doesn’t exaggerate or tweak the details of events to deliver an emotional payoff or make the theatrical narrative smoother, and the same was the case for Ford v Ferrari. And as much as Hollywood loves including an uplifting ending to biopics, Ford v Ferrari subverts those expectations and serves as a reminder to everyone that race car drivers don’t always make it out of the car alive.