It will be because one never felt devotion for hypervitamined heroes, but complicit sympathy for the secondary, losers or Coyotes on duty, in Le Mans 66 it becomes impossible not to applaud the recognition that underlies the figure of the pilot Ken Miles, a legend without glory.
Evidently, Le Mans 66 It is an action film with brilliant sequences that revives the rivalry between the American giant and the Italian manufacturer in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It is the clash of two philosophies: a Scuderia that nurtured his mythic of the epic of winning races (in the F-1 he already had 6 titles, plus 6 consecutive wins in Le Mans), but in economic bankruptcy (bought by Fiat for 18 million of dollars); and a Ford with 65 years of history and 47 million cars, but who wanted to stop being a nondescript manufacturer. As Lee Iacocca, the chief commercial officer, illustrates, “James Bond does not drive a Ford.” For this reason, it proposes to its president, Henry Ford II, “to think like Ferrari” so that the Ford are an object of desire.
To imbue himself with glamor and make “Ford synonymous with victory”, Iacocca plans to win the most legendary of races, the one that confers the category of myth: the 24 Hours of Le Mans. There the pique between the two companies is born. And there appear Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and Ken Miles (Christian Bale), the men Ford entrusts with turning his GT40 into a car capable of defeating Ferrari.
Whether they like the races or not, Miles (1918-1966) becomes endearing. With his English edge, somewhat rough and a dark sense of humor, Ken, a mechanic and pilot who was already a hero before Le Mans – participated in the landing in Normandy taking a tank to Berlin and had won in Daytona and Sebring – makes a winning car … But the vice president, Leo Beebe, official villain (Josh Lucas), considers him a beatnik who “does not give a good image to drive a Ford”. So he takes advantage of his services and prepares a dishonorable end for him.
Ford’s move, a mixture of ignorance and marketing myopia, could not be more hurtful for a driver pure : The GT40 were sweeping Miles ahead, and under the pretext of having a photo for history, their three cars reaching the finish line together, forced to stop Ken, who was 4 laps ahead. Thus, with a draw, the winner was the car that had started from the rear (for having traveled the longest), and that was Bruce McLaren, who was the hero for history. Poor Miles.