Ford v Ferrari, a film chronicling the battle between the two automakers for Le Mans supremacy during the 1960s will hit theaters next month, and Jay Leno recently had the chance to discuss the upcoming movie with none other than Matt Damon.
The actor plays Carroll Shelby in the film and is immediately put to work by Leno in re-creating an iconic image of Shelby featured on the cover of Road & Track, depicting him with a bright red jacket and standing between a Shelby Cobra, a Mustang and an original GT40 race car. The only difference is that, for this photo-op, in place of an original GT racer sits a new Ford GT.
The story of Ford and Ferrari’s battle at Le Mans is the stuff of legends. Ford had long been looking to purchase Ferrari and just before a deal was struck, Enzo Ferrari decided to call it off. Henry Ford was so frustrated that he demanded the American car manufacturer do whatever it would take to beat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ford first raced the GT40 in 1964. Initially, things didn’t go very well, as the first example retired during the Nurburgring 1000 km race and, three weeks later, all three GT40s running in Le Mans suffered the same fate. The following year, the Fords were again crippled by unreliability and Ferrari easily won. Then, in 1966, the Blue Oval turned things around and claimed first, second, and third at Le Mans, blowing away the Ferrari team. Moreover, the GT40 went on to win in 1967, 1968 and 1969 as well.
Ford v Ferrari hits U.S. theaters on November 15.