The new movie Ford v Ferrari, starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon, dramatizes the true story behind one of the most famous car races of all time: the 1966 edition of 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the film’s title suggests, the endurance race was essentially a battle between the American and Italian automakers, and their cars: the Ford GT40 Mark II and Ferrari 330 P3. But on June 18, 1966 when Henry Ford II waved the flag, dozens were on the track in France. Here are all the other race cars that went like hell — or at least tried.
Ford GT40 Mark II
Car numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8
By the end of the 24-hour race, it became clear that one of the eight Ford GT40 Mark IIs was going to win. But to rub it in Ferrari’s face even more, Ford coordinated the three cars still running to cross the finish line simultaneously. But the rankings came in with Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon first (No. 2), Ken Miles [pictured here] and Denny Hulme second (No. 1) and Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson third (No. 5).
Ferrari 330 P3
Car numbers: 20 and 21
While Ford officially entered eight cars in the race, Ferrari only entered two with the teams of Lorenzo Bandini and Jean Guichet (No. 21), and Ludovico Scarfiotti and Mike Parkes (No. 20). Neither cars finished the race.
Ferrari 330 P3 Spyder
Car number: 27
Another 330 P3 entered the race, but not as part of the official Ferrari team. This Spyder variant was driven by Richie Ginther and Pedro Rodriguez.
Porsche 906 LH
Car numbers: 30, 31 and 32
While everyone remembers the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari, and the top three spots that went to the former, the next four finishers were all from team Porsche. “LH” stands for Langheck, or Longtail in English. These three longer 906s were driven by Jo Siffert and Colin Davis (No. 30), Hans Herrmann and Herbert Linge (No. 31) and Udo Schutz and Peter de Klerk (No. 32).
Ferrari 275 GTB/C
Car numbers: 26, 29 and 57
While none of the official Ferrari team cars finished, two of these competition versions of the 275 GTB did: No. 29 driven by Piers Courage and Roy Pike, and No. 57 driven by Pierre Noblet and Claude Dubois.
Alpine A210Car numbers:
44, 45, 46, 47, 55 and 62
Of the 15 cars that finished the ‘66 Le Mans (yes, only 15 closed out the day), little-known automaker Alpine came up second in number of finishers with No. 62, 44, 45 and 46 all making it to the end. The marque closed up shop in 1995 but relaunched in 2017
Car numbers: 48 and 49
Only three British cars entered the race, two of which were these Austin-Healey Sprites. Neither finished, but the third Brit — the Mini Marcos — brought up the rear in 15th place.
Car numbers: 12, 14, 15, 59 and 60
While the ‘66 Le Mans was a triumph for Ford, only three of its cars finished the race (albeit in first, second and third place). Five Mark IIs failed to finish, and none of these plain GT40s did, either.
Ferrari 365 P2
Car numbers: 16, 17, 18 and 19
These four 4.4L V12 Ferraris were neither entered by the Italian marque nor driven by Italian drivers. Instead, teams from the U.S., U.K., Switzerland and Belgium entered them — to no avail. None finished.
Car numbers: 41, 42 and 43
Seven cars were unable to finish because of accidents on the course, and Matra M620 No. 42 was one of them. As for the other two, No. 43 had engine problems during lap 38 and No. 41 had gearbox problems in lap 112.
Car number: 9
While Ford was the face of American speed and ingenuity, it wasn’t the only U.S. automaker in the race. Chaparral was a small but mighty force in the racing circuit, despite not finishing this time around.
Porsche 911S, Mini Marcos, Ferrari 250 LM, CD SP66, ASA GT RB613, Serenissima Spyder, Ferrari Dino 206 S, Bizzarrini P538 Sport and Bizzarrini P538 Super America. Want to see them all in action? Check out this short documentary of the race
before seeing Ford v Ferrari