Ford v. Ferrari

Review: Ford v. Ferrari

25 Nov 19

Car guys worry not, it's good.

I am a car nut and have copies of Ronin, Bullit, The Driver, Senna and The Fast and The Furious (#1, the only good one) in my collection. I have Alain Prost's autobiography and a completely worn out copy of Mike Hawthorne's Champion Year so imagine my excitement when I heard last year that Ford v Ferrari was in production.

The movie looked good from the outset with cast members Matt Damon and Christian Bale in the lead roles. The opening scenes make all the right choices dropping all the right names and the iconic character of Lee Iacocca impresses right from the start. The Ferrari factory looks like the actual factory and the Italian and American characters all play to type. And so my fears of a Hollywood balls-up of a widely forgotten but important part of the Golden Era of motorsport were allayed.

Sure, a few things were missed, some of the cars used are obviously road versions not the surviving race cars because they have speedometers, great for movies to emphasise speed but completely useless in actual racing. In the racing scenes, the director forgets that sports car racers all follow each other on the racing line, and the cars are depicted weaving through traffic ala NASCAR racing. Finally, the scene where we are introduced to Ken Miles wife is cringeworthy. Girls who like cars and car guys don't talk like that.

These few things aside, this is one of the better car movies around, it's well researched, and spotting cars quickly becomes habitual. The tension between the blue collar drivers & mechanics versus the white collar sales & marketing people is clever and will be recognised by anyone who has ever spun a spanner.

This is a must see for anyone whose interest in cars extends beyond safety ratings bluetooth and Tesla. Maybe now a long attempted movie about Mike Hawthorn might get off the ground.