This vintage footage is priceless.
By now plenty of people have seen Ford v Ferrari and feel like they know a fair amount about the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Anyone who’s been studying the issue for longer knows there’s always more to learn, and there are lot of ways to learn it. One is to watch some vintage footage about Carroll Shelby teaming up with Ford, which is exactly what we have below.
Produced by the Ford Motor Company, this video of course has a fair amount of spin from the Blue Oval itself. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn anything from it, but it does mean you need to keep in mind who made it and why.
It’s amazing to see Carroll Shelby young and relatively healthy back in the day, especially for those of us who weren’t alive in the 60s. While he was dynamic even shortly before his death, the man obviously had even more energy back then, which is fun to see. You also get a glimpse of his vehicle operations in full swing. After all, getting a glimpse of a real Shelby Cobra being made requires looking into the past.
Shelby also introduces a car which was new when this video was made: the 1967 Shelby GT350. He had famously called the Ford Mustang a “secretaries’ car” before and initially resisted collaborating with Ford to make a racing version of the muscle car. Finally, Shelby saw a way to turn the Mustang into a potent racer, thanks to some dramatic changes.
From there you get some basic lessons from the Carroll Shelby team on how to race properly. They go over proper entry and exit of turns, using the full track, and the importance of stop watches in measuring lap times. It’s definitely old school racing and a far cry from the advanced telematics we use today. That and more make this video well worth the watch.