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Men of speed: The making of the world’s fastest cars and the men behind them

Enzo Ferrari.jpg
Enzo Ferrari

Car racing fans are fortunate that movies about the founders of top automotive companies have recently been released in close succession. The past couple of years have seen the release of “Ford vs Ferrari,” “Lamborghini: The Man Behind the Legend,” and “Ferrari.” These titles alone indicate that these movies are about the fascinating lives of the leaders of famous sports car brands. While this subject may not interest everyone, even the least curious should watch these movies for the real-life lessons they offer.

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Ferrucio Lamborghini

These movies are compelling because they focus on a time when racing success was believed to equate to car sales success. A common quote in all three films is, “Race on Sunday, sell on Monday.” In pursuit of financial stability and bragging rights, the car brands featured in the films sought victory on the race track. Their rivalries made achieving that coveted victory even more challenging. Each man’s ego was manifested in his prized creation—his race car—clearly showing their respective motivations.

Here are the movies and why they are worth watching:

‘Lamborghini: The Man Behind the Legend’

Spanning the longest period of all three movies, “Lamborghini” stretches from its founder Ferruccio’s return from the war, founding a tractor company, that fateful meeting with Enzo Ferrari that motivated him to start his own sports car company, and his troubles (both financial and marital) later in life.

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‘Lamborghini: The Man Behind the Legend’

The most interesting part is easily his rivalry with Ferrari’s founder. They clash on many occasions, whether in the famous Mille Miglia (1,000 Miles) road race, over the poor reliability of Ferrari cars, or as rival automakers. The fierce Lamborghini-Ferrari rivalry has continued to this day, even though these companies are now run by completely different people. The movie provides a great context into how the rivalry started and has evolved over the years.


In contrast, the Ferrari movie spans just a short period, unfolding over a single year: 1957. This year is quite eventful as it marks the last year of the Mille Miglia and the beginning of a crucial stage in which the company decides on its future. Despite being the last of the three films, it makes no mention of rivals Ferruccio Lamborghini or Henry Ford II, focusing instead on Enzo Ferrari’s personal and professional struggles. This might be a surprising approach to some, but those who know Enzo and his reputation for being a snob will find it appropriate. After all, the ‘Commendatore’ never took Ford or Lamborghini seriously as competitors until they passed his race cars.

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Despite the narrow timeline, the movie offers a great glimpse into riskier times when the death of a racing driver was considered par for the course, and victory in racing was valued more than a life.

‘Ford vs Ferrari’

Despite its title, “Ford vs Ferrari” actually focuses more on Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles than on Ford’s president at the time, Henry Ford II. This is because the movie centers on Ford’s efforts to build its own car after a deal with Ferrari went sour. Ford was seeking victory in racing, particularly at Le Mans, and attempted to buy Ferrari as a shortcut to achieving that goal. Ferrari turned down the offer in a surprising twist since, according to the Ferrari movie, it was Ferrari himself who first suggested it.

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Ford vs Ferrari

Nonetheless, this kicks off Ford’s quest to beat Ferrari in its own race and on its home continent as revenge. Ford tasked the unlikely duo of Shelby and Miles to build a Ferrari-beating sports car, resulting in the legendary Ford GT40.

Rivalries of the century

For those with the time, these three films are worth watching as they reveal the motivations and inside stories behind some of these companies’ most renowned achievements and legendary sports cars. If there’s one thing these films can teach, it’s never to upset a man who knows a thing or two about racing. He just might build the next great supercar to prove a point.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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