Random Snap>> Third Time Lucky

I’m sure some of you will be familiar with this iconic image of the three Ford GT40s crossing the finish line at Le Man in 1966. This was Ford’s third attempt to conquer La Sarthe having failed previously in ’64 and ’65. The story goes that Henry Ford was about to purchase Ferrari from Enzo himself when the deal fell through. Ford then sought revenge. Their aim was to beat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a race which Ferrari had won consecutively since 1960. It was looking promising for Ford in ’66 with Ken Miles (car #1 above) having taken victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring already that year.

Heading into the final minutes of the ’66 race, Miles was certain to take victory with the #2 car of Bruce McLaren & Chris Amon in second place and Ronnie Bucknam & Hutcherson in third place in the #5 GT40. The victory would give Miles his first Le Mans win and a triple crown of endurance races for ’66 having already won at Daytona and Sebring. Ford wanted to celebrate their dominance with a photo finish of the three cars crossing the line together. Miles crossed the line first with McLaren close behind. However, the ACO ruled that because the McLaren / Amon car had started from further down the field at the beginning of the race, it had covered more distance over the course of twenty four hours and awarded them the victory. The deciding gap was just eight metres and remains to this day as the closest finish to a Le Mans race. Miles was denied his Le Mans win. He was killed later in 1966 testing a Ford prototype racecar.

The above image which shows the McLaren / Amon #2 car “leading” Miles was actually taken further up the start / finish straight after the cars had already completed the race.

Paddy McGrath

Photograph Courtesy of Ford UK

Ford on Speedhunters

Le Mans on Speedhunters



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The book written about this acomplishment/sturggle is great! "Go Like Hell" - I got it last year or the year before for christmas and it is well written/reserached. Definitely worth asking for this year as a stocking stuffer.


Absolutely Sean, it's a cracking read. (I recently included it in a collectables post last month)

There's also another called Ford Versus Ferrari by Anthony Pritchard which is more of a photo book which is also worth a read.


Very interesting, will have to look into reading that book. Sucks that he got his win stripped from him then got killed. Bet he woulda loved a second chance. The down side of dangerous sports i guess.


i love seeing old pictures like these, even more so with New Zealanders such as Bruce MclLaren and chris amon.. if there is anything i can ask of you speed hunters is can you do a spot light on danny hulme at some stage? another famous driver but always seams to get left out of the spot light for some reason. also thanks for the heads up on that book i wil go out and purchase it!


Love the history lesson! If only automobile companies were headed by men like Henry Ford and Enzo still today...


I have never seen this picture and I have never heard this story but IT'S AMAZING. Good old days and GT40s forever!!! :)


Could you write about Physics so I can pass Scincee class?