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Ford 1966

Old 10-18-20, 06:42 PM
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Markeologist
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Ford 1966

I was recently wearing my re-pop Ford France-Hutchinson jacket at a cars and coffee event (I'm both a bike and car guy, Blue Oval all the way!!) and people asked me about it. Then I recalled a couple years ago a guy asking me about my Ford France-Hutchinson jersey at Eroica California (he had a Gitane in show, road a Peugeot on ride and his dad had worked at Ford when he was a kid in the 1960s). In neither case did folks know that Ford won both the Tour de France and the 24 of Le Mans in 1966. I'm sure many of you out there saw Ford v. Ferrari last year so you know that story...you should also know that Ford-France had simultaneously mounted an assault on the TdF beginning in 1965 and won in 1966 with Lucian Aimer supported by Jacques Anquetil and Julio Jimenez.





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Old 10-18-20, 08:42 PM
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I did know that and the LeMans story, but not the whole story till I saw the movie, loved it and also a dyed in the wool Ford fan here too.

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Old 10-19-20, 04:11 AM
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While Ford won at both Le Mans and the Tour de France that year, neither quite went to plan. At Le Mans, Ford's insistence on a photo finish deprived development driver Miles and the #1 car of the victory. At the TdF, a mid-race bout of bronchitis put #1 man, Jacques Anquetil, out of contention and forced the Ford France team to rally around Aimar, to prevent Janssen from taking the victory.

There are several other similarities between the Ford teams in the two events. In both cases, Ford's entries were somewhat divided. If I recall correctly, Ford's Lemans entries were split between several "teams", including an actual entry from Ford France. At the Tour de France, all members were officially on the same team, but were split between riders on Geminani and Anquetil branded bicycles.

Furthermore, the Le Mans winning Shelby entered GT40s were in different colours, just like the Geminani and Anquetil bicycles of the winning Ford France team.

Finally, the TdF team bicycles were contract manufactured by Cizeron, while it could be argued that the Le Mans winning Fords were rebranded Lola, as Ford has hired Lola owner and designer Eric Broadley, who used the Lola Mk 6 as the basis for the GT40.

Considering that Ford France's team livery was sky blue and white, I always found it interesting that that the Geminiani bicycles were closest to this colour, while the Anquetil models used by their star rider was much darker navy blue. I guess that is because team manager Raphael Geminiani orchestrated the sponsorship deal with Ford France and decided that the team colours should be applied to his brand.

I never was much of a Ford fan, though I'm even less endeared with Ferrari. I'm more driver than car oriented and I remember being very happy, upon learning that the Bruce McLaren/Chris Amon car had won at Le Mans. There was no live TV coverage at the time and I would try to tune into short wave radio broadcasts from Europe to try to get results and sometimes, if I was lucky, race coverage. I've yet to see the movie, Ford vs. Ferrari.
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Old 10-19-20, 11:21 AM
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I met Eric. His son Andy and I were on the same engineering course in the early 80s.
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