Movie Stardom for Hall of Famers
Anyone who has seen 'Ford v Ferrari,' (known as Le Mans '66 in certain other territories) the blockbuster 20th Century Fox film depicting Ford Motor Co.'s effort - spearheaded by Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and Ken Miles (Christian Bale) - to unseat Ferrari as the king of Le Mans, saw this before the credits rolled: "Revered by racing fans worldwide, Ken Miles was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame."
"The goal that our late president Ron Watson had from the outset was that induction into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America would be seen as the ultimate motorsports credential," said George Levy, president of the MSHFA, "just as with Cooperstown for baseball and Canton for football. The mention in ''Ford v FerrariI' is proof that goal is being realized."
Miles was indeed inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) in 2001. Shelby preceded Miles into the Hall in 1992. And there were many more MSHFA inductees who had a role in Ford's success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 ... and 1967, 1968 and '69. Some were depicted in the movie and some were not. Other Hall of Famers took part in the 1966 race that saw the first-ever victory by an American car.
Phil Remington, Shelby's master fabricator, played by Ray McKinnon, shared the screen quite a bit with Damon and Bale. He was inducted into the MSHFA this past March in the Class of 2019.
Remington, who died in 2013 at the age of 92, was presented for induction by his daughter, Kati Blackledge (pictured below in 1968 with her father and this past March at the MSHFA induction), who this year has finally seen her father gain some deserved recognition on both the silver screen and with his enshrinement into the MSHFA.
"The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is a wonderful organization, and I was truly impressed when I set foot inside the museum for the first time when my dad was inducted," Blackledge said. "I remember looking around and thinking it is very cool my dad is now part of something this big. To my knowledge, my father was never in a winner's circle photograph his entire career. He cared about victories, but not the glory associated with winning. He had an internal satisfaction from winning but never cared about the spotlight. Then, finally, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America comes along with a call from Ron Watson saying this man - who literally spent his entire life winning races behind the scenes - is going to be inducted, and I thought, 'finally he got the big win.'"
Released Friday, November 15, "FORD v FERRARI" grossed more than $40 million as the No. 1 US movie over the next week. Its popularity remains strong, with "FORD v FERRARI" trailing only Disney's highly anticipated "Frozen II" as last weekend's No. 2 movie.