On the 19th of June 1966, three beautiful Ford GT40s crossed the line at Le Mans in a pre-ordained victory formation which became one of the most evocative and iconic images in the history of motorsport.
But the result was intended to be orchestrated differently.
To provide strikingly visual proof of a dominant race, Ford decided to stage a publicity photo. The plan was to have the top three podium finishers (car numbers 1, 2, and 5, in that order) cross the line near one another to provide a photographic finish, depicting Ford’s dominating race performance. Miles’s number 1 car was leading until the drivers were told to close up for the finish. As it turned out Bruce McLaren’s number 2 car crossed the finish line in first place and was declared the winner. It is rumored that Miles, upset about the team orders, allowed McLaren to finish ahead. Car number 5 finished close behind the other two Fords.
Controversy surrounds the finish of this race, suggesting that Ford #2 was given the win due to a detail of the Le Mans rules – namely that the #2 car qualified fourth (therefore starting further down the grid) and had therefore driven farther than the #1 car, even though they crossed the finish line nearly side-by-side. Film of the final lap of the race and photos of the finish show that Ford #2 car actually crossed the finish line first.
Iconic Cloth’s latest design celebrates this famous motor racing story (and the subsequent painstaking restoration of the race winning chassis P/1046) in two exclusive and complementary designs, featuring key aspects of the famous machine, from it’s race number and the striking grey striped details, right down to the New Zealand fern leaf details on the front wings.