Le Mans 1965

MixedMedia / Acrylic on Canvas
on 1.8” / 45 mm Wooden Museum Frame
51” x 35” / 130 x 90 cm

It was the duel between Ferrari and Ford which drew the attention of the world to Le Mans in the 1960’s. Ferrari had an uninterrupted run of victories from 1960 to 1965, following which the Ford GT 40 took the laurels in the race for four years. Henry Ford II wanted to buy the entire Ferrari company to advance to the lead positions as quickly as possible. However, the acquisition attempt failed shortly before the end of 1963, and Ford decided to construct its own sports car. The result was the Ford GT 40.


However, Ford still lost out in 1965, with the 250 LM of the North American Racing Team (NART) giving Ferrari its 8th win in succession, this time with the drivers Masten Gregory and the still very young Jochen Rindt. At the outset, nobody gave the car much of a chance of reaching the finish line. In his early racing years, Jochen Rindt was known as a driver who tended to punish his vehicles. Jochen had no desire to “simply run” the 24 hour race, telling Masten Gregory that they would tackle it like a Grand Prix and, by 10 o’clock, the car would be a wreck and they could go home to bed.


One works Ferrari after another had to head for the pit after midnight with disc brake problems. Ferrari ran out of disc brakes at some stage and was forced to scavenge discs from private road-going Ferrari vehicles. Rindt and Gregory thus managed to move systematically into the lead and, aside from this, they really did drive in Grand Prix style. Sleep would have to be postponed. Sunday afternoon saw them standing on the winners’ podium. This was the last victory for Ferrari at Le Mans.