How Ken Miles Really Died

How Ken Miles Really Died (& Why Ford v Ferrari Changes It)

Fire up your engines because we will be uncovering the shocking reality behind the death of Ken Miles le Mans and whether the blockbuster Ford V Ferrari has told the entire story to the audience or not. Buckle up as you discover the real-life drama that occurred behind the scenes in this speedy rivalry between Ford and Ferrari. 

Let’s discover what really went down in just 3..2..1!

Ford v. Ferrari shows an accurate picture of the death of Ken Miles, even though they do change some of the details just to deliver the story to the audience. Hollywood wants to create an adaptation years of the accurate tale and tell the world about the triumph Ford faced in 1966, 24 hours before the Le Mans race. The story portrays the egos, scheming, and how the talented artists reenact the fatal crash. Give it up for Christian Bale playing Ken Miles. 

Ford v Ferrari Capturing Attention in 1966

Ford v Ferrari Capturing Attention in 1966

In 1966, the true story of Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles captured the world’s attention. The movie shows the incidents of Ken Miles’s life after winning and defeating Ferrari in the Le Mans 1966 event; a few months later, Ken Miles was testing out the newest model J-car (Ford) and was killed. He died at the California Riverside International Raceway, similar to what happened to Christian Bale in Ford v Ferrari. The car, which was used for testing by Ken Miles, flipped and then crashed, which resulted in it catching fire. The real reason hasn’t been discovered as of yet. But all we know is Ken Miles died after a hard day of working and testing. It is saddening for the audience as they watch the latter part of the movie. Even though everything is the same, minor changes have been made to the film to Mile’s death. 

The Change Of Miles’ Death

The Change Of Miles’ Death

In the movie, Ken Miles died after a brake failure in the Ford testing vehicle. Christian Bale, who plays the character, dies after the fire breaks out in the car. Ken Miles was the second driver who was killed after testing the J Ford car within the period of 5 months; the first driver who tried the car was Walt Hansgen, who also died before Miles. The testing of the J-car was stopped before the company resumed with Miles. But after the death of two drivers, Ford changed the car’s name to Ford MK IV, which was then entirely modified to bring a better outcome. 

In reality, Ken Miles died of the heavy impact as he was excreted from the testing car. The issues of the vehicle are still unknown to people. In the movie Ford v Ferrari, Mangold changed up a few specifics of the death of Ken Miles. The changes took place to implement the core message of the reason behind the tragedy with a famous driver. 

The death in the movie is changed to deliver a climax, and even though James has made a few changes, the movie is still appreciated in the racing world for the reality it portrays. Films that usually show such events exaggerate things to depict an emotional conclusion, and the same thing happened in Ford v Ferrari. It changes the expectations of biopics and shows the audience how races and drivers don’t always have a positive outcome. 

The Effect on Miles’ Family and Carroll Shelby

The Effect on Miles’ Family and Carroll Shelby

Ford v Ferrari really portrays the wild friendship of Ken Miles and Carroll Shelby revolving around the Ford program. It’s understandable how the movie changes a few details to ensure the focus remains on the death of Miles and its impact on his family and Shelby. You will also see how race car drivers have to pay a really massive price when they put their lives at risk, which we, as an audience, aren’t able to see with all the adrenaline and excitement that we usually focus on when a race is live. 

You will also see Miles’s complex relationship with his family because of his risky and time-consuming work and how his death was a colossal tragedy. The main scene in Ford v Ferrari shows how Miles, their entire team, and Carroll Shelby are testing out the J-car, now known as the GT40 MKII, as the brake failure occurs, resulting in the car catching fire. Mile’s family, which includes Pete (played by Noah Jupe), who is his son, and his wife, Mollie (played by Caitriona Balfe), are present when the crash occurs. 

It is a life-changing moment for Pete, Ken Mile’s son, and his wife Mollie. Pete ends up appreciating how challenging his father’s occupation is and comes with its own risk. The movie and this incident enabled many conversations related to drivers’ safety. Ford installed a NASCAR rollover cage in their vehicles to help young drivers remain safe, 

Bottom Line

Ford v Ferrari will help you understand the emotional impact of the death of Ken Miles and how only a  few minutes led to massive accidents. Ken Miles was successful, but nothing truly mattered when the J-car flipped, and he died due to the burning. We now know what truly happened and how things went down. 

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Abdul Wahab is a Software Engineer by profession and a Tech geek by nature. Having been associated with the tech industry for the last five years, he has covered a wide range of Tech topics and produced well-researched and engaging content. You will mostly find him reviewing tech products and writing blog posts. Binge-watching tech reviews and endlessly reading tech blogs are his favorite hobbies.