April '20

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64 THE SHOP APRIL 2020 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ hile there may be some blurring between fact and fiction in the plot of the Oscar-winning Ford v Ferrari, there's nothing fake about the cars rumbling down the Mulsanne Straight in the blockbuster film that won Academy Awards for Film and Sound Editing. That's because most of the GT40s and Shelby Cobras that appear in the movie— starring Matt Damon as Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale as Ken Miles—came directly from Superformance, the only licensed builder of Shelby American replicas. That means the cars—the GT40s that take to the track, the Cobra driven by Damon's version of Shelby and even the Cobra Day- tona Coupes that sit in the background in a few shots—were all built exactly to the same specifications as the original prototypes that were wheeled around Willow Springs by Shelby and Miles. In fact, the replicas are so accurate that over two-thirds of the GT40 chassis' parts are interchangeable with those of an orig- inal car built in 1966. That commitment to authenticity made the shop a prime candidate to provide vehicles for the film. Superformance ( and Shelby Legendary Cars CEO Lance Stander was naturally enthusiastic to take part in the production, although he was at first skeptical that the movie would ever make it to the silver screen. "It was very exciting when they first approached us, but we didn't quite realize what it was going to be," Stander said. "We'd been approached a lot of times in the past by organizations that said they were going to do this movie, but it never hap- pened. Then we heard Fox was behind it." The Superformance team didn't know at first how large of a role its vehicles would play. "They first approached us for a few cars," Stander said, "then it grew and grew and grew." In total, Superformance supplied nearly 40 cars for the film, including Mustangs, Cobras, Daytona Coupes and, of course, a few GT40s, all of which were built in the small-volume manufacturer's Irvine, California shop. With 40 cars in the stable, the Superfor- mance vehicles were everywhere, appearing in the background in many scenes. Others saw some on-track action, as all of the Cobras in the Willow Springs SCCA race were built by Stander's team. Some, Stander says, even played large roles in pivotal scenes throughout the movie. "The scene when Carroll (Damon) takes Henry Ford II for a drive, that's one of our cars," he said, "and when they first show the big-block GT at the test track, that's our car, too." As for Shelby's personal ride, the blue MKII Slab Side that frequently rolls up outside the Miles residence? That's a Super- formance Cobra. Not surprisingly, Stander enjoyed his shop's crucial role in the film, which he has already seen a handful of times. "It was such a cool movie to watch, and it was much better than we thought it was going to be." Be sure to read this entire article online at, and while you're there, sign up for THE SHOP's daily eNewsletter. A Look Under the Hood of 'Ford v Ferrari' W \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ ONE MORE THING... By A.J. Hecht Superformance supplied nearly 40 cars for the film "Ford v Ferrari," including Mustangs, Cobras, Daytona Coupes and, of course, a few GT40s, all of which were built in the small- volume manufacturer's Irvine, California shop.

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