With the release of the Ford v Ferrari movie, there has been renewed interest associated with my 2016 article here on Hemmings concerning Ford executive Leo Beebe and the end of the 1966 Le Mans race. Comments, around 200 in number four years after initial publication, show the passion of people on both sides of the dispute. With that in mind, it’s worth another dive into what kind of person Leo Beebe was, based on his background and people who knew him.
Editor’s note: This story comes to us from Hemmings reader and contributor Frank Comstock, a friend of the late Leo Beebe.
Let’s think of this as a highway between two cities representing the two major aspects of the dispute. While there are several entrance and exit ramps along the highway, the ramps at one city represent the argument that Beebe did not like Ken Miles and didn’t want him to win the race, while the ramps at the other city represent the argument that Beebe engineered the end of the race to please Henry Ford II, the man who had funded Ford’s Le Mans effort to the tune of as much as thirty million dollars. The ramps in between those cities represent the opinions of those who fall somewhere in the middle of the two sentiments.