This short film tells the story of the extraordinary battle that took place during the GT class of the 1965 FIA World Manufacturers’ GT Championship between the Ferraris and the Shelby Cobra Daytona coupes – as well as the internal battles between the drivers in the Alan Mann Racing Ford factory team

The film largely centers around the story of Bob Bondurant, one of America’s most important racing drivers of the era. When Bondurant first appeared on the scene it was clear that he was a natural born racing driver with breathtaking skill behind the wheel and a win ratio that ensured he was on the radar of every major American team.

In the mid-1950s he won the West Coast “B” production Championship behind the wheel of a Corvette, winning 18 races out of 20. This spate of wins didn’t slow down, between 1961 and 1963 he won 30 out of 32 races, also driving Corvettes.

1965 FIA World Championship

He caught the eye of former race driver and then-team owner Carroll Shelby who hired him to race for the Ford Cobra team, this would result in Bondurant becoming a legend across the United States and around the world, culminating with him winning the FIA 1965 Manufacturers’ World Championship for Shelby American and Ford against the best drivers in the world.

This short film is a chapter in a longer documentary but it’s a free standing story in its own right, telling the tale of the 1965 Championship with Bob Bondurant himself recounting his experiences and describing what was happening behind the scenes.

At the time of writing Bob Bondurant is 87 years old and he’s still active in the world of motorsport. He runs the famous Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving which he first opened in 1968. Over the years he’s taught countless students the finer points of high-speed driving, including James Garner, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Robert Wagner, Tim Allen, Tom Cruise, and Nicolas Cage.

If you’d like to learn more about the racing school you can click here to visit the website.

Shleby Daytona Cobra

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Ben Branch has had his work featured on CNN, Popular Mechanics, the official Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, and many more.

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