- documentary director says the newly released movie ford v ferrari is great, but it doesn't tell the whole truth.
- this one tells the story of shelby's life, not just his most famous race.
- adam carolla and nate adams worked with the shelby family on the new documentary.
racing fans have a lot to look forward to at the movies this holiday season. the marquee ticket is ford v ferrari, a high-profile feature film starring matt damon as carroll shelby and christian bale as racer ken miles. but there's another movie about shelby that won't get as much attention.
shelby american: the carroll shelby story is a new documentary film about shelby's life, from his famous failure as a chicken farmer to his time as a race-car driver to his work on the shelby cobra daytona coupe and ford gt40 race cars and more. shelby american was produced by nate adams and adam carolla, who have worked together on a number of racing documentaries. in 2016, the pair released the 24 hour war, which focused on the struggle for dominance between henry ford ii and enzo ferrari at le mans in the 1960s. this story is, of course, the subject of ford v ferrari.
adams, who also directed shelby american, told car and driver that this new movie grew out of the work he and carolla did on the 24 hour war, interviewing many of the people who worked on the gt40 and in shelby's venice garage.
"the more research we did, the more we learned carroll shelby was an amazing character," adams said. "it wasn't just him; it was phil remington, peter brock, charlie agapiou, and the others he surrounded himself with. they were all incredible. we knew we had to devote an entire doc to him."
adams and carolla approached the shelby family through his grandson, aaron shelby. the shelby family had seen the 24 hour war and gave their blessing for the new movie. the pair worked on the documentary for 18 months, rushing to make sure it was ready in time for the debut of the ford v ferrari feature film.
"we knew there would be a lot of 'who is carroll shelby?' questions by the general public once ford v ferrari came out," adams said. "since matt damon plays shelby, we really wanted to get this out there right after the film released. we had to hustle at the end, but it will be worth it. it will be nice to have the film and then the documentary as a companion piece for those who want historical accuracy."
adams said that he and carolla have both seen ford v ferrari and loved it, even though that movie takes some license with the facts.
"there are substantial differences in the films," adams said. "the main difference is ours is completely historically accurate and told by the people who were there at the races, the ferrari team included. it was really amazing to get piero ferrari, john surtees, and mauro forghieri to participate and tell ferrari's side of the story. they have never participated in any of these pieces before. ford v ferrari takes narrative license with all of what shelby did with the gt40 program and makes it specifically about shelby and ken miles."
both movies, though, give viewers a window into an exciting part of racing history, adams said.
"the thing ford v ferrari did and that we focus on in our documentaries is to make them accessible to everyone, not just car people," he said.
adams and carolla also worked together on winning: the racing life of paul newman, a 2015 documentary that covers newman's 35-year racing career. another film of theirs, uppity: the willy t. ribbs story, a documentary about the first african-american racer to compete in the indianapolis 500, is finished but not yet released.
shelby american will be released november 19. preorders for dvd, blu-ray, or downloads are open on the company's site, chassy.