Ken Miles is a name that is deeply engraved in the annals of motor racing history. Known for his tremendous talent, fearless driving style, and uncanny mechanical knowledge, he made an indelible impact on the sport of car racing.
What You Want to Know?
Who was Ken Miles?
Kenneth Henry Miles, born on November 1, 1918, in Sutton Coldfield, England, was a British race car driver and engineer. Having served in the British Territorial Army during World War II, Miles began his racing career in the late 1940s in England.
However, it was after moving to the United States that he became a prominent figure in American motorsports, eventually rising to legendary status.
Why is Ken Miles So Famous?
Ken Miles is renowned for his association with the Ford Motor Company, especially his crucial role in the development of the Ford GT40.
His legendary participation in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, where he was part of the Ford team that famously defeated Ferrari, further cemented his status in motorsports history.
The 2019 film “Ford v Ferrari” brought Miles’ story to a broader audience, with actor Christian Bale portraying the iconic driver.
His expertise, dedication, and the controversial circumstances surrounding his Le Mans race have made him a figure of intrigue and admiration among racing fans and beyond.
Ken Miles’ Racing Legacy and Net Worth
As a race car driver, Ken Miles was known for his remarkable ability to “speak the car’s language,” identifying mechanical issues simply through the feel and sound of the vehicle. His insights were invaluable in the development of several high-performance cars, notably the Shelby Cobra and the Ford GT40.
At the time of his death, Ken Miles’ net worth was not publicly known. However, his contributions to the field of racing and automotive design have proven priceless in the industry.
Death, Funeral, and Place of Burial
Tragically, Ken Miles died on August 17, 1966, while testing the Ford J-car at Riverside International Raceway in California. The car suddenly veered off the track and flipped, causing Miles to suffer fatal injuries.
The exact cause of the crash has been a subject of debate, with speculation about mechanical failure and design flaws. His funeral was held in Los Angeles, and he was laid to rest at the Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park.
Ken Miles was married to Mollie Miles, and together, they had a son named Peter. Despite his fame, Miles lived a relatively low-profile life, preferring to focus on his work and family. He wasn’t known to have any significant social media presence, considering the era he lived in.
The Mystery of the 1966 Le Mans
The 1966 Le Mans race remains a key point of contention among racing enthusiasts. Miles, in the leading Ford GT40, allegedly slowed down to enable a photo finish with the other two Ford cars. However, this decision led to him losing the race due to a technicality.
Additionally, there have been rumors about his car door not closing properly at the start of the race, though the impact of this on the race’s outcome remains unclear.
Ken Miles was a racing icon, a talented driver whose life was marked by passion, innovation, and an unrelenting pursuit of perfection.
Despite his untimely death, his influence on the world of motor racing remains significant. His story continues to captivate audiences, embodying the spirit of determination, resilience, and ingenuity that underpins the world of motorsports.