Ken Miles (here with Bruce McLaren) was an English sports car racing driver and engineer, best known for his motorsport career in the US and his crucial role in Ford victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Due to his talent and his great skill, both as a driver and as an engineer, Miles was a key member of the famous Shelby/Cobra race team in the early 1960s. Miles described himself this way :
“I am a mechanic. That has been the direction of my entire vocational life. Driving is a hobby, a relaxation for me, like golfing is to others. I should like to drive a Formula 1 machine, not for the grand prize, but just to see what it is like. I should think it should be jolly good fun!”
In 1966 he won the 24 Hours of Daytona, sharing a Ford GT MKII with Lloyd Ruby, and then won the 12 Hours of Sebring. In June, sharing the drive with Denny Hulme, Miles was leading the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, but a Ford executive, desiring a publicity photo of three of their cars crossing the finish line together, instructed Carroll Shelby to order him to slow down.
Accordingly, the sister car of Bruce McLaren-Chris Amon and the third place car drew up, and they crossed the line together. Miles was denied the unique achievement of winning Sebring, Daytona and Le Mans in the same year. The French officials, very strangely, considered that since the McLaren-Amon car had started some 20 yards behind the Miles-Hulme car, it had traveled a farther distance, and Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon were declared the winners …