When Carroll Shelby drives away in frustration/sadness from his doctor's office in an early scene, he pilots his red Porsche in anger up a winding mountain road. The line markings are in yellow. Yellow road lines did not come about until the 1970s in America.
Mollie Miles tries to extract information from her husband, Ken, about why he was meeting up with Carroll Shelby behind her back when she had no idea of the Ford prototype he was rating with Shelby in 1964. She does this by driving recklessly to scare him. One of the cars she passes while doing so is a '65 / '66 Chrysler.
The sunglasses Matt Damons character wears throughout most of the movie are made by "Entourage of 7", their logo clearly visible on the temples. While the style of glasses is accurate for the period, this brand was only founded in 2007.
When we first encounter Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles at Willow Springs (circa 1964), the song "Don't Bring Me Down" by the Animals is playing. It wasn't released for another two years on May 21, 1966, about a month before the 1966 Le Mans race.
Early in the movie (1964-ish?), in Ken Miles' shop, an MG can be clearly seen shod with Kumho branded tires. The company was actually named Samyang Tire until 1966. Kumho tires weren't imported into the United States until many years later, although they had ties with the US market and DOT certification.
Although talks between Enzo Ferrari and Lee Iacocca collapsed in May 1963, the Italian photographer (Ottavio Taddei) is seen taking photos of the men using a Nikon F camera with a through-the-lens light meter, either a Nikon Tn or FTn model. Nikon respectively introduced these models in 1965 and 1968.
While pitching his racing idea, in 1963, Lee Iacocca notes that James Bond does not drive a Ford and shows a photo of Sean Connery next to an Aston Martin DB5. However, James Bond did not acquire the Aston Martin until Goldfinger.
Many of the California license plates were shown in a three-number, then three-letter, format. California did not have plates in that format until about 1970, when they had exhausted the 1963 format of three-letter, three-number.
At the night portion of the 24 hour race, Daytona appeared to have modern LED floodlights with modern high capacity grandstands. Daytona did not have floodlighting until the late 1990s, therefore the races would had took place in the dark, unlit except at the pits.
Also, usual to any 24 hour endurance races, grandstands tends to be sparse at night and Daytona's grandstands were much smaller to how it is now.
The theme to the second season of "I Dream Of Jeannie" is being played on the TV in the Miles family home when Ken Miles starts testing the Ford GT40 for its first (unsuccessful) crack at Le Mans in the summer of 1965. However, the second season only made its debut in autumn/fall 1966.
Lee Iacocca's presentation to Henry Ford II to make an approach to Ferrari in 1963 has references to James Bond, as per an earlier reviewer here. One of the slides in the presentation shows Sean Connery standing next to the Aston Martin DB5 that made its first showing in Goldfinger, which was not released until 1964. The next slide from Iacocca's material has a Bond still from Thunderball, which premiered in 1965.
There is a brown Mini in the background of Ken's garage. It has side repeaters which would be right for a US imported mini. I am not sure about the windows which look like a late ? 68 Australian Mini as it has wind up windows and quarter lights.
During Lee Iaccoca's presentation to Henry Ford II to approach Ferrari in 1963, ad layouts for the full size '65 Fords may be seen on one wall of the meeting room. No ad agency would be allowed access to new models more than a year from release.
When Ford II and Shelby came to visit the Ferrari factory, this would have been in early 1963. Several models did not become available until a few years after that. This includes the 1964 275 GTB, parked outside the factory; the 1966 330 P3, that we later see in the film and the 1965 Dino 206 S, both parked in the factory floor.
When Shelby and Miles are brawling across the street from the Miles home, among the scattered groceries one can clearly see a loaf of Wonder Bread Classic. Classics are intended for nostalgia appeal, something from the old days-- but this IS the old days! Wonder Bread was just Wonder Bread in the 60s, and wasn't labeled 'Classic' until the 21st century.
In the scene where Ken Miles is calling his wife from Le Mans, it is daylight both in France and in Los Angeles, where his family lives. There is a nine hour difference, so it should be night in Los Angeles.
It's obvious the airport used in the film was the Ontario international airport. The LAX buildings were CGI. The hangers they used are at the west end of of Ontario and the terminal and control tower are also seen. The 727 used has been sitting at the old terminal for years and used in other movies.
The Ferrari pits at Le Mans are shown as being next to the Ford pits. In fact the pits at Le Mans were allocated in numerical order of the cars. The Fords ran numbers 1 to 8 and their pits were at the start of the pit block. The Ferraris ran numbers in the 20s and were located much further up the pit block.
The car with which Miles crashes fatally is depicted as a Ford GT40 Mk II, instead of the aerodynamically differently shaped Ford J-Car. The actual crash didn't happen in a turn, but at the end of a long straight. The J-Car design evolved into the Ford GT40 Mk IV, which is also wrongly depicted as having a shape resembling the GT40 much more than it did in real life.
It is noted that Shelby was the first American to have won Le Mans. He won the race in an Aston Martin, but Phil Hill, an even more celebrated American sports car and F1 driver, had won Me Mans the previous year -in a Ferrari.
Carroll Shelby tosses a conventional lug nut into the Ferrari pit to cause confusion among the crew. But the actual Ferrari 330 P uses one central "knock off" nut per wheel. These are tightened and loosened with a lead hammer, as shown when the GT40 pits.
In selling Ken Miles as a driver, Carroll Shelby says that Miles drove a tank from the beaches of D-Day to Berlin. The first part is true, but the second is not. The British Army never reached Berlin since the Red Army got there first.
A Shelby GT 350 Mustang is shown (side view) in the airplane hangar in a Ford color called 'Dynasty Green' ('65) or Timberline Green ('66). Neither of which was offered on Shelby GT 350's. Only one green was offered by Shelby in 1966, it was a dark green, called "Ivy Green".
In the first race; the Corvette Coupe shown features a 427 Big Block Hood (scoop) which was not offered on Corvette Stingray's until 1967.
The Cobra trunk seen during the race sequence, formally mangled by Miles, is no longer damaged. There would have been insufficient time to repair or replace.
Christian Bale and his woes accents are great. Some of the Midlands expressions may fox some audiences. "All around the Wrekin" means doing something the long way around. The Wrekin is a stand alone hill outside the town of Shrewsbury about 45miles west of Birmingham. Its a common Midlands expression.
The movie shows Ken Miles had already won 24 hours of Daytona and Shelby mentions that he also won the 12 Hours of Sebring. Miles was denied the unique achievement of winning Sebring, Daytona, and Le Mans in the same year. Since the McLaren/Amon #2 car had started some 20 yards behind the Miles/Hulme #1 Car, it had traveled a further distance, and Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon were declared the winners.
Dialog in the film between Shelby and Miles leads us to believe that Shelby didn't know why the GT40 had that name. That is absurd as Shelby was involved in the development of the car and well aware that the windshield height limitation was 40 inches.
The original chassis were made by Lola who sold them to Ford. Ultimately Loia of Bromley under Eric Broadley made the T70 mid engine racer on similar principles. The name Lola is never mentioned but Peter Miles (Ken's son) has a plastic kit box on his shelf to make a Lola T70. In homage presumably.
The goof item below may give away important plot points.
The end credit claims the GT40 was the only American built car to win Le Mans, a fact widely claimed by enthusiasts, when in fact, only the 1967 winner, the Mk IV, was built in the United States whereas all others was built in Slough, England.