Ken Miles should have won LeMans for Ford at LeMans 1966. He’d defied an order to drive conservatively, pushing the rapid Ford GT40 to the limit and opening a lead. However, the bosses at Ford wanted a photo finish of the three cars crossing the finish line together. So they instructed Ken Miles to slow down, robbing him of a more than deserved victory.
Ken Miles’ wife, Mollie, was a racer and author who supported his career
It’s unclear when Ken and Mollie Miles married. Nevertheless, the two racers were committed to one another. Mollie uprooted her life in northern England to accompany Ken to the USA, where he built a reputation as a fast driver.
Mollie was the quintessential mid-20th century wife – she stayed at home as her husband worked. However, unlike other women of the age, Mollie was a racer, comfortable behind the wheel of a fast car.
Unfortunately, Mollie had to shelve her ambitions to become a housewife. “A lot of women at that time had to suppress a lot of themselves in a professional way just to facilitate their families,” Caitriona Balfe, Mollie in Ford v Ferrari, told Stylist.
She knew of the dangers of racing during that era, yet she supported Ken’s career. Balfe told Stylist that Mollie was the glue that held the Miles family together:
“So I think that it was really important to show the teamwork of Mollie and Ken’s marriage. Although, in many ways, this is a story about Ken Miles and Carroll Shelby, Mollie was the backbone of that family and that marriage.”
After Ken died in a car accident, Mollie became a writer for car magazines. She didn’t remarry and raised the couple’s son, Peter Miles, alone.
It’s unclear whether Mollie is still alive. Some publications say she’s still alive, but the reports are unverified. Peter revealed that he talked to Caitriona Balfe and described Mollie to her to the best of his ability. He told Le Mans:
“I gave Christian Bale info about my dad from press clippings and magazine articles, and I showed him personal photos and shared audio recordings with him. Bale was looking to remain as faithful as possible to my father. I also met Caitriona Balfe and gave her snapshots of my mother and described her as best as I could.”