Garvanza -- Rows of vintage cars filled the parking lot by the Hi-Ho Market. Universal Complete Auto Repair was turned into a 1960s-era repair shop called Ken Miles Limited. And Christian Bale and Matt Damon staged a fight at the corner of Meridian Street and Avenue 63.
Residents of Garvanza had a front row seat to these and other scenes when the cast and crew of "Ford vs Ferrari" showed up in August 2018 and turned a section of the neighborhood into a backdrop for the approximately $100 million film, which opened this weekend.
Director James Mangold's movie was inspired by the 1966 Le Mans car race and the competition between the teams sponsored by bitter rivals Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari. The film focuses on Ford's team: auto designer Carroll Shelby (played by Damon) and British race car driver and repair shop owner Ken Miles (played by Bale).
So, how does a sleepy stretch of Meridian Street end up in a movie about the high-octane racing world?
The director wanted a location where Miles' family home could be shown across the street from the auto repair shop. That's why the filmmakers used a Craftsman-era home on Meridian across from Universal Complete Auto Repair.
"We ended up taking over an entire neighborhood in Highland Park and completely changing it to be 1960s period," production designer François Audouy told Architectural Digest. “There was a whole strip mall in the background with a grocery store and a launderette. And we had to strip out this garage and completely gut the house they lived in.”
Since "Ford v Ferrari" emerged as the weekend box office winner with $31 million in sales, you can probably expect some film fans to pay this corner of Garvanza a visit.