Friday, June 3, 2011

Lemans - The 24 hour endurance race

LEMANS....This name is the moniker for all things motoring. Pontiac made a car called LEMANS which was one of the most sought after cars as it was the little sister to the Pontiac GTO.....

Steve McQueen made a movie in 1971 called LEMANS based on a race driver in the famous 24 hour long race.....Steve McQueen was the man when it came to racing.....

The WALL STREET JOURNAL recently featured a piece on " The Most Beautiful Cars of Le Mans " one who admires all things Automotive, here are my two personal favorites....All I can say is I was always one with a fine eye for all that is fast & sexy....and these two fit that bill perfectly.

1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

Torrential downpours, not to mention the death of a French driver, marred the race in 1958. Still, fans were treated to a wonderful sight: the American Phil Hill's now-legendary performance, in which he drove on the ragged edge at night in the rain with no roof in this red shock of an automobile. The Testa Rossa ("red head" in Italian) is still today one of the most famous Ferraris. The bodywork was designed for Ferrari by Carrozzeria Scaglietti. It charioted Mr. Hill to a Le Mans championship that year, making him the first American to earn such honors. Since it rained for some 20 of the 24 hours, its average speed of 106.2 mph was miraculous

1955 Jaguar D-Type

This car holds the dubious distinction of winning the deadliest automobile race in history while breaking the Le Mans speed record in the process. Nearly 90 people died at Le Mans in 1955 when a car launched into the crowd.

Some 22 hours later, a D-Type driven by British hero Mike Hawthorn (wearing a bow-tie no less) took the checkered flag. The car's body was designed by Malcolm Sayer, a pioneer in aerodynamics (he would go on to design Jaguar's beloved E-Type). The D-type could hit about 175 mph in a straight line and had no seatbelts. Average speed over 24 hours at Le Mans: 107 mph.

No comments: