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Le Mans...the way it USED to be. Times three. :: Archived
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:34 pm
Post subject: Le Mans...the way it USED to be. Times three.

Mike Hawthorne in D Type Jag in '56. In '55 he'd been involved in (but not the cause of) the worst accident in auto racing history...82 spectators and 1 driver lost their lives (and auto racing in Switzerland was banned forever). Hawthorne was himself killed in '59 in an on-road dice with F1 Team Manager (and heir to the Johnny Walker Scotch business) Rob Walker. Hawthorne was driving a tricked out Jag Sedan and encountered Walker's Mercedes 300 SL and, boys being boys, an ad hoc "race" ensued.


Next, we leap forward to '67 in a Ford GT-40. Couple of new chicanes, but still a very fast course. Now about 50mph faster down Mulsanne than in '56. This was the era when Ford owned Le Mans.


Finally, a Martini/Porche 936 with Jurgen Barth in '77


IMO, from '54-68 the most exciting spectacle in all motor racing. No open wheel, nothing artificial to slow the cars, and things were still relatively primitive (read: no seriously big money). Some cars were driven to the track. "Contact" was still discouraged and the drivers drove responsibly.

"All facts go to clearly prove that Shades is a thrice-cursed traitor & mentally deranged person steeped in inveterate enmity toward mankind"

Last edited by JG300-Ascout on Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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Power User

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:14 am
Post subject: Re: Le Mans...the way it USED to be. Times two.

Good stuff. I remember seeing that first video before, and I'm still amazed at the bicycles, peds & chickens on the "course".

I don't know if it's been mentioned or you'd heard, but on a related note, Phil Hill passed away just this Friday. First American to win Le Mans...not that his name needs any introduction:


Clear roads and smooth shifting, Phil...

"Once your reputation is ruined, you can live quite freely."
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