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Mercedes no.20, Le Mans 1955


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#1 JoBo

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 11:13

Many photos of the fatal Levegh-300SLR upon its tragic crash shows, that much of the chassis was still there (and quite intact). I assume also the engine and drive-train that somersaulted into the crowd.
It is known that the French Police confiscated the remains. But was it given back to MB later and possibly scrapped?

JoBo

Edited by JoBo, 01 July 2012 - 11:14.


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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 22:24

I'm sure that Neubauer's book relates that the wreckage was eventually returned to Daimler Benz...

There may be other sources.

#3 JB Miltonian

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 04:20

The last page of Hilton's book quotes an internal Mercedes memorandum, dated 16 October 1956:

"What remains of the car were transported on Saturday 11 October to Stuttgart and are at the moment in the racing department's workshop, waiting for Herr Uhlenhaut to decide what happens to them".

Apparently the French investigators held on to the car for more than a year before returning it to Mercedes.

#4 JoBo

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 07:18

The last page of Hilton's book quotes an internal Mercedes memorandum, dated 16 October 1956:

"What remains of the car were transported on Saturday 11 October to Stuttgart and are at the moment in the racing department's workshop, waiting for Herr Uhlenhaut to decide what happens to them".

Apparently the French investigators held on to the car for more than a year before returning it to Mercedes.


Then it seems that the info what finally happened with the wreck is covered in the MB archive. And from their archive they didn`t throw anything away.

JoBo

Edited by JoBo, 02 July 2012 - 07:19.


#5 bradbury west

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 12:19

I know some of you art a bit sniffy about the Daily Mail, but they do have some useful photo spreads at times, good archive stuff, not necessarily motor sport, so I enjoy what they provide.

However, last week they did a piece on the 1955 le Mans  crash with some, to me, new photos. Check their website and search under Levegh. There is also a video link to film.

There is also in today's issue's  Letters page a letter from a man who was in the stand opposite and saw the whole thing as it happened before his eyes. I cannot comment on his memory, nor on whether he has read other stories about it, but, out of the blue, it makes an interesting observation from one who was there, as opposed to others who simply have views. He planned to go to watch from the bank but the crowd was 15/20 deep so he returned to the stands opposite the pits.

Roger Lund



#6 Catalina Park

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 13:06

At least the Daily Mail lived up to their reputation and got the caption wrong on the first photo.

#7 Tim Murray

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 14:45

Here's the Daily Mail article:

http://www.dailymail...ARKEST-DAY.html

  
and I think this must be the letter referred to by Roger:

http://www.pressread...687999/TextView



#8 Michael Ferner

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 14:51

At least the Daily Mail lived up to their reputation and got the caption wrong on the first photo.


Yes, it's Mercedes-Benz. No Mercedes built since 1926.

#9 bradbury west

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 15:01

Thanks Tim.

RL



#10 kayemod

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 15:30

At least the Daily Mail lived up to their reputation and got the caption wrong on the first photo.

 

And that bit in the headline "...most of them decapitated" is a bit unnecessary as well, even if it's true, which I rather doubt, but as CP said, the Mail does have a reputation to live down to.

 

As Europe and France in particular was still in a bit of a state after all the Europe-wide unpleasantness of ten years earlier, I've seen suggestions that the death toll was considerably higher than 82, as quite a lot of those unfortunates involved were still "unofficial" as far as public records were concerned, and thus couldn't be identified.



#11 Catalina Park

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 01:42

Yes, it's Mercedes-Benz. No Mercedes built since 1926.

I was referring to the claim that it was the body of Levegh on the track when it was the body of a woman spectator. But yes, it was a Mercedes-Benz. So two mistakes in the one caption.

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 03:02

They also say that the race was held in Spain...

Or is it Portugal?

In a couple of seconds this provincial town 120 south west of France is a morgue.



#13 Michael Ferner

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 16:04

I was referring to the claim that it was the body of Levegh on the track when it was the body of a woman spectator. But yes, it was a Mercedes-Benz. So two mistakes in the one caption.


Figured as much, was only trying to uphold this site's fine tradition of painstakingly pedantic nit-picking.

:D

#14 JoBo

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 16:46

Figured as much, was only trying to uphold this site's fine tradition of painstakingly pedantic nit-picking.

:D

 

Wise words! :wave:

 

JoBo



#15 Sharman

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 20:47

An eyewitness report as told to me

" I was sitting on our home made grandstand with my wife beside me and my brother and his wife on the step below. I saw Mike shoot past Macklin and  pull in towards his pit braking hard and saw Macklin jink, a bit more than necessary I thought, and then just became aware of a huge blur and rush coming towards me. I recovered consciousness and knew exactly what had happened but not who it was that had come into the crowd. I wasn't hurt and think it was the fall from the "grandstand" (which still stood in front of us and can be seen in a lot of the photographs taken after the crash) that knocked me out. We carried on watching the race."



#16 wolf sun

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 21:20

An eyewitness report as told to me

" I was sitting on our home made grandstand with my wife beside me and my brother and his wife on the step below. I saw Mike shoot past Macklin and  pull in towards his pit braking hard and saw Macklin jink, a bit more than necessary I thought, and then just became aware of a huge blur and rush coming towards me. I recovered consciousness and knew exactly what had happened but not who it was that had come into the crowd. I wasn't hurt and think it was the fall from the "grandstand" (which still stood in front of us and can be seen in a lot of the photographs taken after the crash) that knocked me out. We carried on watching the race."

 

Chilling.



#17 Doug Nye

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 11:19

Just a few years ago a very well known racing personality was asked by a less well-known racing personality, in my presence, about what he had seen of the Le Mans disaster. The response was lengthy, incredibly detailed and - in almost every verifiable detail - complete tosh.

 

Everybody else around the dinner table that evening was agog - paying rapt attention - and I decided that discretion was the more polite path to adopt, so I didn't say a word.  But the story as delivered was total claptrap - as the photo and movie film record indelibly confirms.  Yet as he kept emphasising "I was right there". 

 

One has to be careful whose account one believes - even within a few minutes of an incident taking place, never mind 50-plus years.

 

DCN



#18 wolf sun

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 13:13

Absolutely Doug - it's the old Bugs Bunny in Disneyland experiment, isn't it?



#19 wolf sun

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 13:16

In case anyone is wondering what I'm talking about:

 

http://www.washingto...can-be-created/



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#20 Jager

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 14:43

Can someone tell me which is the burning car in this picture from the Daily Mail article  :

 

[img]http://i.dailymail.c...094439.jpg[/img]



#21 rudi

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 16:33



Can someone tell me which is the burning car in this picture from the Daily Mail article  :

 

[img]http://i.dailymail.c...094439.jpg[/img]

#42

MG EX 182



#22 GMACKIE

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 21:37

In case anyone is wondering what I'm talking about:

 

http://www.washingto...can-be-created/

Well then, that means I am OK then...I certainly did not shake hands with Bugs Bunny at Disneyland !

 

But then, I've never been to Disneyland.  ;)



#23 63Corvette

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 01:41

Either Rob Walker or John Fitch wrote a first person account of the accident several years ago, which was published (I think in Road and Track). In it, the author says thet he was standing in the grandstands where Pierre Levegh's Mercedes hit, but was not injured because the Merc hit " above my head" and cut off a guy wire there. After the accident, the author then was obliged to tell the victim's wife (in the pits) exactly what had happened, and who was now deceased. 


Edited by 63Corvette, 20 June 2015 - 01:42.