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My 1:43 Le Mans Collection


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#51 Jager

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 11:49

From photos: the Cunningham Cadillac "Le Monstre" of 1950 had the front wheels enclosed by the body but possibly not spats as such.  The Porsches in 1951 certainly did have spats..  

Good pick up on the Porsches. That's an obvious one I over looked.



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#52 Jager

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 12:00

Next is another model obtained from the same local source as the OSCA above. Sadly this one is associated with the unfortunate first death of a competitor at Le Mans in post war era. I appreciate that not everyone approves of models like this being made, but I collect these models as a mark of respect to those who lost their life at Le Mans.

Pierre Maréchal was the son of the French entrepreneur, film producer and Titanic survivor of the same name. Although he was born in France, he was sent to England to be educated and afterwards stayed in the UK and acquired British nationality. From there, he joined Ford’s engineering training programme.

At the onset of the Second World War, he volunteered for the British army but was invalided out in 1940 because of the problems with his back. He then went on to open a small auto engineering business in Cheltenham, England and around this time he acquired an ex-works short-chassis 6 ½ Litre Bentley Speed Six that he began to race.

In 1948, Maréchal was a member of the class-winning Ecurie du Lapin Blanc HRG sports car team at the Spa 24 Hours race. Maréchal's natural flair brought him to the attention of Leslie Johnson, who won the race outright in a prototype Aston Martin. As a result, Johnson recommended Maréchal to join the Aston Martin for its assault on the 1949 Le Mans 24-hour race with a trio of DB2 Coupes. This was the first Le Mans race in the post war era after a significant rebuilding effort after World War II .

At Le Mans, Maréchal was assigned to the #28 car with T.A.S.O. “Donald” Mathieson. Although they only started from 24th position, they were already up to 12th place by the end of the 4th hour and by the halfway point of the race they were running 5th. Heading into the final hours of the race, their car was well placed in 4th place when a brake line fractured, causing a brake fluid leak that left it without brakes. With a potential podium opportunity insight, Maréchal decided to pushed on despite the lack of brakes.

 

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However, at 1.05pm word reached the pits that Maréchal’s Aston Martin DB2 had overturned at White House corner after spinning while attempting to pass another competitor. It was a violent crash, which tore the engine from the chassis and flattened the roof, trapping Maréchal inside. Delage driver Louis Gérard was the first on the scene and stopped to help extricate him, losing two laps in the process (Gérard would go on to finish fourth, but the loss of two laps did not affect his final position). Maréchal was transferred to the nearby Delagenière hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries the next day. He was only 34.

 

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Car : 1949 #28 Aston Martin DB 2 (Prototype)
Team : Mrs. R.P. Hichens
Drivers : Pierre Marechal (F))/ T.A.S.O. “Donald” Mathieson (GB)
Qualifying : 24th
Result : 22th (DNF – Fatal Accident)
Model : Spark (S0586)

 

References :

 

http://www.lemans-hi...28&equipa_seq=0

 

https://en.wikipedia...Pierre_Maréchal

 

 



#53 Jager

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 13:15

Sticking with another of my recent 1950's additions found locally. I already had the #34 sister car, but coudn't pass up the opportunity to add the #33 car to my collection at a good price.

Austin-Healey was formed in 1952 as a joint venture between the Austin division of the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and the Donald Healey Motor Company (Healey). One of the first things the new firm did was embark on a competition program, building four pre-production Austin-Healey 100 race cars specially prepared for the 1953 Mille Miglia and 24 hour Le Mans under the direction of chief engineer, Geoff Healey, and experimental engineer Roger Menadue during the early months of 1953.

These competition vehicles differed in many respects from the standard production Austin-Healey 100 models that followed. These special competition cars were in effect lightweight versions of what would become the production 100 – looking essentially identical while in reality being significantly lighter, more carefully built and faster in competition. This was achieved by comprehensive use of Birmabright aluminium alloy bodywork and bulkheads in place of production-type pressed steel, plus polished aluminium lightweight bumpers masquerading as chromed steel units.

The first event for the Austin-Healey’s was the Mille Miglia in April 1953, but both cars failed to finish. While the Mille Miglia cars had used full-width windscreens and carried hoods, for Le Mans the cars were fitted with cut down ‘aero’ screens and the hoods were removed. Larger-capacity fuel tanks were also shoe-horned into the tail, while the exhaust was changed to a side-exit system.

At Le Mans, Donald Healey entered two cars, and brought along a third car as a spare. No 33, was entered for Marcel Becquart and Gordon Wilkins, while the sister #34 was entered for John Lockett and Maurice Gatsonides. However, the #34 car was wrecked prior to the race when it was hit by a truck emerging from a side road as it was being back to the teams base after scrutineering. As the car was beyond immediate repair, the engine, gearbox and some other components were transferred to the spare car for the race.

 

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Although the Austin-Healey’s started from a long way down the grid, they made steady progress. Unfortunately, the #33 car became jammed in overdrive after only 3 hours and had to be driven in this condition for the rest of the race. Nevertheless, by the halfway mark the two cars were running in 20th and 21st position, car #34 leading car #33. With six hours to run, the Austin-Healey’s were running 14th and 17th respectively, but the clutch stated to slip in the #33 car. Despite this it finished in 14th place at the chequered flag, two positions behind the sister #34 car.

 

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Car : 1953 #33 Austin Healey 100
Team : Donald Healey Motor Company
Drivers : Marcel Becquart (F)/ Gordon Wilkins (GB)
Qualifying : 30th
Result : 14th
Model : Spark (S0803)

References :

 

http://www.racingspo...e/SPL 224B.html

 

http://www.lemans-hi...33&equipa_seq=0

 

https://www.classicd...100/1953/184664

 

 



#54 Jager

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 23:44

Next up is a car that found its way into my collection as the partner for the 1979 Ameras Freres racing transporter produced by IXO.

Jacque Almeras had begun racing in karts and in 1967 at the age of just 18 he progressed to rallying as a co-driver in 1967 Critérium des Cévennes . Within two years, he had progressed to driving himself.

In 1975, Jacque founded Alméras Frères SA with his older brother Jean-Marie. Based in Montpellier, France, the company specialised in the tuning and conversion of Porsche cars based on Jacque’s rallying experience. Thanks to the support of Porsche driver Jürgen Barth, it wasn’t long before Porsche owners from all over France were coming to them for a range of services that included bodywork modifications, specialised engine tuning, chassis development and special parts.

This particular Porsche 934 was sold new to Alméras Frères in 1976, but there is no record of it having been used in sportscar racing prior to its debut at Le Mans in 1980. Most likely, the Porsche was used by Alméras Frères as one of the many rally cars in its portfolio, which helped the team take a number of significant WRC victories like the 1978 Monte Carlo Rally won by Jean-Pierre Nicolas.

At Le Mans in 1980, the #94 Alméras Porsche 934 was one of 4 cars entered in the Group 4 class, which comprised of only Porsches 911’s and 934’s. Driven by the two Alméras brothers and Marianne Hoepfner, the Porsche set the fastest time in its class, putting it 49th on the grid.

 

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From the start the #94 Porsche leapt more 20 places in the first hour. Progress after that was less spectacular, but the Almeras Porsche continued to gain places. By the 10th hour, the #94 Porsche was up to 23rd position and continued to lead the class by a significant margin.

With only 3 hours left to run, the Alméras Porsche was up to 15th position overall. Unfortunately, its race came to an end to soon afterwards on lap 251 after an accident in the Dunlop curves.

 

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Car : 1980 #94 Porsche 934
Team : Equipe Alméras Frères
Drivers : Jacques Alméras (F)/ Jean-Marie Alméras (F)/ Marianne Hoepfner (F)
Qualifying : 49th
Result : 27th (DNF - Accident Damage)
Model : Spark (S5094)

References :

 

http://www.racingspo...0 670 0156.html

 

http://www.lemans-hi...94&equipa_seq=0

 

http://www.almeras.com/une-histoire/



#55 Jager

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 23:45

With the Transporter :

 

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#56 Michael Ferner

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 11:20

If my memory is not all wrong, the Alméras frères were busy hill climbing, too, so I would think the car was more likely used in coourses de côte, rather than rallying.

#57 Valvert

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 21:20

If my memory is not all wrong, the Alméras frères were busy hill climbing, too, so I would think the car was more likely used in coourses de côte, rather than rallying.

 

 

Yep, both brothers won three European Titles between 1978 and 1980. At the time Jacques drove the Porsche 934 in Group 4 and Jean-Marie drove the Porsche 935 in Group 5.

 

To this day Jean-Marie is using the Porsche 935 in Historic Hillclimb Racing. He won another European Championship with it in 2016.



#58 Jager

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 13:23

The VDS racing team had been founded in November 1964 by Count Rodolphe Van der Straten Ponthoz, Serge Trosch and Lionel Wallman. At their first attempt at the famous Spa Francorchamps, the team came to prominence when its team of Mini Coopers won the King’s Trophy for the most successful manufacturer.

Through the 1960’s, VDS were closely aligned with Alfa Romeo, first with the GTA’s in touring car racing and then with a TZ2 and a pair of 33.2’s in endurance racing. As noted earlier, the team made their Le Mans debut in 1968 with the two Alfa Romeo 33.2's, but they both retired with mechanical issues. They returned again in 1969 with the two Alfas, but again both cars retired. It was at this point Count VDS decided to end his collaboration with Autodelta and at the end of 1969, this Lola T70 MkIIIb, was bought from John Woolfe Racing. Woolfe had bought the Lola for Richard Attwood to drive only a month before he lost his life in a Porsche 917 at Le Mans in June 1969.

The 1970 season started well for VDS Racing when they took 4th place at the 1000 km of Buenos Aires in January, set the 4th fastest time at the Le Mans test day in April and finished 2nd at the Grand Prix de Paris.

 

The VDS team arrived at Le Mans in 1970 to make their third appearance. This was the year that the race provided the background for the Steve McQueen movie “Le Mans”. The 5-Litre Lola was entered in the Group 5 class, pitted against the powerful Porsche 917’s and Ferrari 512’s. Even with the 5-litre Chevrolet engine in the Lola developing almost 500 bhp, they were no match for the Porsches and Ferraris.

 

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The #4 Lola T70 only qualified in 27th place. However, it had the good fortune to be up to 16th by the end of the first hour, a position it held for most of the first 3 hours. By the end of the 6th hour the Lola was up to 10th position, and by the end of the following hour it was running 8th in the unpredictable wet conditions.

Unfortunately, the gearbox of the Lola was not up to the task, and it was forced to retire in the 10th hour when it looked like it might be set for a strong result.

While a #4 Lola was used after Le Mans in the filming for Steve McQueens movie, it was not this chassis. This car did however return to Le Mans in 1971 with the same pair of drivers, but once again was a retirement.

 

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Car : 1970 #4 Lola T70 Mk.3B GT
Team : Racing Team VDS
Drivers : Teddy Pilette (B)/ Gustave Gosselin (B)
Qualifying : 27th
Result : 32nd (DNF – Gearbox)
Model : Spark (S1435)

References :

 

http://www.racingspo.../SL76__146.html

 

http://www.lemans-hi... 4&equipa_seq=0

 

http://www.vds-racing.be

 



#59 group7

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 19:09

Great thread, and great models, in particular the story behind each makes a good read, I've learned a few things.  :up:

 

I see that many of the models are builts from such as Spark. I might have missed it, but do you redo some of them with different decals etc. ?

 

Michael, in Canada.



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#60 Jager

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 06:41

Thanks for your kind words Michael. I also models from many other brands including Minichamps, HPI and TSM, However they tend to be focused on the modern era, so as I've imposed a 1993 cut-off for this thread in keeping with the philosophy of the 'Nostalgia' Forum, not many cars of other brands will appear here.

 

As for Spark, they have either produced or announced plans to produce over 1,700 Le Mans models in 1:43. Even if you just take the years from 1923 - 1993, there are still around ~870 models. That's more than enough for me to choose from without doing any re-decaling. Spark have also signaled their intention over the long term to produce just about every car that ran at Le Mans, so with a little patience over 5 or 10 years you will be able to get just about everything without the complexities of re-decaling.



#61 Barry Boor

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 06:48

Oh Ian, does this mean that I will finally get a 1966 Serenissima?

#62 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 14:16

And I would like to see Eddie Halls Derby Bentley in it´s final guise post-war. Not easy on the eyes, but a model I would still like to have.



#63 Jager

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 14:31

Barry, it might take some time, but I'm still confident we'll see the Serenissima one day (unless licencing issues get in the way).

 

Ralf, the Eddie Halls Bentley has been listed as a future model for Spark since the release of their 2016 catalogue. The code is S3817 if you want to pre-order one.



#64 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 06:19

Barry, it might take some time, but I'm still confident we'll see the Serenissima one day (unless licencing issues get in the way).

 

Ralf, the Eddie Halls Bentley has been listed as a future model for Spark since the release of their 2016 catalogue. The code is S3817 if you want to pre-order one.

 

 

Thank you ! Will do and see, how long it will take.  ;)