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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.  ;)



#65 Jager

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 07:16

Next is another locally found Le Mans odd ball, the 1958 AC Ace LM Bristol by Pinko.

Project LM5000 started in 1957 when AC Cars asked John Tojeiro to use his latest space frame chassis design for an AC branded sportscar. The car was given a 2.0 litre Bristol engine and gearbox, and the bodywork was drawn by Scottish artist Cavendish Morton. The car therefore had shared very little mechanically or stylistically with other A.C. cars of the time.

The car was completed in mid-1958 and given a brief test session at Goodwood which indicated further development of the suspension was required. However, there was no time to make modifications before the car was driven to Le Mans, with the front of the car being slightly damaged while being loaded onto the channel ferry. Once at Le Mans, the AC Bristol was found to be capable of 154mh (248kmh) on the Mulsanne Straight.

 

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In the race the car had an unexpectedly good run and after starting from 30th position, it was up to 18th position after 6 hours. It continued to make good progress and at the halfway mark the AC Bristol was running in 11th position. By 7am on Sunday morning, it had moved into the top 10, but as the time ticked down, the drivers began to complain about loose handling. At a pit stop, a closer inspection revealed that the differential mountings were breaking up. Stoop and Bolton continued on cautiously, eventually being rewarded with 8th position overall and 2nd in the 2 litre class.

Since the original wheels on the Pinko model were quite basis, I swapped them for a set of wheels from an IXO Lotus Elite which suit the car perfectly and lift its appearance.

 

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Car : 1958 #28 A.C. Ace LM Bristol
Team : AC Cars Ltd.
Drivers : Richard Stoop (GB)/ Peter Bolton (GB)
Qualifying : 28th
Result : 8th (2nd in 2000cc Class)
Model : Pinko (PIN234)

References :

 

http://www.racingspo...ive/LM5000.html

 

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

 

https://www.motorspo...-heures-du-mans

 

 



#66 Jager

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 23:21

A coupe of years ago I acquired the 1st and 2nd placed 1952 Le Mans Mercedes 300 SL’s from Spark to replace my 25 year old Max Models versions. At the time I ignored the team’s 3rd car which failed to finish, but recently saw it at a heavily discounted price and decided it was worth adding to complete the set.

Preparations for Mercedes return to sportscar racing had started in 1951. The 300 SL was built around a welded aluminum tube space-frame chassis designed to saved weight in order to offset the relatively modest performance of the standard 3.0 litre in-line six engine taken from Mercedes 300 luxury sedan. The tubing created problems fitting standard doors, so the famous gull wing doors were born after a suggestion from the ACO’s chief technical scrutineer.

On their first outing at the 1952 Mille Miglia, the Mercedes 300 SL’s finished a promising second and fourth.

Mercedes arrived at Le Mans with a three car team of 300 SL’s. Each car wore a different coloured band around the radiator to help the timekeepers and team management distinguish them in the race. The #20 car of Theo Helfrich and Helmut Niedermayr wore a red strip, the #21 car of Hermann Lang and Fritz Riess wore a blue one, while this car, the #22 entry for Karl Kling and Hans Klenk was distinguished by a green band.

From the start, the Mercedes made up several places and at the end of the 1st hour cars #20, #21 and #22 were running 9th, 10th and 11th respectively. By 7:00pm, Kling and Klenk in the No. 22 Mercedes had made up several places and were now the leading Mercedes in 3rd position. The following hour, it moved up another place in the 4th hour when the #2 Cunningham C4-RK retired from 2nd position.

 

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Into the 5th hour, the No. 22 Mercedes began to suffered from an alternator problem. They were forced to make a 10 minute pit stop for repairs, which dropped them to 7th position, allowing the other two Mercedes to move ahead of them. The alternator problems continued to hamper the progress of the #22 Mercedes and by midnight it was down in 10th place, before it was forced to retire the following hour.

The two sister cars however went on to take a famous 1-2 finish, but without the alternator problems it could have been 1-2-3 with the #22 car leading the trio home. However, this chassis did go to win the 1952 Carrera Panamericana in cut-down spyder form.

The 300 SL was re-engineered for the 1953 season, but Mercedes Benz opted not to return to Le Mans to defend their title.

 

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Car : 1952 #22 Mercedes Benz 300 SL
Team : Daimler-Benz A.G.
Drivers : Karl Kling (D)/ Hans Klenk (D)
Qualifying : 22th
Result : 37th (DNF – Electrical)
Model : Spark (S4409)

References :

 

http://www.racingspo...0-0008__52.html

 

http://www.lemans-hi...22&equipa_seq=0

 



#67 Jager

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 04:23

I have several Porsche 935 K3’s in my collection, but decided to add this one because it’s a little different. While it looks like a standard K3 on the outside with a rather plain livery, under the skin it’s a different story.

In 1977, Porsche decided to create a “baby” Porsche 935 to compete in the Division II (2 litre) class of the German DRM Championship where the standard 3 litre 935 was dominating in the Division 1 class. The 'baby' 935 used a six cylinder engine of 1,425 cc which was fitted with a single turbocharger that produced an impressive 370 bhp.

For the 1980 season, Germany-based Swede Jan Lundgardh decided to following the example set by Porsche and also create a 935 that could run in the competitive 2-litre class of the German DRM Championship. A long time Porsche customer, Lundgardh was supported with his project by Porsche management who supplied him with the factory’s spare engine from the original 'Baby' 935 project.

Whereas the original 'Baby' 935 featured a production sourced 911 monocoque centre section with front and rear tubular frames, Lundgardh went one step further and had a complete spaceframe chassis constructed. This provided both a lighter and more rigid platform to build the car around.

During 1980, the Lundgardh 935 achieved a number of solid results, taking a 5th, 6th and 7th placed finishes in Division II races of the DRM championship. However, for much of the time the car was plagued with reliability issues.

For the 1981 season, Lundgardh set his sights higher, focusing on the World Endurance Championship. The car made its WEC debut at the 1981 Silverstone 6 Hours, but an accident in the race ended their charge early. The car was then entered for the next round at Nürburgring, finishing a distant 40th position.

At Le Mans, the car weighed in at just 817kg during scrutineering. Lundgardh, Axel Plankenhorn and Mike Wilds qualified it in 50th position from 55 starters, but made steady progress in the 1st hour to be up to 42nd position. Over the next three hours it continued climbing through the field, running as high as 29th position. Unfortunately, a blown piston ended its race in the sixth hour.

 

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The car continued to be plagued by reliability issues, but did achieve a 14th outright at the 1982 Silverstone 6 Hours. Eventually Lundgardh gave up on the 1.4 litre engine and replaced it with a standard 935 engine, but by that time the 935 was outdated and no match for the latest Group C machinery.

 

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Car : 1981 #69 Porsche 935 L1
Team : Tuff-Kote Dinol Racing
Drivers : Jan Lundgardh (S)/ Mike Wilds (GB)/ Axel Plankenhorn (D)
Qualifying : 50th
Result : 44th (DNF - Engine)
Model : Spark (S4426)

 

References :

 

http://www.racingspo...ive/935 L1.html

 

http://www.lemans-hi...69&equipa_seq=0

 

https://www.ultimate...-L1--Baby-.html

 



#68 Jager

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 08:07

Next is a newcomer that has become the smallest car in my collection. It’s fair to say that this is a car I’ve ignored for a long time. After all, who in their right mind would try to take on the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Mini, even a high performance version ? The fact that it only lasted 13 laps before retiring also didn’t help it case for inclusion in my collection. Nevertheless, as you can see, I found one at an attractive price and here it is.

Production of the Mini Marcos began in limited numbers in 1965 as a kit car utilizing a fibreglass monocoque developed by Marcos fitted with the running gear & subframes from a BMC Mini. To promote the car, Jem Marsh of Marcos cars wanted to get an entry to Le Mans, but feared the chances of a UK team obtaining an entry for the Mini Marcos were all but non-existent. Marsh considered that a French team, with French drivers using a car assembled in France would have more chance of being accepted by the ACO. He therefore agreed to grant the distribution rights of the Mini Marcos to for Europe to Bill Dulles if a Le Mans entry was forthcoming. Dulles established Dulles Components Ltd to market the Mini Marcos on the Continent and in doing so secured an entry for Le Mans in 1966. They were able to procure a rally tuned 1,300cc engine in Monte Carlo Specification from BMC Abingdon’s Special Tuning Department, and went on to take an unlikely 15th placed finish in the 1966 race.

After the 1966 success, for 1967 Marcos decided to apply for a Le Mans entry in their own right. Although the entry was accepted, the car was rejected at scrutineering because the French scrutineers believed the windscreen was too low. They did not expect the small British team to modify the bodywork overnight, but that’s what they did and the car was accepted when re-presented to the scrutineers the following day.

During practice the Mini Marcos carried the race number #51, but for the race itself was re-numbered #50 following the non-qualification of another entry. Jem Marsh from Marcos chose to drive the car himself together with Chris Lawrence, and the pair were clocked at an impressive top speed of 227 kph (141 mph).

 

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The #50 Mini Marcos started from 53rd and 2nd last position on the grid. In the first hour it gained 5 places, but unfortunately it completed only 13 laps before oil pump failure put paid to its hopes of repeating the 1966 result.

 

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Car : 1967 #50 Mini Marcos
Team : Marcos Racing Ltd.
Drivers : Chris Lawrence (GB)/ Jem Marsh (GB)
Qualifying : 55th
Result : 52th (DNF – Oil Pump)
Model : Spark (S0792)

References :

 

http://www.lemans-hi...50&equipa_seq=0

 

https://en.wikipedia...iki/Mini_Marcos

 

https://www.minimarc...lm67/index.html

 



#69 ensign14

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 08:48

the pair were clocked at an impressive top speed of 227 kph (141 mph).

 

Christ alive.  That must have been terrifying.



#70 Sterzo

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 17:10

Great thread, love it.



#71 Jager

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 01:42

Christ alive.  That must have been terrifying.

There is a lot of recognition for the brave and fearless Le Mans drivers who tamed beasts like the 917, but not much recognition for those who did the same in much more inferior machinery. The Marcos Mini is a good example.

 

 

Great thread, love it.

Thanks, glad you have enjoyed it. Knowing there are others who share my interest makes it more enjoyable.



#72 Glengavel

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 07:17

Christ alive.  That must have been terrifying.


Although you would be unable to hear the driver's screams of terror above the noise of the gear-train.

#73 Jager

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 13:48

If Spark's Marcos Mini is the smallest car in my collection, this next addition from Bizarre is a close second. Its simplicity has caught my attention a few times in the past, but until now has been overlooked in favour of other additions.

Daniel Rouveyran, was a French mechanic born on 3 September 1939 in Lédignan, France. Attracted to mechanics at the age of 16, he went to Paris to work at Panhard and René Bonnet, where he eventually became a mechanic for their 24 hours of Le Mans team in the 1960’s. However, at the age of 20, he left René Bonnet to set up the tire shop “Pneumatiques Rouveyran” in Saint-Hilaire-de-Brethmas.

The same year, Rouveyran's father offered him a Pichon Parat, a rare French sportscar. This was the trigger that lead him into a decade of hillclimbing and motor racing. Rouveyran proved to be a very accomplished driver, winning the French Hillclimb Championship in 1969, and going on to be runner up in 1970, 1971 and 1972.

At this time, Rouveyran also began driving at Le Mans. He participated in 1970 in a Porsche 910, and again in 1972 in a Ferrari Daytona 365, but on both occasions he was forced to retire. His did however go on to finish second in the 1972 Tour de France with François Migault in the same Ferrari Daytona 365 they ran at Le Mans.

In 1973, Rouveyran decided to enter his own car at Le Mans, purchasing Lola T280 chassis #HU1 from the Ecurie Bonnier team following Bonnier’s death at Le Mans in 1972. Ecurie Bonnier had also entered this car at Le Mans in 1972 alongside Bonnier’s car, but it retired with clutch issues.

According to a period report from Autorsport, “A second privately entered Lola T280 was being run by its owner Daniel Rouvreyan with Christian Mons and Christian Ethuin sharing the driving although by the standard of preparation it seemed highly unlikely the car would be going long enough for them all to get a drive."

Despite the negativity of Autosport’s observations, Rouvreyan qualified the car in 11th place. Unfortunately, once the race was underway the car experienced gearbox troubles very early on and by the end of the 1st hour had already fallen to last place in 54th position. It struggled on at the back of the field until a broken wheel ended its race in the 5th hour when it was running in 47th position.

Just three weeks after Le Mans, Rouveyran was killed in his March 721G at the Mont Dore (Puy-de-Dôme) Hillclimb on the 1st July 1973. After his death, his family sold the Lola to Frenchman Michel Degoumois, who logged an entry for it at Le Mans in 1974 and 1975, but did not arrived. However the car has since re-appeared in current day historic racing.

 

mf8mKXD.png?1

 

s9RthwC.png?1

 

Car : 1973 #61 Lola T280
Team : Daniel Rouveyran
Drivers : Daniël Rouveyran (F)/ Christian Mons (F)/ Christian Ethuin (F)
Qualifying : 11th
Result : 50th (DNF - Broken Wheel)
Model : Bizarre (BZ145)

 

http://www.racingspo...e/T280-HU1.html

 

http://www.lemans-hi...61&equipa_seq=0

 

http://www.oldracing...t280/#rouveyran

 



#74 Barry Boor

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 14:14

Interesting that they never bothered to remove the Bonnier colours from the engine cover.

#75 Jager

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 12:56

Well spotted Barry. I'm wondering if that was only a spare engine cover as I've since found another picture that shows a different livery with additional sponsorship :

 

http://www.racingspo...-06-10-061a.jpg



#76 Jager

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 01:12

Next is another classic Top 10 finisher I probably should have added sooner than this.

Archibald Frazer Nash was an early English motor car designer and engineer, who in 1910 produced the GN cycle car, a lightweight two-cylinder car that stayed in production for 12 years. Frazer Nash's racing successes in highly developed versions of his cars contributed to their popularity. This lead Nash to started the Frazer Nash company in 1923, before it was renamed AFN Ltd in 1927. Two years later, Frazer Nash sold the business to H.J. Aldington so he could devote more time to his new engineering business.

Under the guidance of H.J. Aldington, AFN embarked on a competition program to promote the marque. Two cars were entered at Le Mans in 1935, but both cars retired and they did not return to Le Mans before the war. However, just before the outbreak of the war, H.J. Aldington negotiated to become the British importer of BMW after seeing their success in events like the Mille Miglia.

Once the war was over, Aldington made a flying trip to Munich to secure one of BMW's successful 328s. After bringing one of the BMW home, Aldington directed AFN to start designing and tooling car bodies around the BMW 328 engine. This resulted in a number of competition based models that were named after famous racing events including the Le Mans Replica, the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio and the Sebring. Competition successes soon followed, included a third place at Le Mans in 1949.

For the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans, Frazer Nash entered two cars, the “Le Mans Replica” used in 1949 and this car, a “Mille Miglia”.

 

pGYKvz0.png?1

 

After starting from 30th position, the #30 Frazer Nash was running in 15th position after 6 hours. It made steady progress thereafter, rising to 12th position at the midpoint of the race, a position it still held at the 19th hour mark. However it gained a position in the 20th hour, another in the 22nd hour and another in the 23rd hour to finish in 9th position and win the 2-Litre Class.

After Le Mans, car was sold to Dickie Stoop in August 1950 and repainted red. It went on to have a long competition history.

This is a pretty honest model from Bizarre, though I'm wondering how I can replace the green wheels with a set of silver wheels as per the period picture above.

 

YlPaNg4.png?1

 

zzH5z5h.png?1

 

Car : 1950 #30 Frazer Nash MM
Team : H.J. Aldington
Drivers : ‘Donald’ Mathieson (GB)/ Richard ‘Dickie’ Stoop (GB)
Qualifying : 30th
Result : 9th
Model : Bizarre (BZ089)

References :

 

http://www.racingspo...__100__115.html

 

http://www.lemans-hi...30&equipa_seq=0

 



#77 Collombin

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 15:36

For an alleged motorsport fan, the Le Mans 24 Hours doesn't particularly interest me all that much.

 

So why the hell is this thread so utterly captivating?

 

Maybe my ignorance helps actually - it means almost all the stories are new to me.



#78 Jager

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 23:26

Glad your enjoying it E.B. Hopefully many of the stories are new to everyone who stops by here, as most Le Mans reports typically focus on the race winners and we hear little or nothing abut those who were further down the field or whose race ended in failure like so many do.



#79 Jager

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 14:42

Next is an unusual car that looks like no other, and the Martini livery suits it perfectly. This one joins the sister #50 car that I can see from old forum posts I acquired in 6 years ago.

After Lancia's highly successful rally campaign in the 1970’s with the Stratos, they were looking for a new challenge and began to focus their attention on endurance racing in 1979. They started with a highly modified version of the Beta Montecarlo coupe to enter the Group 5 class, but for the 1982 season decided to step up to the Group 6 prototype class before an assault on the Group C era. Just as they had done with the Beta Montecarlo, Lancia partnered with Dallara for the design of the LC1 prototype, which also shared the Beta Montecarlo’s four-cylinder turbocharged 1.4 litre engine. Martini also carried over their iconic sponsorship from the Beta Montecarlo’s to the LC1’s.

Lancia brought two LC1’s to the 1982 24 Hours of Le Mans with a stellar line-up of drivers. This car, the #51 entry, was entered for Michele Alboreto, Teo Fabi and Rolf Stommelen, who qualified it in 4th position alongside the sister #50 car.

 

9XAsuGA.png?1

 

Unfortunately the car only made it part of the way around the first lap, stopping at Tertre Rouge with a fuel pump problem. Alboreto tinkered with the fuel pump for 50 minutes and was eventually able to get the car back to the pits for repairs. However, at that point it had dropped to the back of the field in 54th position.

Once the fuel pump problem was fixed, Alboreto, Fabi and Stommelen set about making up the deficit. After six hours they had the Lancia up to 33rd position and the following hour were up to 26th position. Sadly engine problems delayed their progress, and after losing 7 places over the next 2 hours they retired in the 10th hour.

The following year the Lancia factory team abandoned the LC1 and its troublesome engine, switching to the all new Group C LC2 which used a three litre turbocharged V8 engine derived from the Ferrari 308 GTB. The LC1’s were passed on to privateers to run, but they still proved troublesome.

Another nice effort by Spark, although having to apply the separate “MS” tobacco decals was a bit of a pain.

 

KaDvr8R.png?1

 

yZVsIgx.png?1

 

Car : 1982 #51 Lancia LC1
Team : Martini Racing
Drivers : Michele Alboreto (I)/ Teo Fabi (I)/ Rolf Stommelen (D)
Qualifying : 4th
Result : 33th (DNF - Engine)
Model : Spark (S0662)

References :

 

http://www.racingspo...e/LC1-0002.html

 

http://www.lemans-hi...51&equipa_seq=0

 

https://www.motorspo...ns-24-hour-race

 

 

 



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#80 Jager

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 12:58

In the 1960s, Alpine created several successful 1,100 - 1,500cc competition cars with the financial support of Renault. They had secured several class wins, but were never able to challenge for outright victory. That changed after Ford had steamrolled the competition with their 7.0 litre GT Mk IV in 1967 and the ACO responded by setting a 3.0 litre engine capacity limit on Group 6 prototypes from 1968 onwards. Alpine now had an opportunity compete for outright victory.

By October 1967, a new 3 litre engine from Gordini had been installed in modified Alpine 210 and entered at the 1000km of Paris where it finished in 7th position. Encouraged by this result, Alpine then set about designing an all new car designated the A220 with a tubular chassis specifically for the new engine.

By May of 1968, France had been crippled by strikes. Even the workers on Alpine’s production lines participated in the strike. With the strikes resulting in the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans being postponed until the end of September. This proved to be a real blessing for Alpine, who would never have had their four A220’s ready for June. At the end of August four cars are built, and they arrived at Le Mans with limited competition experience.

The debut didn’t go as planned. In spite of a lower weight, the Alpine A220’s struggled to match the pace of the Porsches and fail to hit 300 kmh on the Mulsanne. However, Mauro Bianchi in this car, the #27 entry, was the fastest of the Alpines taking 8th place, while his teammates qualified in 11th, 15th and 18th positions.

From the start the #27 Alpine ran steadily in the top 10 and at the end of 5 hours was still the leading Alpine running in 5th place. At this point the #28 Alpine had already retired after failing brakes lead to a race-ending accident. For the #27 Alpine, problems with the exhaust caused it to pit, losing 6 places, dropping it to 12th place.

 

ncQsGRy.png?1

 

Through the night, Bianchi and Depailler fought back and at the midpoint of the race in the early hours of Sunday morning were back up to 6th position. The #27 Alpine kept this position until the 20th hour of the race when Depailler pitted complaining of vibrations. The mechanics quickly changed the brakes, but when Bianchi went to leave the pits the starter refused to turn over and a further 50 minutes were lost while it was replaced.

With three and a half hours remaining, Bianchi eventually rejoined the race in 9th position. However, distracted by the starter motor problems, he forgot the brakes had been changed and didn’t pump the brake pedal to pressurise the system before arriving at the esses just after the Dunlop bridge. When he braked, the car turned sharply right and crashed violently into the barriers, exploding into a massive fireball due to the full fuel tank. Bianchi miraculously escaped the crash, but received serious burns to his hands and face.

Nevertheless, Cortanze and Vinatier in the #29 Alpine A220 went on to completed 297 laps to be classified in 8th place and salvage some pride for Alpine.

 

oZqzP3t.png?1

 

1JB1990.png?1

 

Car : 1968 #27 Alpine A220
Team : Ecurie Savin-Calberson
Drivers : Mauro Bianchi (B)/ Patrick Depailler (F)
Qualifying : 8th
Result : 20th (DNF - Accident / Fire)
Model : Spark (S1541)

References :

 

http://www.racingspo...chive/1732.html

 

http://www.lemans-hi...27&equipa_seq=0

 



#81 Jager

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 12:25

In 1964, AC Cars decided to convert one of their 4.7 litre Ford V8 powered Cobra roadsters to a coupe for Le Mans after seeing the success of the Shelby Daytona Coupes.

To fine tune the car for Le Mans, AC tested the car on the M1 motorway as there were no speed limits at the time. Driver Jack Sears got the AC Coupe up to 298kph (185mph), but a newspaper reporter was present and the story appeared on the front pages of the national newspapers. “There was an awful fuss,” says Sears. “But it was all jolly unfair. Many teams were using the motorway for practice — the Rootes Group, Jaguar, Aston Martin — so it wasn’t something unheard of. We weren’t doing anything illegal because there were no limits.”

When the #3 AC Coupe finally got to Le Mans, it started from 13th position on the grid.

 

kDYwqVd.png?1

 

A strong start saw the #3 A.C. Cobra Coupe move up to 7th place by the end of the first hour, running just behind the #5 Shelby Daytona Coupe. Problems however saw it fall back to 13th position in the following hour, and by the 4th hour it was down in 27th position.

Nevertheless, the team soldiered on and the AC Coupe was able to retake a handful of position in the following hours. That was until 10.15pm when the AC Coupe had a tyre blowout at Maison Blanche. The car spun and was then collected by the Ferrari of Giancarlo Baghetti. Tragically, the Ferrari speared off into the barriers and crushed three young French spectators who had been standing in a prohibited area. Baghetti was uninjured, and Bolton was taken to hospital with only minor injuries.

After Le Mans, the damaged car was returned to the UK and stored under a tarpaulin at A.C. Cars for a decade until it was restored in 1972. Today this rare, one of a kind Le Mans car is road registered and still used on British roads.

The Pinko model is a little crude, but at the right price it was appealing because its such an interesting car and it doesn't appear to be on the radar of other model makers because it was a one-off.

 

fhMVZ24.png?1

 

4kbSHG0.png?1

 

Car : 1964 #5 A.C. Cobra Coupe

[Team : AC Cars Ltd.
Drivers : Jack Sears (GB)/ Peter Bolton (GB)
Qualifying : 3rd
Result : 41st (DNF - Accident)
Model : Pinko (PIN181)

 

References :

 

http://www.racingspo...rchive/A98.html

 

http://www.lemans-hi... 3&equipa_seq=0

 

https://www.autocar....mph-m1-motorway

 



#82 Barry Boor

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 13:12

The colours don't seem to match, Ian.

#83 Jager

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 00:34

As you know Barry, its difficult to rely on the colours of 50 year old photos. especially when they were taken facing into the sun.

 

Barry, here's two other Le Mans pictures that show the car was a little more green than it first appeared (though perhaps not as green as the model) :

 

https://i.pinimg.com...ys-ac-cobra.jpg

 

http://2.bp.blogspot...s1600/img03.jpg

 

Perhaps Pinko also based their colour off the restored version of the car, which seems more green than its original Le Mans paint:

 

http://www.secondstr...pe_Restored.jpg



#84 Barry Boor

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 01:08

Well explained, Ian. Thank you.

#85 Jager

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 00:59

Ferrari had dominated Le Mans in 1961 with updated version of its front engine V12 250 Testa Rossa’s. Carlo Chiti was finally able to convince Enzo Ferrari to improve the aerodynamics of the car and a new body style was developed that featured a shark-nose front end and a Kamm tail that gave the car extra stability at speed. Ferrari entered three of the new 250 TR’s at Le Mans, two built on brand new chassis and a third car based on a 1960 chassis, which went on to take 1st and 2nd places.

After their Le Mans success, Ferrari sold off their two 1961 built cars. The race winner was sold to Luigi Chinetti’s ‘North American Racing Team’ (NART), who had the car repainted in the traditional North American racing colours of blue and white. It was then entered at Le Mans in 1962 for NART regulars John Fulp and Pete Ryan. This became one of 18 Ferraris entered in the race.

 

EGu37bz.jpg

 

The #18 Ferrari started from 16th position, and more or less held the same position for the first 8 hours give or take a position or two. However, it did manage to reach 12th position by the end of the 11th hour and may have made it into the Top 10 if Ryan had not beached the car in the sand trap at Mulsanne corner around dawn on Sunday morning. Despite Ryan’s efforts he could not extract the car from the sand leading to its retirement.

QXZHTdF.jpg?1

 

viAOEGZ.jpg

 

Car : 1962 #18 Ferrari 250 TRI/61
Team : North American Racing Team
Drivers : John Fulp (USA)/ Peter Ryan (CDN)
Qualifying : 17th
Result : 32nd (DNF – Accident)
Model : Looksmart (LSLM045)

References :

 

http://www.racingspo...TR [250TR].html

 

http://www.lemans-hi...18&equipa_seq=0

 

 

 



#86 Jager

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Posted 22 February 2019 - 10:43

The Monopole company was a large French producer of components for engines such as pistons, piston rings, valves, bearings, etc. They viewed car racing as an excellent means to promote Monopole products and in 1947 they created the Ecurie Monopole. In early 1950, Monopole took their motor racing involvement further when reached a cooperation agreement with Panhard : Monopole building, developing and racing their own cars with unofficial support from Panhard. Two cars were built, which were highly successful, winning the Le Mans Index of Performance three times in 1950, 1951 and 1952.

After three years of cooperation with Monopole, Panhard decided in 1953 to become more directly involved in car racing. The Panhard factory created an official team and constructed three 'works' cars for the 1953 Le Mans race. Project Director René Panhard was a former aviator, who asked renowned aeronautical engineer Marcel Riffard to design the duralinox bodies which were mounted on light alloy Panhard chassis. The X88 (with a 600cc engine) and X89 (with a 900cc engine) Panhards looked like Rafale aircrafts on four wheels.

The two special aerodynamic Panhards were entered at Le Mans in 1953 alongside two standard bodied Panhards. The #50 X89 started from 49th position, while the #61 X88 started from 60th position. However, both ran steadily throughout the race, the smaller capacity #60 car steadily closing the gap on its larger engined sister car.

 

3ZgoZp6.png?1

 

After 3 hours, the #50 car was 41st while the #50 car was running 44th. By half distance, the two cars were running in 28th and 30th positions, before going on to finish 20th and 21st respectively. The strong performance of the Chancel brother in the #61 Panhard X88 was rewarded when they were awarded the Index of Performance Index and Coupe Biennale Cup.

 

uHtVSum.jpg?1

 

 

DVDCPFv.jpg?1

 

Car : 1953 #61 Panhard X88
Team : Automobiles Panhard et Levassor
Drivers : Pierre Chancel (F)/ Robert Chancel (F)
Qualifying : 60th
Result : 21st
Model : Bizarre (BZ019)

References :

 

http://www.racingspo...hive/X88-1.html

 

http://www.lemans-hi...61&equipa_seq=0

 



#87 Jager

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 00:20

Now for something more mainstream.

 

Georg Loos was a German entrepreneur who gained fame through his Gelo Racing Team during the 1970’s. Loos had begun racing as a driver in sports car races in 1968, taking his first win the same year at Zolder in a Porsche 910. He then went on to establish his own team in 1970, the same year he competed at Le Mans for the first time with a Ferrari 512. He returned to Le Mans with the Ferrari in 1971, but retired on both occasions.

After several seasons spent running a McLaren M8 in the Interseries and a Porsche 911 S in the European GT Championship, Loos returned to Le Mans in 1973 with a Porsche 911 RSR, finishing in an impressive 10th place. The team returned to Le Mans in 1974 again with a Porsche 911 RSR, but the car failed to finish due to ignition problems.

The following year, this Porsche was one of three similar cars entered by Gelo Racing at Le Mans. Due to new rules introduced by the ACO in the wake of the oil crisis, the race was excluded from the World Championship and as a result there were few factory teams. Privately entered Porsches accounted for over half the field.

Within the Gelo team, the No.58 entry for John Fitzpatrick & Gijs van Lennep qualified in 18th positon. The No.59 for Tim Schenken & Howden Ganley qualified 26th, while the #60 car of Toine Hezemans & Manfred Schurti would qualify 23rd.

When the race got underway, the #58 Porsche quickly worked its way up into 9th position by the end of the 1st hour and by the 4th hour it was running 7th. Behind, the #59 car also moved up to 10th position in the 4th hour, while the #60 car was running 14th before it was damaged in an accident that would see it retire several hours later. This resulted in Hezemans and Schurti from the #60 car joining Fitzpatrick and Van Lennep in the #58 car.

 

kJsuD1D.jpg?1

 

In the 5th hour, the #58 Porsche moved up to 6th position. However, the #59 Gelo entry dropped to the back of the field with gearbox problem, that would ultimately force its retirement in the 21st hour after 8 hours running dead last.

Despite the Gelo’s team’s bad luck with the #59 and #60 cars, the #58 car continued to run faultlessly. It moved up into 5th position in the 7th hour, and while the leading 4 cars swapped positions throughout the remainder of the race, the #58 car held 5th position all the way to the chequered flag, giving the team a GT class win.

As noted previously in Andy's thread, I feel the Spark model needs a bit of mesh where there is area missing in the rear quarter race number. Spark have tried to replicate the vent that sat under the race number, but I don't think they did it as well as they could have.

 

xXNUba6.jpg?1

 

gMkfe7b.jpg?1

 

Car : 1975 #58 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR
Team : Gelo Racing Team
Drivers : John Fitzpatrick (GB)/ Toine Hezemans (NL)/ Gijs van Lennep (NL)/ Manfred Schurti (FL)/ Georg Loos (D)
Qualifying : 20th
Result : 5th (GT Class Winner)
Model :Spark (S5088)

Reference :

 

http://www.racingspo...1 460 9012.html

 

http://www.lemans-hi...58&equipa_seq=0

 

 



#88 Jager

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 14:41

Next is a model I've wanted for a long time to close out the 1954 podium. I note from my files that I've had this on pre-order since 2014 !

After debuting at Le Mans in 1950, Briggs Cunningham returned to Le Mans for the 5th time in 1954. Cuningham’s plans for 1954 had focused on a new smaller car, the C-6R, that was to feature a two-stroke inverted V-12 Mercury Marine engine. However, when the engine never materialised, the team turned its attention to preparing its two existing Chrysler V8 powered C4-R’s for another attempt at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Briggs was also keen to test the Ferrari V12 engine for a future Cunningham project and also entered a recently purchased Ferrari 375MM painted in his traditional white and blue colours. Briggs also shipped over his race transporter and 39 tonnes of equipment and spare parts to support his effort.

 

L6dlMCy.png?1

 

This particular car did not finish the 1952 race due to engine problems and appears to have been unused again until it was resurrected for the 1954 challenge. Cunningham was keen to upgrade his 1954 cars with Dunlop disc brakes and even though an agreement was reached, the plan was vetoed by Jaguar who had a water-tight exclusivity agreement on the equipment.

The #2 CR-4 was entered for Sherwood Johnson and William ‘Bill’ Spears, despite Cunningham’s concerns about Spears vision. In an era when the starting position were determined by engine capacity, the two 5.5 litre Cunningham’s started from 1st and 2nd place on the grid.

Unfortunately, the #2 Cunningham had a slow getaway and was beaten off the line by the three Ferrari 375’s and the Talbot Lago T26GS of Jean Blanc. By the end of the 1st hour, it had slipped down to 12th position, and by the following hour was down to 19th place. At this point the #1 Cunningham had fared little better and was also running outside the Top 10 after starting from 1st place.

 

hGlkLkc.png?2

 

By 10pm the track conditions were very difficult as the rain varied constantly from light drizzle to heavy downpours. The drivers could never be certain of the road surface on two consecutive laps, but the #2 Cunningham excelled in the difficult conditions and had improved to 8th position.

During the night, the Cunninghams continued to make stead progress, and the #2 car was up to 6th position by 3am. As the sun started to rise at 6am, it was lying 4th, but soon took 3rd position when the Ferrari of Manzon/Rosier became stuck in second gear and had to retire.

From then on, the leaders order was unchanged over the remaining nine hours. While the #14 Jaguar in 2nd was only one lap behind the leading #4 Ferrari, the #2 Cunningham was a long way behind the leaders. Nevertheless, it took the final place on the podium with a comfortable 6 lap margin over the 4th placed Jaguar.

 

2PPMiKa.png?1

 

ufCrXC3.png?1

 

Car : 1954 #2 Cunningham C-4R
Team : Briggs Cunningham
Drivers : William ‘Bill’ Spear (USA)/ Sherwood Johnston (USA)
Qualifying : 2nd
Result : 3rd
Model : Spark (S2727)

References :

 

http://www.racingspo...hive/R5217.html

 

http://www.lemans-hi... 2&equipa_seq=0

 

https://www.motorspo...e-mans-24-hours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#89 D-Type

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 15:19

The first photo includes the C5R (like the Dinky Toy) so it must be from 1953.



#90 Jager

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 12:07

Thanks D-Type....good pickup. It’s quite difficult to tell the ‘53 and ‘54 cars apart in the old B & W photos.

#91 Jager

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 06:01

There are now plenty of 962’s from Spark and others to choose from, but this one jumped out at me. In part that was because there were only 28 cars in the 1992 race and even less models to choose from, but even as a stand- alone model I like it as it looks different to most of the others.

 

By the late 1980’s, many teams were experimenting with chassis modifications to the Porsche 962. One noted problem of the 962 was a lack of stiffness in the aluminium chassis, which lead some teams to design and build their own chassis and then buy components from Porsche to complete the car. At this time, John Thompson from the UK was recognised as one of the leading constructors, with his use of an aluminium honeycomb sandwich construction resulting in a substantially stronger chassis the Porsche's own all aluminium chassis.

Thompson designed and built eight 962 chassis for Brun Motorsport, and later built two chassis for Obermaier Racing. According to Racingsportscars.com, this chassis was also built by Thompson in 1990 specifically for Equipe Alméras Fréres, hence the EAF/1 chassis number. However, there is no mention of this car that I can find in the various lists of 962 chassis, so it may have been built up from another car, possibly the 962 raced by Equipe Alméras Fréres at Le Mans in 1989 using a different Thompson chassis.

Alméras Fréres raced this car extensively in the 1990 World Sports Prototype Championship (WSPC), but there were no notable results. It then appears to have been parked up for the 1st half of the 1991 season, before re-appearing at Le Mans in June that year. Entered as the #50 “AXE’ sponsored entry, the car failed to finish due to an accident.

It was another year, before the car was seen again when it was rolled out for the 1992 Le Mans, this time with a new white and black livery. Alméras Fréres also brought a 2nd 962 with different bodywork wearing an identical livery which was only used in practice. Once again, the car was driven by Jacques and Jean-Marie Alméras who recruited Max Cohen-Olivar as the 3rd driver. With the change in regulations and the new 3.5 litre formula, just 28 cars were entered which no doubt helped the Alméras brothers obtain their entry.

 

7TugE9z.png?1

 

The #68 Porsche qualified in 20th position. Once the race got underway, progress was limited and for the first 7 hours the car spent the majority of the time running in 18th position. In the 8th hour it gained a place, but in the following hour it was eliminated in an accident. No other cars retired around this time, so it is assumed the Alméras car crashed out of its own accord.

That was to be last ever race for the Alméras Fréres 962.

 

6nZjSYF.png?1

 

ObIppEH.png?1

 

Car : 1992 #68 Porsche 962
Team : Equipe Alméras-Chotard
Drivers : Jacques Alméras (F)/ Jean-Marie Alméras (F)/ Max Cohen-Olivar (MA)
Qualifying : 20th
Result : 23rd
Model : Spark (S4439)

Reference :

 

http://www.racingspo...962-EAF__1.html

 

http://lemans-histor...68&equipa_seq=0

 



#92 Jager

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 11:50

While my collection is primarily focused on cars from the 24 Hours of Le Mans, occasionally it deviates into support vehicles such as race transporters, safety cars and other related vehicles. Being a fan of Steve McQueen's 1970 movie, it was hard to resist this camera car. 

In 1970 Steve McQueen began filming his epic movie “Le Mans”. As McQueen was a keen racer himself, he was determined that the film be as authentic as possible, insisting that the race scenes be filmed at genuine speeds. That meant filming real cars and real professional drivers, racing at real speeds, in real time, with a budget of around $6m. It was therefore determined that the production crew needed a film car capable of running at 150 mph.

This car had started life as a Mirage M1, one of two cars built by John Wyer Racing in 1967 using the mechanicals and chassis of a GT40. The two Mirages were entered at Le Mans in 1967, but both cars retired. When the rules changed for 1968, JWR rebuilt the two Mirages back to a GT40 specifications, this car becoming chassis P/1074. As a GT40, it competed at Le Mans, Monza and Watkins Glen with varying degrees of success, but took a significant victory at the 1968 Monza 1000kms.

In 1970 the GT40’s were now obsolete and David Brown (not to be confused with the David Brown of Aston Martin ownership and fame) purchased P/1074 from John Wyer Racing and leased it to Steve McQueen’s Solar Productions to be used as a camera car. To make it suitable for its new role, the entire roof was removed and other modifications were made. A gyroscopically-stabilized, air-powered, 180-degree Arriflex camera was mounted on the rear deck and controlled inside the cockpit by a cameraman in the passenger seat by remote control. At other times, cameras were mounted in the spare wheel well in the nose, or above the passenger side door. The additional weight and strange aerodynamics from the camera equipment made the car difficult to control at high speeds according to race driver Jonathan Williams who did most of the driving.

 

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It took a year to make the film and it premiered in cinemas in June 1971.

After the film was made, P/1074 had several owners before it was acquired by collector Sir Anthony Bamford in 1972. Under his ownership, the Ford GT40 was reconstructed by Willie Green with a new roof panel, early GT40 doors with “rocker” handles, new rear bodywork from a standard GT40 with wider wheel flares and a lack of air outlets and carbon fiber reinforcement. The P/1074 was then sold back to Harley E. Cluxton III, who had originally sold it to Bamford, and was subsequently restored once more to return it to its 1968 Monza-winning configuration.

In 2012 the car was put up for auction and despite being the subject of several rebuilds, was still sold for US$ 12m, making it the “Most Expensive American Car Ever Sold” up to that point in time.

 

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Car : 1970 Ford GT40 Camera Car
Team : Solar Productions
Drivers : N/A
Qualifying : N/A
Result : N/A
Model : Schuco Pro R (45 089 9600)

References :

 

http://www.racingspo...40 P__1074.html

 

https://autoweek.com...n#ixzz5Tj9jxQie

 

https://performance....toried-of-.html

 

 

 



#93 Jager

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 00:05

Mention Larbre Compétition to most Le Mans fans these days and the first thing they’ll probably think of is the yellow and black ex-works Corvettes entered by team between 2011 and 2017. Before that, the team had a decade running Vipers, Ferrari’s and Saleens, but it was in Porsches where the team had its beginning.

The founder of Larbre Compétition was Frenchman Jack Leconte. He began racing in 1988 and after achieving success in the Porsche Carrera Cup and French GT Championship, Leconte entered a Porsche 911 Carrera RSR in his name at Le Mans in 1993. At his first attempt he finished 16th, and 2nd in the C4 (Grand Touring) Class.

The following year saw Larbre Competition created, and it made the first of its eight Le Mans appearances with this Porsche 911 RSR. The car had been delivered new to Larbre Competition at the beginning of the 1994 season and had already taken class wins at the 4 hour races at Paul Ricard and Jarama before it arrived at Le Mans. This time however Leconte did not share the driving.

After qualifying in 26th position, Pareja, Dupuy and Palau had the Porsche up to 16th position overall within the first hour. By the second hour they were 12th overall, and improved to 10th by the 3rd hour. From then on places were harder to come by, though they spent several hours mid race running as high as 6th place. Unfortunately, they were caught and passed by prototypes that were recovering from earlier problems in the final stages of the race to finish 8th overall and win the GT2 Class.

 

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After Le Mans the car was retired even though it had only completed in three races. However, Labre Competition pulled the car out of retirement 5 years later for the 1999 French FFSA GT Championship, before it was retired for the 2nd time.

 

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ar : 1994 #52 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR
Team : Larbre Compétition
Drivers : Jésus Pareja (ESP)/ Dominique Dupuy (F)/ Carlos Palau (ESP)
Qualifying : 26th
Result : 8th (Winner of GT2 Class)
Model : Spark (S4443)

References :

 

http://www.racingspo...6ZPS496075.html

 

http://www.lemans-hi...52&equipa_seq=0

 

 


#94 404KF2

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 03:02

While my collection is primarily focused on cars from the 24 Hours of Le Mans, occasionally it deviates into support vehicles such as race transporters, safety cars and other related vehicles. Being a fan of Steve McQueen's 1970 movie, it was hard to resist this camera car. 

My favourite racing film.  Having seen the cars featured in the movie at Spa in May 1970, it triggers so many amazing memories.



#95 Jager

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Posted 31 March 2019 - 11:40

Thanks 404KF2, that's what I like about collecting models, they also evoke lot of memories.



#96 Jager

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 10:47

....and now as they say, "time for something a little different".

The Callista emerged in the late 1940s, the product of two men by the name of Antonio Monge, proprietor of a race-car preparation business and Robert Rowe, an electrical engineer. They had met in 1941 when they worked together for a large electrical company called Fulmen where they made small battery-powered electric vehicles for the French government... a company that rolled into makers of electric fairground cars during the 1950s when electric vehicles lost traction in the marketplace. Rowe also had a talent for drawing and drew the plans for the first Callista roadster. Some would say that the original Callista with its rounded, slightly plump body shape and small vertical grille was a road going rendition of these fairground cars... an observation given even more credence by the fact that a small vertical grille opening was supplying air to an air-cooled flat twin engine !

However, the original car was intended to be raced at Le Mans. Monge, who had started his own business in 1935 specialising in the preparation of engines for the Le Mans 24 hour race, set about making the 610cc Panhard twin more competitive for the race. But the intent was to make a small volume production car with the Le Mans competition car being a promotional tool (and a bit of fun) as much as anything else.

Monge started by approaching Paul Panhard to purchase 17 production Dyna chassis, presumably 2 for racing, 15 for production. Rowe and Monge then needed someone tomake the hand-beaten steel body but were starting to run low on cash, so Monge approached Raymond Gaillard who ran the largest Panhard concessionaires in Paris at the time to help fund the project. The carrot was that Gaillard was offered a drive at the 1950 Le Mans, along with associate Pierre Chancel. Monge wanted to drive too, but his wife said no! They were entered near the tail end with the number 56 and finished in 28h position.

The next year, Gaillard again entered, Le Mans, this time in a Monopole-Panhard X 84. However, one of the 610cc production Callista Ranelagh’s was entered by Auguste Lachaize for drivers Jean-Paul Colas and Robert Schollemann which is the car shown here. This 1951 Le Mans car had been modified slightly from the standard production model with a simplified grill with 6 vertical bars and a central horizontal bar, instead of the complex one with five horizontal rods.

 

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For the 1951 race, the little 750cc Callista started from the rear of the field. For the first half of the race its progress was unspectacular, but after six hours was up to 45th position, and by the mid-point of the race it was running 37th. By the 18th hour it had made up 28 positions to be running 31st, and it eventually came home in 28th position after completing 183 laps. This gave it 8th in the Index of Performance.

Callista did not race again at Le Mans, but this car still exist to this day and still makes regular appearances at the Le Mans classic.

 

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Car : 1951 #58 Callista Ranelagh D 120
Team : Auguste Lachaize
Drivers : Jean-Paul Colas (F)/ Robert Schollemann (F)
Qualifying : 59th
Result : 28th (DNF)
Model : Gcam (N/A)

Reference :

 

http://www.racingspo...a/RAN D120.html

 

http://www.lemans-hi...58&equipa_seq=0

 

 

 

 

 

 



#97 Jager

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 11:04

Sine there isn't much love for the Callista I'll move on.

 

This Austin Healey 3000 was one of a handful of cars prepared by the Works team for international competition. While the cars were primarily prepared for rallying, three of the cars were sent to the USA for the 1960 Sebring 12 Hours race, where this car finished 3rd in class and 33rd overall with Jack Sears and Peter Riley at the wheel. After Sebring, two of the cars were sold off in North America, while this car was shipped home for the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car failed to finish when the engine failed after 89 laps.

After Le Mans, BMC sold the Austin Healey to David Dixon’s Ecurie Chiltern outfit who rallied a Mini with the Reg.no. DD 300. Dixon arranged to transfer his personal number plate to the newly purchased Austin Healey. Dixon entered the Austin Healey at Le Mans in 1961, where it completed 254 laps before retiring in the 23rd hour.

Ecurie Chiltern returned to Le Mans with the Austin Healey in 1962. The car was entered for Brit John Whitmore and South African Bob Olthoff.

 

The Austin Healey started from 24th position, but from the start lost 4 places in the first hour. However, a steady drive after that saw it rise to 18th position after 6 hours, before reaching 14th position by the halfway mark of the race. As the race entered the 18th hour, the Austin Healey was running 8th and looked set for strong result. Unfortunately, for the 3rd year in a row, engine problems forced the retirement of the Austin Healey in the 19th hour.

These days the car is still racing in vintage events and Le Mans retrospectives.

 

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Car : 1962 #24 Austin Healey 3000
Team : Ecurie Chiltern
Drivers : John Whitmore (GB)/ Bob Olthoff (ZA)
Qualifying : 13th
Result : 22nd (DNF – Engine Failure)
Model : Spark (S0808)

References :

 

http://www.racingspo...BN7__10339.html

 

http://lemans-histor...24&equipa_seq=0

 



#98 Tim Murray

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 11:48

This car has its own book, written by TNFer Simon ‘hamsterace’ Ham. It was famously owned and raced for more than forty years by John Chatham from my current home city of Bristol, UK:

https://porterpress....story-of-dd-300

#99 Jager

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 22:45

The Lotus 23 debuted at the Nordschleife in May, 1962. In wet conditions, Jim Clark in the Lotus shot away from the field of Porsches, Aston Martins and Ferraris even though some cars had four times the power of the Lotus. Extending his lead on each lap until the track dried, Clark was overcome by exhaust fumes from a damaged exhaust manifold and crashed out on lap 12.

After the Nordschleife, Lotus arrived at Le Mans with two 23’s, car #47 being fitted with a 1000cc version of the Ford-Lotus Twincam, while this car, #48, was fitted with a 750cc FWMC Coventry Climax engine. To comply with the regulations, both cars had high windshields fitted.

The smaller 1000cc and 750cc classes had usually been dominated by the small French producers such as Rene Bonnet and Charles Deutsch and the new Lotus were clearly perceived as a threat to a French class win. The stewards there made life as difficult as possible for the team, rejecting the Lotus 23’s on the basis that the fuel tanks were oversized, the turning circle was too large and there was insufficient ground clearance.

The most difficult issue however was that the rear wheels had 6 studs while the front had 4 studs and the stewards insisted that the front and rears must have the same number of studs. Colin Chapman was still in the UK at the Lotus factory and he hurriedly designed new four-stud rear hubs. The new rear hubs for both cars were machined at the factory during the night and in the morning flown direct to Le Mans to be fitted to the 23s just before scrutineering ended. This, however, did not end their troubles.

The head scrutineer then pronounced the rear 4-stud hubs to be unsafe ! Team manager Mike Costin pointed out that the original 6-stud hubs were designed for an engine that was twice as large as the larger engine being used for the 24 Hours, so the 4-stud rear hubs would be perfectly adequate. Secondly, Costin said that the race stewards, not being structural engineers, were not competent to determine if the 4-stud hubs were or were not strong enough. He even offered to go over the calculations with the chief steward to prove his point.

In the end, however, the stewards' final decision was to definitively reject the Lotus 23s on the indisputable grounds that the cars were not in the "spirit of the race!"  Colin Chapman was incensed upon hearing of this ridiculous turn of events and flew to Le Mans the next day. However Chapman failed to move the stewards off their position and the Lotus 23s did not compete.

After the race the 24 Hours organizers, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, asked Chapman to meet with them at their office. With Gerard Crombac present as translator, the Chairman, Jean-Marie Lelievre, admitted to Colin that the organizers had made a mistake and would like to compensate Lotus for their expenses. Colin did some calculations on the back of an envelope and handed it to Lelievre who rejected the figure as too high. Chapman stood up and delivered his famous reply:  "We will never race again at Le Mans!"

 

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Car : 1962 #47 Lotus 23
Team : Lotus Engineering
Drivers : Jim Clark (GB)/ Trevor Taylor (GB)
Qualifying : Did not participate
Result : Did Not start
Model : Spark (S0252)

 

References :

 

https://www.racingsp...ve/K-23-AZ.html



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#100 ensign14

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 08:40

This is why the French have to borrow English for "le fair play".