The latest in a series of special exhibitions to grace the grounds of the Circuit de la Sartre during the week of the Le Mans 24 Hours will feature some of the iconic race cars that have made the trip across the Atlantic to take up the challenge of the greatest race in the world.
On display in a 1200 sq Metre hall on the edge of the Le Mans Village, 16 cars that have raced in the Le Mans 24 Hours will appear in an exhibition devoted to the adventure of North American manufacturers and prominent drivers, at Le Mans.
From the Cunninghams of 1952 to the IMSA cars of the 1970s as well as points in between, before and beyond, including, of course, Ford’s triumph in 1966, the US contribution to the race is marked.
16 exceptional cars that have left their “American” mark on the Le Mans 24 Hours including:
The three Ford GT40s that filled the first three places in 1966. It was an all-American podium with victory going to Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon! Ford made it a point of honour to end Ferrari’s domination of the Le Mans 24 Hours by giving its teams free rein.
The 1970 Porsche 908 Camera Car used during the race itself to capture iconic racing images to be included in Steve Mcqueen’s Le Mans movie.
1976 Corvette Spirit of Le Mans. As a result of the petrol crisis and changing regulations there were fewer cars on the grid. The race organiser wanted to see John Greenwood’s incredibly powerful Corvette, which was a magnet for the media, on the grid and contacted the American to ensure that he would race in the 1976 event.
Greenwood got his hands on a Corvette specially prepared for the IMSA championship. The beautiful American machine carries the colours of the bicentenary of the founding of the United States. This Corvette was entered in the NASCAR category thanks to the creation of the Daytona-Le Mans Trophy.
1979 Porsche 935 driven by famous actor Paul Newman finished second overall on his one and only outing the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1979.
2000 Panoz LMP-1 Roadster-S Don Panoz, a passionate fan of motor sport and Le Mans, is an emblematic figure of the Le Mans 24 Hours. Together with the ACO he created the Petit Le Mans and the American Le Mans Series, races representing the association between Le Mans and the United States on American soil. It was the first agreement signed to spread the Le Mans brand throughout the world.
2016 Corvette C7R entered by Corvette Racing is the latest model Corvette to race at Le Mans winning its category in 2015. The car on display is the reserve for the 2016 race.
And there is also a 1923 Model T Ford, a Cunningham C4-R from 1954, a Corvette entered by Briggs Cunningham in 1960, a 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra, a Ford Torino and a Dodge Charger from 1976, a 1998 Viper GTS C9 and a 2001 Chrysler LMP.
All these cars will also return to the Le Mans 24-Hours circuit for a unique parade on Saturday 18th June at 12h35.
There will also be an exhibition to highlight the stories of the people involved using portraits, film shows, a display of the overalls of drivers who have left their mark on the race, as well as works of the American Pop Art movement inspired by the Le Mans 24 Hours.
This exceptional exhibition will be open to the public from Wednesday 15th till Sunday 19th June.
Wednesday 15th June: 14h00 – midnight
Thursday 16th June: 15h30 – midnight
Friday 17th June: 10h00 – 13h00
Saturday 18th June: 15h00 – midnight
Sunday 19th June: 09h00 – 15h00