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Old 11 Jun 2017, 09:40 (Ref:3740188)   #1
chunterer
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Le Mans cars upto 1980: Favourites and Failures

With the Le Mans classic nearly upon us maybe it's time to look back at some of the great and not so great cars/entrants from the historic period.

So what are peoples favourites, and what would people rather forget?
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Old 11 Jun 2017, 10:19 (Ref:3740193)   #2
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I love the evolutionary Jags, and the fact that I have not been able to watch my 80s WSC DVDs for a long time because I have not had enough time to play them means I can't comment on what was a failure
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Old 11 Jun 2017, 11:02 (Ref:3740205)   #3
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Can anyone (I expect John or bauble here) tell me what is the english equivalent to our "Concours Lépine" please? Its a contest where advanced and crazy ideas are mixed together. In some way, it seems Le Mans has been a contest for amateurs builders too.
I always thought the WM's (Gérard Welter and his troops, Peugeot engine) were rather tricky at speed (confirmed by JC Andruet).
chunterer do you remember a really tall driver (probably Scottish) who could barely close the door of its Ecosse? During the night a mechanic forgot this "detail", slammed the door and exploded the side window (can't remember the year).
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Old 11 Jun 2017, 23:00 (Ref:3740356)   #4
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At a slight tangent to the idea of this thread ....

The Lola Mk6 GT story.

There is a video on the Jay Leno's garage web site that covers what appears to be the first of 3 Mk6 cars which has been in the ownership of Allen Grant for over 50 years (a the time of the video). We are told that Grant was a driver/mechanic working for Shelby on the GT40 project in the UK and saw the car in the corner of a Lola workshop, asked if you could buy it and Eric Broadley agreed despite it being his personal car that he planned, at some point, ot convert to road use.

A great story and makes the provenance rock solid one would assume.


However back in 2014 the second car built went to Auction in the USA. It seems it did no sell at the time. Here is the blurb in the catalogue.

http://www.rmsothebys.com/lots/lot.cfm?lot_id=1068247

This suggests that Ford had bought 2 of the 3 cars built but that this one had been sold privately before hand and the owner, for reasons recounted in the text of the piece, refused to sell his and fitted a Chevy engine using Lola to do the work which included widened track front and rear, etc.

Hall & Hall had rebuilt the car prior to its auction so one wonders if they might have some insight.

One way or another the stories relating to the other two chassis seem to be conflicting. Do Ford still own one? Did they ever own two?


Various photos can be found on the 'net with slightly different specs in terms of appearance. Who knows what might or might not have been under the fibreglass?

The Lolas were surely interesting as LM competitors although not successful but what they eventually led to was of even greater significance in the day.
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Old 11 Jun 2017, 23:28 (Ref:3740361)   #5
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Gerard, I had a look at

www.concours-lepine.com/

and concluded that I cannot think of anything (at least nothing I have heard of) that is similar.

That said I suspect that most research concepts from any UK University might qualify in some way for much the same reason that research projects come to the notice of the Ig nobel Awards.

There was a time when innovation was especially active in motorsport at the very core of racing development and despite the teams being small and, mostly, lacking money.

In the modern day we might see advances in some areas but so many things are constrained - supposedly due to costs - that we end up with kit cars in various formulas that have a life expectancy pre-planned into the package. This is especially true for open wheel formulas but seems also to limit ingenuity (by which I mean serious new idea ingenuity not just clever ways to stretch the rules) in closed wheel racing as well.

But that, as they say, is probably a subject for a different thread.


As another nomination for the thread as intended - the Rover-BRM turbine car.
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Old 12 Jun 2017, 07:37 (Ref:3740421)   #6
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Grant, thanks a lot. The story about the Lola is fascinating. As to our Concours Lépine, its the kind of contest your Colin Fuzz could win every year!

I could watch the BRM in the day and didn't like it much and could say the same thing about the Matra MS640. The Rondeau's were not a great pieces of design imho. Want to spot the difference between privateers cars, yours and ours? Have a look to a De Cadenet and the TECMA 755 (1975)! Back in the day, it seem many competitors can thank the tape for keeping their car in one working piece (may be more!).

For the good side, I can't forget the Ferrari P4 and the Jag' D Type, the kind of machines designed with only one purpose in mind and it shows.
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Old 12 Jun 2017, 15:28 (Ref:3740534)   #7
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The Porsche 935 will always be a favourite. Lola T600 anyone??
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Old 12 Jun 2017, 18:06 (Ref:3740624)   #8
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I just remember the Nimrod Astons, they didn't do much in their time did they?
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Old 13 Jun 2017, 07:13 (Ref:3740766)   #9
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The Mini Marcos from 1966 - that made more of an impression on me as a 10-year old than the 7 litre GT40s.
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Old 13 Jun 2017, 10:46 (Ref:3740831)   #10
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The Marcos was the first chicane fitted to the Hunaudières straight! To some it seemed ugly as a louse but fast as a bee.
Andy, let me please join for the 935. While we are here, can we add the red livery and the Hawaiian Tropic grid girls?
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Old 13 Jun 2017, 15:21 (Ref:3740886)   #11
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Would that be the Dick Barbour porsche or maybe the Manfred Schurti team??
Think the Nimrod did ok at Brands Hatch one year. This is all from memory so stand to be corrected!!
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Old 13 Jun 2017, 16:11 (Ref:3740908)   #12
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As to Barbour team I think you dont need to be corrected. Just add an old joke like "Joest do it!". Barely notice the Nimrod but they shared the Ecosse Team sponsor did they?
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Old 14 Jun 2017, 06:07 (Ref:3741085)   #13
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Its not really my era but the one to forget could be everything with a Panhard engine, DB's, Monopole and so on.
One exception, the CD LM 64, a real ufo on wheels (cant upload a picture).
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Old 14 Jun 2017, 09:33 (Ref:3741125)   #14
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C100: Promised much but project never managed properly and lacked development. Was a handy Supercup car for a while in Germany though. Cracking looking things...

The RML Aston's, serious promise but plug got pulled....

WM's! Qualy headline specials!
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Old 14 Jun 2017, 18:03 (Ref:3741310)   #15
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WM's! Qualy headline specials!
Yes, hence a special track/wheel base ratio. Do you remember all started with a 204 twin carb engine? I always wondered how they managed to record a 405 km/h speed record (Gérard Welter was the Peugeot chief designer). Nice coincidence.
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