Tag Archives: France

Ford at the Le Mans Race

Ford at the Le Mans Race 1964 Ford GT40The Le Mans race is the oldest continuous car race and has been going on since 1923, other than 1936 and the years between 1940 and 1948 due to World War II. Racing teams keep their car going for 24 hours as drivers drive prestigious and fast cars for two hours at a time. They rest for two hours and then get back to it again. Most recent changes have changed the teams from two drivers to three drivers. The race has been held in Le Mans, France and is always scheduled in the summer. 1954 JaguarOver the nearly 90 years of racing, the majority of winning automobiles have been made by European carmakers. In the first ten years of the race, the majority of winners were cars made by Bentley or Alfa Romeo. In the 1950s, the majority of winners were manufactured by Ferrari or Jaguar. The winners seemed to flip-flop between cars made in Italy and in the UK, until the late-1960s, when Ford GT40 models were back-to-back winners for four straight years. The Ford GT40 was the first American-made car to win the Le Mans. After the four Ford GT40 wins, the only other American-made entry was a McLaren F1 GTR in 1995. The first year that the Ford GT40 won, it did not just win, but a GT40 finished in first, second, and third place. The winning drivers in 1966 included Bruce McLaren a driver from New Zealand and Chris Amon. The following year, AJ Foyt and Dan Gurney took first, with McLaren’s team coming up in fourth. In 1968, only one Ford GT40 finished in the top 10 and it was raced by Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi. In its final year of racing, the 1969 winning team included Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver. A second Ford GT40 finished in third place that year. Interestingly, two of the GT40 drivers, AJ Foyt and Jacky Ickx, were some of the most successful drivers in the history of the Le Mans races. Foyt won three times, which was exactly how many times he participated in the race. Ickx won six times.

1938 Delahaye

Delahaye: As promised, we are featuring the first of several cars which will be making an appearance at this year’s Rétromobile, the Paris auto show. In the middle of the Great Depression, not long before the start of WWII, few things stood out in a community as much as a shiny, new, low-riding vehicle that made any classic gangster command the respect they so desired on the streets. One such car was the 1938 Delahaye Type 165.

Panhard Dyna X

The Panhard company, which is based in Paris, France, was one of the very first automobile manufacturers in the world, and they remain in business today. (Though these days they are focused on the production of vehicles intended for use in military applications.) Panhard was founded in 1887, and it was originally a partnership between René Panhard and Émile Levassor. They were able to debut their initial model in 1890, and they are widely considered to have pioneered the transmission as we now know it, which first appeared in the 1895 Panhard. A Panhard driven by Émile Levassor took home the top two spots in the first automobile race in history, the Paris to Bordeaux to Paris event that was held in 1895. He covered the distance of about 732 miles in just under 49 hours. https://www.google.com/images/cleardot.gif