Travel: 40 Photos That Prove Pre-War Cars Are The Most Fun You Can Have At Le Mans

40 Photos That Prove Pre-War Cars Are The Most Fun You Can Have At Le Mans

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
July 12, 2016
2 comments

Photography by Tim Scott

Like life here on earth, the early days of automotive evolution produced some truly striking, fearsome, and hilarious-looking creatures…er, cars. This is probably best illustrated by experiencing the fastest Pre-War cars battling tooth and nail at Circuit de la Sarthe, home to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s evolution, turned up to 11.

If you’re approaching Pre-War cars with a love of ’60s-’80s sports cars, the early streamlined BMW 328 roadsters in this selection of photos by Tim Scott will be closest to your heart. Its smaller, more nimble packaging shows how sports cars were to evolve after the war, and its 100-plus victories across the world in period are one of the reasons drivers looked to Munich if they wanted to go quickly.

Built between 1936-1940, the cars couldn’t have been more different from the massive Bentleys, E.R.A.s, Bugattis, MGs, Rileys, Invictas, Lagondas, and other marques that took to the grid during the Le Mans Classic weekend.

To say it was quite the sight watching these cars race into the night is probably an understatement: the event boasted more than 60 entrants and 50 finishers, with the top three places earned by a Talbot, Talbot Lago, and BMW 328, respectively. In terms of having fun while racing, Pre-War cars are also great for touring—and many entrants did just that, turning up at the track, having a few races, and driving home again. Tastefully, no doubt.

Which of these Pre-War cars strikes your fancy? I’m partial to sporty models from Talbot and Delage, myself…

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Darel Matthews
Darel Matthews

WHAT is that stunning bit of purple awesomeness? Some sort of Alfa, I assume, from the “Superleggera” visible in one photo?

HitTheApex
HitTheApex

Great photos! I can almost hear the motors as the cars speed past.