Featured: This Is Why the Le Mans Classic Is a Premier Vintage Race

This Is Why the Le Mans Classic Is a Premier Vintage Race

By Petrolicious Productions
July 9, 2014

Photography by Rémi Dargegen for Petrolicious

Really, it’s a pretty simple formula: take a group of exciting, historic race cars add a classic, barely-quieted track (this year’s twenty-four hour race ran only three weeks prior), and 100,000 rabid fans and you have magic. And what cars they were! This year over 650 historic racers dating from 1923 through 1979 roared down the Mulsanne straight in six different grids giving fans a view of racing’s evolution.

There are seventy-five cars per grid and the three oldest grids include an ‘old Le Mans’ start. If you’re a fan of Ms. Miley Cyrus’s and don’t know what this means, see the photo below of the racers running across the track. See, before 1970, the drivers and cars were inconveniently placed across the track from one another forcing racers to run across the track, jump in the car, fire it up, and haul ass as quickly as possible. As an aside, this is why Porsche’s ignition cylinder is located to the left of the steering column as it allowed racers to use their left hand to start the car and engage first gear with their right.

As you can imagine, the sound and spectacle are incredible! Particularly nowadays with technology becoming quieter and more efficient, hearing seventy-five monsters ripping down the Circuit de La Sarthe at full-song has to be heard to be believed. Until you can make to Le Mans yourself, enjoy these pics! And let us know what your favorite is…


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Kevin Tossens
Kevin Tossens
9 years ago

This is magical! Le Mans is in my opinion the most legendary track of them all.

Thanks a lot Petrolicious for those wonderful pictures!!!

Redvers Arnold
Redvers Arnold
9 years ago

Having attended all of the Le Mans Classic events since they started, this is a fantastic event but it’s not only the racing that you remember, however it is hard to beat standing in the pit lane and hearing (and feeling) the noise when a full grid of 1970’s racers blast past in the middle of the night. We now travel down from the UK a couple of days before and make a week of it and the whole experience is a travelling classic car show. Whilst waiting at the ferry ports and on board the ferries watching all the classics of all shapes and sizes arriving, or motoring down the French A roads where virtually every café in every village has some classics out side or wondering around the camp sites full of classics in the evening with a glass of wine in hand admiring and chatting to all of the other owners it is simply a great experience.

Alexander Bermudez
Alexander Bermudez
9 years ago

Amazing Photography as always Rémi….

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