Motorsport News - Historic
Legendary American racing cars at Le Mans Classic
15th June 2012
This year, the United States will be one of the event’s themes with the presence on track of mythical made in USA machines which illustrated themselves at Le Mans. Beginning with one of the first: the Stutz Blackhawk classified 2nd in the 1928 Le Mans 24 Hours. The AC Cobra, incredible racing car imagined by Carroll Shelby who left us last May 10th and to whom a special tribute will be paid during Le Mans Classic. A rare Coupé Daytona will be entered in the grid 4, driven by Argentinian Luis Perez Companc, a regular at Le Mans and the 24 Hours. Only six Coupé Daytonas were built by Shelby from 1964 to 1965, including the one entrusted to Dan Gurney and Bob Bondurant in 1964 which fulfilled the target fixed by its manufacturer: beating Ferrari in the GT category. But also the Ford GT40, model which won the Le Mans 24 Hours four succesive times, from 1966 à 1969… The Ford MKII which completed the brand’s historical triple win in 1966 will be in grid 5. In total, more than twenty rarissime AC Cobras and GT40s will be on the track. Two Mustang Shelbys, a Cheetah G601 and a Howmet TX will also be at the party.
The United States will also be represented by old models of the very popular NASCAR championship come to affront the most performing European machines of the time. Indeed, 1976 marked the rapproachment between Le Mans and the American series. Bill France, NASCAR founder, was invited to give the start of the 44th edition in which the Ford Gran Torino and a Dodge Charger took part. These two spectacular "monsters", with their dimensions and the mechanical thunder of their powerful V8s, are back in the Sarthe, as is a Chevrolet Monza, rival of Porsche in IMSA.
Over forty American cars and thirty American drivers will take the start.
The American brand clubs will also hold a place of honour during this 6th edition. From the Viper Passion Club to several Mustang Clubs including the Club Cobra France and Corvette France or again the GT40 Enthusiasts Club, a dozen of them will perfectly illustrate the outrageousness of the “New Continent". Some will celebrate the Rockabilly, Drivin’ or Jazzy themes with the group Hot Swing Orchestra on board a Chevrolet.
Other highlight in the Le Mans Heritage Club Concours; the presentation of the 1950 Cadillac “Le Monstre”, designed by genius Briggs Cunningham. This unique machine will come especially from the United States where it figures among the beautiful Collier Collection cars. Another jewel will be sent to the Sarthe: the Coupé Cadillac Series 61 which will play guest star in the Cadillac display.
Finally, miniatures of American cars will be present in the Little Big Mans grid. Several Ford GT40s, a Ford Gran Torino and a Dodge Charger driven by Christophe Schwartz’s two daughters. Christophe is entered in grid 6 with the original version.
From 6 to 8 July, part of the paddock will be living at American time.
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