10 June 2023

Cadillac At Le Mans-

The "24 Hours of Le Mans" is being run today. As a BIG racing fan this is an important day for me. "Motor Trend TV" is broadcasting the race in its entirety.
The wonderful unfolding stories during this endurance race interest me.
"Racing improves the breed" has always been the mantra, and it's certainly true. For years enthusiasts have pointed to Ray Haroun's use of a rear-view mirror in the first Indy 500.

The photo above depicts two Cadillacs that were campaigned in the 1950 Le Mans race by a sportsman named Briggs Cunningham. The strange looking beast was aptly nicknamed "Le Monstre" by the locals and, with special aerodynamic alterations to the body, was purposely designed to just go FAST. The other was a relatively stock 1950 "Series 61" Cadillac Sedan.
And the "unfolding stories" I referred to?
Cunningham crashed "Le Monstre" and retired it from the event.
The old Cadillac Sedan soldiered on, and "Grandpa's car" finished 10th overall ahead of the specialty-for-the-race built "Le Monstre" which came in 11th.

For differential speed and safety reasons, there basically are three classes of cars that now race at Le Mans.
Yes, it makes the race safer.
But does it make the event more interesting?
Not to me.


Greybeard said...

A better look at the Series 61:

Old NFO said...

And NASCAR is running a Gen 7 Camaro this year, so far, over 1000 miles, and in 35th place!

Old NFO said...

Cadillac finished 3rd and 4th in Hyper, Corvette won GT, and the NASCAR Camaro made it to the end, doing over 2000 miles! I'd call that a bunch of wins!

Greybeard said...

In my post I say Cunningham "retired Le Monstre from the event".
That's mistaken.
He stuffed it into a sandbank early on in the event and spent MANY minutes digging the car out by hand.
Still, he finished 11th, (just behind the relatively stock Caddy!)
I still look at photos of that whale of a car and try to imagine watching it beat "Sport Cars" specifically designed to win that race.