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The 12 Most Extraordinary Cars Ever to Participate at Le Mans
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The 12 Most Extraordinary Cars Ever to Participate at Le Mans

1929 Bentley Speed

The 1929 Bentley Speed was a monster, meaning it was very large. It was known for its big speed, big power, and durability. Woolf Barnato and Tim Birkin drove the 1929 Bentley Speed to win the 24 Hours by 70 miles in 1929, winning one-two – with its sister - only a year later. If you take a moment to stare at this thing, you will think that it is just a truck.

1955 Nardi Bisiluro

The 1955 Nardi Bisiluro was built by Carlo Mollino and Enrico Nardi, two Italian engineers in 1955. The couple wanted to tackle the famous Jaguar and Ferrari racing teams. They wanted to defeat these teams by making the Bisiluro a machine with lower drag and higher cornering speed. The driver had to live in one “pod” while the engine lived in the other. The car was damaged too greatly to continue the race when it was blown off by a passing car.

1967 Chaparral 2F

The 1967 Chaparral 2F was made by Texan Jim Hall, an innovative car at the time. The Texan Jim Hal created tons of groundbreaking designs for cars, becoming famous for being a pioneer in the aerodymanics of race cars. The driver could adjust the rear wing with the foot pedal using the automatic transmission easily. This car competed at Le Mans only once, after racing just 225 laps.

1966 Mini Marcos

The 1966 Mini Marcos was the oddest-looking and smallest car on the 24 Hours's track in 1966. In fact, the car was based on the Mini Cooper, a new car at the time. The 1966 Mini Marcos was the only British vehicle to finish the race in 1966. This racing car also looked much like a cartoon bunny.

1968 Howmet TX

The 1968 Howmet TX's stands for Turbine eXperimental, a vehicle powered by a famous turbine engine. The 1968 Howmet TX was probably the coolest turbine-powered car at the time, though it was not the first turbine to ever race at Le Mans. McKee Engineering made the chassis, Continental Aviation leased the turbine, and Dr. Dick Thompson and Bob Tullius handled the driving duties.

1979 Hershel McGriff

The 1979 Hershel McGriff was one of the most famous of American thunders to race at the 24 Hours. Mr. McGriff's stylish vehicles were based on awesome circle-track designs modified just for the stress of every race. These cars were amazing and weird at the same time. Mr. McGriff's cars never finished quite well, but they were just amazing anyway.

1950 Cadillac Series

The 1950 Cadillac Series reveals what happens when you take a 50's Cadillac coupe stripping it down and then clothing it in a weird purpose-built bodywork taking advantage of the 50's knowledge of aerodynamics and vehicle drag. Briggs Cunningham took the 1950 Cadillac Series to the 24 Hours along with another famous vehicle. The vehicle finished 10th, and the French press nicknamed it “The Monster.”

1980 Dome Zero

The 1980 Dome Zero was created by Minoru Hayashi competing in the 24 Hours for 3 years. It looks odd like a shingle or a Porsche sports racer. The best finish of the 1980 Dome Zero came in 1980 when it finished only 100 laps down from the race's winner. This is a cool car, and it makes me wish long live Japan's weirdness.

1983 Rondeau M482

The 1983 Rondeau M482 was built by Jean Rondeau to top a previous car he made before. The 1983 Rondeau M482 ran at the 24 Hours five times from 1983 to 1987. Its best finish occurred in 1984 when it finished 12th featuring an unorthodox aerodynamics at all times making it stand out in the race.

1991 Mazda 787B

The 1991 Mazda 787B's engine roared like a bloodthirsty chainsaw at all times. This is the first Japanase car ever winning at Le Mans. The 1991 Mazda 787B did not have a piston, making it the first non-piston car to ever win at this race. This machine went up really against the best of the time: Jaguar, Mercedes Benz, and Porsche.

2006 Audi R10

The 2006 Audi R10 featured a two-thousand-pound chassis and two turbocharges to annihilate every corner, but noise was really the coolest thing. The 2006 Audi R10's intricate plumbing and turbos silenced every little sound the engine could have made while running.

2012 Deltawing

The 2012 Deltawing was shaped like a sex organ featuring two wide tires out back and two tiny ones up front. The 2012 Deltawing was a clear rethink of the modern automobile becoming the oddest thing to run at the 24 Hours in years. Neither a success nor a failure, and weird as hell.

 

 

Featured image: JPRoche (Wikipedia CC)

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  1. Clint Spencer
    Clint Spencer
    If it would come to one, my pick would definitely be Hershel McGriff. A car way ahead of its time in many aspects. Such raw power on four wheels, not to mention the aesthetics, really make this car an icon.
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  2. Danchula
    Nice post! Keep it up!
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