100 Years of Le Mans at Monterey Motorsports Reunion
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion will be showcasing a Le Mans Heritage Legends Display in honor of the upcoming 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The collection of class and overall winning cars will be on display at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca August 17-20.
Looking back at the first running of Le Mans in 1923 we’ve witnessed the evolution of the classic endurance race from being won by a taxi builder in its first year to the cutting edge showcase of automotive technology we enjoy today.
The cars that will be displayed are all winners or significant entrants that raced at Le Mans over its century-long lifespan. Each car that will be part of the Legends Heritage Display is the real deal, having driven in anger on the epic track in the French countryside. The cars are coming from museums and private collections and, although they no longer race their owners will be able to drive exhibition laps each day so the spectators may appreciate the sights and sounds of this massive gathering of classic Le Mans race cars.
Combined with cars racing in the Le Mans-spec groups, of which there are four different classes, this may prove to be the largest gathering of genuine Le Mans cars ever seen in the US. Some of the impressive cars taking part in the event include:
- 1929 Bentley Speed Six – Driven by the original “Bentley Boys” to consecutive overall wins in 1929 and 1930
- 1951 Porsche 356/2 063 – The very first Porsche entered in the 24 Hours and class winner
- 1952 Mercedes 300SL W194 – The first German car ever to achieve an overall victory at Le Mans and is, to this day, the only Mercedes factory-built car to win Le Mans
- 1955 Jaguar D-Type XKD – The 1956 overall winner, second of three consecutive overall wins for the D-Type
- 1965 Ferrari 250 LM – The last Ferrari to capture overall honors in 1965
- The original Ford GT40s that dominated by winning overall in 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969
- 1984 Mazda Lola T616 – The first class winner for Mazda
- 2005 Audi R8 LMP1 – Overall winner and part of the string of Audi performance mastery
- 2007 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP – The most recent overall winner displayed
In addition to more than 50 Le Mans cars that will form the Le Mans Heritage Legends Display, about 400 historic racing cars will compete in 14 different groups. These will range from the 1909 Lcomobile Model “I” to a 2007 Pescarolo LMP1 car with 700 horsepower turning its wheels.
This is shaping up to be an unmissable event for anyone passionate about Le Mans-style endurance racing, or really racing in general.