Sunday, June 24, 2007

France - Le Mans race track

When Zac first started talking about going to Le Mans, France to teach the only thing I knew about the town was its famous race track.
Being a car guy all my life, I has been watching the 24hrs of Le Mans for many years. Back before cable and satellite tv there was very little auto racing on tv. ABC's Wide World of Sports always carried the race.

As soon as I decided to visit him, I knew a trip to the track was a "must" for me.
On Sunday after visiting the market, boarded a city bus and headed to the race track. The city bus does not go all the way so we have a very enjoyable walk of a mile or so. As we neared the track and its car museum we noticed engine noises from the race track. As we walked closer we saw motorcycles parked everywhere.

They were having practice runs for a big motorcycle race. Usually when you pay to visit the museum you are allowed to walk on the racetrack and sit in the grandstands. The motorcycle time trials were charging 18 Euros.

The auto museum was not what I was expecting.

I thought it would be just the cars that raced at Le Mans, but the larger part of it was just a very nice car museum with cars was all over the world. Only a small part was racing automobiles.

It did have the greatest American road racing car of all time.

The 1967 Ford GT40 that "kicked the Europeans butt".

"GT 40" because it was a GRAND TOURING car and only 40 inches high.

And IMHO the most beautiful race car of all time, the 1953 Ferrari.

This large megaphone clock hung from the ceiling. With a mouth of about 3 ft and an overall length of more that 6 feet, it was impressive. The "works" were in the small end and the hands extending to the large end.
The temperatures were starting to be rather nice so we just walked back toward town passing several bus stops instead of just waiting for the bus at the end of the line.

This was just an ordinary suburban street in Le Mans along the bus route.


Jeff Roberts said...

Sounds fun! One regret from our trip to Italy was not getting to see the Ferrari factory. We did see them road testing one outside Modena, though.

Anonymous said...

I have always enjoyed the 24 hours of Le Mans. I hope to see it in person some day.

It's too bad that enduro racing has never really caught on here in the US. Back in the days of Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, etc, there was a 12 hour enduro held annually at the (former) Riverside Raceway in California, which ended when they closed that track. Now, the 24 hours of Daytona is the only American enduro remaining that I can think of.


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