Le Mans, as one of the oldest and most famous car racing events, has tested the endurance of many cool cars; those that were able to avoid mechanical damage throughout the entire race, have made history and remained in the spot light of the racing world. Over the years the dominance on the race tracks has shifted between Audi, Porsche, Ford, Ferrari, Jaguar, and all these big shots from the car industry have had their era of reign. Let’s take a look at the 6 Coolest Le Mans cars of all time that can easily attract the attention of all racing fans.
Porsche has always been known for dominating the tracks, supported by the fact that in the period between the 70s and 90s it went home with no less than 16 victories. The 917 model had its debut in 1969, when Ferdinand Piëch still meant little to the car world, but things rapidly changed. Followed by 917s success on Le Mans in the early 70s and its appearance in the best movie of all times, the Steve McQueen film “Le Mans”, Porsche was able to establish itself as one of the most prominent race cars manufacturers that ever took place on the tracks and almost every car they produced made history.
When this magnificent piece of work first appeared on the race tracks in 2001, everyone could notice the potential it had for overtaking the record of 16 victories that Porsche had previously set. The car was equipped with turbocharged V6 engine, 4.0 liters, V6 diesel hybrid that delivered a horsepower of 550 to all four wheels, making the car fast enough and strong enough to sustain the long Le Mans race. The design of the car was impeccable even though the emphasis was given to its performance and the ability to finish the race as a winner.
1995 McLaren F1 GTR
McLaren’s F1 was probably the best car ever produced by the racing manufacturer McLaren and was often referred to as “the greatest supercar of all time”. When McLaren first produced F1 their intention was never to use the car on the race tracks; however, the pressure of the customers and the race teams was unbearable so McLaren had to act fast and please its loyal supporters. Eventuality this led to the idea of creating the F1 GTR, a real race car that debuted in 1995. Its presence on the tracks left everyone astonished by the speed and endurance combined in one piece of art, so the teams that decided to test this little beauty left home taking third, fourth, fifth and 13th place in the 95th Le Mans race. Two years later F1 had its comeback, returning with cool upgrades both aerodynamic and design, finishing second and third on the 1997 Le Mans race. That same year the production of the car has ceased.
1991 Mazda 787B
Competing against the greatest names in the car industry is never easy, but when you are a Japanese manufacturer it is a real challenge. Mazda’s 787B was able to fight for its place on the tracks and surprised everyone by wining Le Mans and taking over the crown from Jaguar. So what was the secret? Many believe that it was the unconventional rotary engine that made the car more reliable than others and very fuel efficient. This led to less visits to the pit stop and repairs which gave the car a fighting chance and enabled it to make history. After this race, Mazda decided to withdraw from Le Mans, adding up to the fuss that was already surrounding the 787B model.
1964 Ferrari 250 LM
In the period between 1960 and 1965, Ferrari had its peak on the racing tracks and completely took over the contest by winning every single race. 250 LM was considered to be the most breathtaking model ever produced, which in 1965 managed to go under the checkered flag first. What made 250 LM even more appealing was the fact that Ferrari decided to manufacture only 34 cars marking this model one of the rarest Ferraris and definitely the most wanted one.
There is no doubt that Ferrari ruled the 60’s, but Jaguar was definitely the predecessor that marked the 50s. Going home with five victories out of six in the period between the early and mid-50s, Jaguar was definitely in the spot light and was not planning on giving up without a fight. Soon the Jaguar D-Type became the talk of the race tracks and everyone was mesmerized by the power of this machine. Seeing the potential of the Jaguar D-Type, the company developed a road version that only a few could resist. Even the famous actor Steve McQueen felt that it would be a pity not to add this car to his collection and pass on the opportunity of owning one of these beauties.
The world of racing is never dull. Some decide to participate due to rush of adrenaline others because they are curious to see how far the companies can go in producing fast and strong cars that can sustain the challenge of Le Mans. In the future many new will come, but one thing is for sure, these six models will always remain to be the Coolest Le Mans cars of all time.