The OTHER cars of Le Mans

Away from the action on-track at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans, we stumbled across some other automotive gems

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If you downloaded your spotter’s guide for this year’s Le Mans, chances are the Porsche 919 Hybrid, Nissan GT-R LM Nismo, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, and Corvette C7.R were key buzzwords during those 24 hours. Less likely to have been uttered in the same breath though were names like TVR, MG, Shelby and Jensen, but since took a few hours out to tour the Houx campsite at La Sarthe, this – plus the awesome selection of automotive porn we stumbled across – was forefront in our minds during the weekend.

Behind the scenes at Le Mans 2015-02

This 550 Maranello for example, which – given the amount of images he came back with – our deputy editor spent about an hour ogling. First released in 1996, the 550 was Ferrari’s replacement for the 512, and packed some serious oomph into the bag. 0-100kph was taken care of in just over four seconds, thanks to the 478bhp 5.5-litre V12 belted down under the bonnet.

Behind the scenes at Le Mans 2015-15

Sticking with Maranello for a few moments, we have one of our personal favourites at, the 348 TB. With almost 9000 models made, this mid-engined rear-wheel drive prancing horse was powered by a 3.4-litre V8 that kicked out 300hp. It may not have been the quickest Ferrari ever made, but few came close to matching this Pininfarina-sculpted beauty.

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Quick break to bring you some words of wisdom from the Houx campsite…

Behind the scenes at Le Mans 2015-57

Jaguar’s no stranger to motorsport, having won Le Mans seven times, its last in 1990 with Martin Brundle, John Nielsen, Price Cobb and the XJR-12. Arguably Coventry’s most famous winner though was the Silk Cut-liveried XJR-9, which took both Le Mans in 1988 and that year’s World Sports Prototype Championship. Whether this Bedford van has met with similar success, we can only guess.

Behind the scenes at Le Mans 2015-11

Bit of a cheat we admit, since we only stumbled across this 558bhp V10 Porsche Carrera GT heading towards the circuit once we’d left the campsite. Still, how often do you see Porsche’s Mercedes SLR-destroying supercar on the road?

Behind the scenes at Le Mans 2015-37

And finally, there’s…this. Having toured the archives, we think we know where this Range Rover owner got his inspiration from…


Categories: Road


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