Picture: The Ferrari 250 GTO which came second in 1963 (Fotorissima)
The Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille is celebrating Ferrari’s 70th anniversary in September with an exceptional retrospective retracing Maranello’s history at the Le Mans 24-Hours. Some significant 30-cars that have taken part in the race will be on display on Le Nôtre’s lawns at the famouschateau.
Celebrating Ferrari’s 70th anniversary by retracing the make’s history at the Le Mans 24-Hours was a logical move for Peter Auto, which organises Le Mans Classic every two years in association with the Automobile Cub de l’Ouest. It was also a big challenge taking into account the fact that the Italian make has racked up 407 entries in 56 events in the Sarthe since 1949! Ferrari’s overall results include nine outright victories and 21 category wins (the most recent this year in LM GTE Am).
The Peter Auto team has put together a collection of around 30 Ferraris that have left their mark on the history of the Le Mans 24-Hours from 1950 to today. They will be in competition in the different classes of the Concours d’Etat at Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille, and some of the highlights of the collection are:
Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa (0728TR)
In 1958, this car with aerodynamic bodywork designed by Pininfarina and made by Scaglietti broke the D-Type Jaguar’s domination of the Le Mans race. The 250 TR in the hands of Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill gave the Scuderia its third victory in the Sarthe.
Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competition (2129GT)
First triple for Ferrari and victory in the Grand Touring class in 1961, but this car run by the Equipe Nationale Belge didn’t have much luck as it retired due to an accident in the fifth hour. It didn’t really matter as it had already written its name in the legend of motor racing by winning the Tour de France Auto in 1960.
Ferrari Breadvan (2819GT)
Giotto Bizzarrini and Carlo Chiti were fired by Ferrari so they joined up with Count Giovanni Volpi in 1962. The pair set themselves the challenge of beating the Scuderia with a short-chassis 250 GT (2nd in the Tour de France Auto in 1961). The result of their handiwork was this amazing looking machine nicknamed the “Breadvan” that retired in the fourth hour (transmission failure) after making a good start to the race.
Ferrari 250 GTO (4293GT)
Ferrari put on a brilliant display at Le Mans in 1963 as his cars filled the first six places in the 24-Hours race. But it was all thanks to private teams like the Équipe Nationale Belge which brought this 250 GTO home in second position overall with victory in the Grand Touring category to boot! This car also won the Spa 500 Km with Willy Mairesse at the wheel.
Dino 166P/206P (0834)
Enzo Ferrari created the Dino so as not to devalue the Ferrari name whose cars were powered almost exclusively by V12 engines. The 166P arrives at Le Mans in 1965, but the small 1600 cc V6 under the bonnet quickly collapses. Nevertheless, thanks to the 250LM, this very year Ferrari is the last one which sees Ferrari overall win.
Ferrari 330 P4 (0858)
The P4 often considered as the most beautiful racing car in the history of motor sport competed in the “Race of the Century” in 1967. The outcome of the memorable battle between Ford and Ferrari was victory for the American giant and the Scuderia was defeated. Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti brought this car home in second place.
Ferrari 312 P (0872)
There were no works Ferraris at Le Mans in 1968. The following year the Scuderia was back having built a car that complied with the new 3-litre regulations for prototypes. On lap 1 Chris Amon ran over debris from the Porsche 917 crashed by John Woolfe at Maison Blanche. The 312 P was rebuilt, sold to the N.A.R.T, and ranked 4th at Daytona 1970.
Ferrari 512 S Spyder (1002)
Twenty-five 5-litre 512 Ss were built to obtain homologation in Group 5 (5-litre prototypes). The cars were then sold to various private teams including the Escuderia Montjuich. This yellow Ferrari retired in 1970 (accident) and 1971 (gearbox) although it finished second in the 1971 Tour de France Auto.
Ferrari 512 S Berlinetta (1016)
This car was one of the stars of Steve McQueen’s film Le Mans shot in the summer of 1970. It looked marvellous in its long-tail version and it also stood out because of the bubble in the roof to accommodate the tall Mike Parkes. In the race the Englishman collided with two other Ferraris in Maison Blanche.
Ferrari 312 PB (0892)
After the withdrawal of the Prancing Horse the previous year the long-awaited duel between Ferrari and Matra took place in 1973. The 312PB made its Le Mans debut a year after its construction. Driven by Carlos Pace and Arturo Merzario this car led the race after 6 hours, but was overtaken by the Pescarolo-Larrousse Matra and finished second.
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Competizione S2 (15373)
The Daytona was a true Grand Tourer and not a road-going car derived from racing which was Ferrari’s policy at the time. The Daytona 365 GTB/4 Competizione had an exceptionally long life and was raced in the Le Mans 24 Hours by private teams between 1971 and 1978. This car finished eighth in 1972 driven by Derek Bell, Teddy Pilette and Richard Bond.
Ferrari 308 GT4/LM (08020)
At the end of 1973 Ferrari gave up endurance, leaving it up to privateer teams like N.A.R.T which transformed this series production 308 GT4 into a racing car. The first participation ended with a clutch breakdown while it could not qualify the following year…. Indeed the car which was not GT homologated had to fight against the prototypes!
Ferrari 512 BBLM (32129)
For the first time since 1949 there were no Ferraris at the start of the 24-Hour race in 1976. Once again, in 1979, the make owed its return to N.A.R.T, which brought along a 512 BB prepared to American Championship IMSA specifications. This imposing-looking machine raced in the Sarthe until 1982, but was unable to match Porsche mainly due to a fragile gearbox. Nevertheless, this model entered by Charles Pozzi ranked 10th in 1980.
Ferrari F40 LM (74045)
The BPR Championship was responsible for the return of Grand Touring cars in force to Le Mans. Several teams opted for the F40 LM, a car that was initially developed for the IMSA Championship. While McLaren pulled off a surprise victory with its F1 GTR beating the prototypes, Michel Ferté in his blue Ferrari also distinguishes himself with a 12th place.
Ferrari 333 SP (019)
The 333 SP, unveiled in 1993, marked Ferrari’s return to sports-prototype racing after a 20-year absence. But the Scuderia never entered works cars. In 1998 this 333 SP ordered by Giampiero Moretti (MOMO) won the Daytona 24 Hours followed by the Sebring 12 Hours. At Le Mans it was up against tougher opposition and finished 14th. Another identical model saw the flag in eighth place.
Prodrive Ferrari 550 GTO (108462)
Another private effort. The 550 Maranello was designed at Prodrive in England and was so successful that it awakened the mother company’s interest. The latter then began to develop its own cars which it sold to semi-official teams. In 2003 this car won the GTS class at the Le Mans 24 Hours marking a turning point in the event’s history as it sparked Ferrari’s official return to GT racing.