LIFE Archive | Le Mans

Another gem from the Life archive are these shots from the famous endurance race Le Mans. Unlike Formula 1 where you rarely see anyone overtaken and the cars are as fragile as crystal stemware, Le Mans is the ultimate test of speed and reliability. I can only imagine the what it would be like to drive around for 24 straight hours at those speeds, without a windscreen or cockpit. (See sixth photo.)


Update: Check out Truth in 24 (and download for free). Many thanks to reader Drew for the tip.

More LIFE posts here.

Comments on “LIFE Archive | Le Mans

    Jared on March 31, 2009 10:36 AM:

    Nothing like men wearing suits and ties in the pit at a race track.

    Christopher on March 31, 2009 11:16 AM:

    Hell yes. Give me one of those please.

    pitboss12 on March 31, 2009 11:28 AM:

    Great pictures! Endurance races are terrific. 12 hrs of Sebring was great, can’t wait for 24hrs at Le Mans later in the season.

    drewdub on March 31, 2009 11:45 AM:

    If you like this go on itunes and search for “truth in 24” it is a documentary made by Audi about their Le Mans victory last year. It is awesome, in HD, and narrated by Jason Statham, AND ITS FREE! Awesome pictures.

    harlo on March 31, 2009 3:48 PM:

    I wrote a bit in December about Life’s archive of the ’53 LeMans on my blog at

    I particularly dig Pierre Veyron’s long-tail Nash Healey (#10 in the first picture above). Although he was out of the race by the 10th lap, that long tail is absolutely marvelous.

    JP on March 31, 2009 6:06 PM:

    makes me pine for simpler times.

    pitboss12 on March 31, 2009 6:42 PM:

    That Truth in 24 is awesome!

    Derek Kreindler on March 31, 2009 7:49 PM:

    Unreal photos. Also check out the Binghamton Auto Racing Club’s pictures of sports car racing at Sebring, Florida from 1955-1965.

    Coleman Horn on March 31, 2009 11:52 PM:

    Badass.. for more of 50’s – 80’s racing photos check the master of motorsports photography, Jesse Alexander. You have most likely seen some of his images already as Porsche uses his images for their marketing in relevance of historical races.

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