Rare Historic Cars Gather for
ACO Centenary Races at Le Mans


ex-Fangio Alfa Romeo 6C 3000CM
ex-Fangio Alfa Romeo 6C 3000CM

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10th May, 2006

Entries for the historic support races at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours include some rarely seen historic gems. In celebration of the Centenary of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), this year sees not one, but two historic support races, both taking place on the morning of Saturday 17th June, a few hours before the start of the modern 24 Hours.

In the ACO Centenary Race for post-War cars up to 1955, entries include the ex-Fangio Alfa Romeo 6C 3000CM, once given to Peron, President of Argentina; the Works Ferrari 750 Monza, built by the Factory for Maglioli and Bucci in the 1955 Buenos Aires 1000Km; and the very first production C-type, after the first 3 racers – now the oldest C-type in the world.

There’s also the OSCA MT4 originally owned by Briggs Cunningham; an Porsche 356; Cooper Jaguar UBH 292 – the first Jaguar chassis made by Cooper and the car driven by Dick Steed in the 1957 Mille Miglia; a 1951 lightweight XK120 built by Jaguar as a standby for Le Mans in case the C-types weren’t ready; not to mention Aston Martin DB2s, a Gullwing Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari 375MM, Fiat 8V, Triumph TR2 and many other icons of their era.

The ACO Centenary Race for pre-War cars is no less exciting, with entries ranging from Lagonda V12 Le Mans, to Lea-Francis, Rileys and an ex-Amherst Villiers Bugatti Type 35, which in 1928 was raced by Raymond Mays. There’s an Invicta (raced in the 1950s by Lord Hamilton) as well as Bentley 3-Litres and 4½-Litres; plus a Stutz Blackhawk to challenge them. The Aston Martin entries include Speed Models and Ulsters, while former England Rugby Captain David Cooke will be racing his Alfa Romeo 6C. Meanwhile there are Talbots, Alta Sports and BMW 328s; plus a whole host of MGs – from PB to K3.

Each ACO Centenary Race is 40 minutes long, and will start with the traditional ‘ear of corn’ formation where the drivers run across the track to their cars. The pace car leading the formation lap before each race will be a CAV GT – a top quality re-production of the Ford GT40 built by South Africa-based Auto Futura. Sir Stirling Moss will pilot the CAV GT during the first pace car lap and, when Sir Stirling takes his place as a competitor on the grid for the second race, he will hand the CAV GT pace car over to race driver and journalist Tony Dron.

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