Entries in Le Mans (15)


Pete Brock's JP6 Prototype: Toyota's stillborn Le Mans project

Reading this month's Vintage Racecar Magazine, I came across a fantastic period photo of a gorgeous low-slung GT car prototype. Its designer was Pete Brock, who penned the Shelby Daytona Coupe and was the originator of the Corvette Sting Ray.  Brock and his buddies Bruce Burness and Trevor Harris got together to design this car from the ground up for Toyota at their shop in California. This followed on the heels of Brock's successful work for Japanese maker Hino, which was then acquired by Toyota. By this point, Brock enjoyed a good reputation in Japan, which must be how he was commissioned to create the JP6.

The JP6 was to be Toyota's 2-Liter entry for Le Mans, using the inline six from the 2000GT as its powerplant (with view towards an eventual V8) and a diminutive spaceframe structure for the chassis. Development started in 1966, but was scuppered due to lack of funding by '67, and Toyota had the prototype shipped back to them where it presumably was scrapped or used as a testbed for other more promising projects. The car never turned a wheel in anger, but it certainly looked state of the art for the time, and was achingly beautiful. I have no idea what happened to the prototype, but I would certainly love to see it come out of the shadows if it does still exist.

Image credits: Automobile Magzine, top. Other images from Shin Yoshikawa's book on the 2000GT.

More info in French at 2000gt.net


Transport me back...to Le Mans 1953

The transporter is filled with gorgeous Alfa 6C 3000 CM Coupes.

Here's a fantastic little video shot in an ex-Fangio roadster version. The car is being driven out of the Alfa Museo Storico grounds at the start and right out onto the public roads. The driver uncorks it at 1:32 and the magnificent sound is really something to hear!

This video was taken in the same car, but on Alfa's Balocco test circuit.

Hat tip to Off Camber on the photo


McQueen, Porsche, Gulf

'Nuff said. No caption needed.

Hat tip to Off Camber!


Allez les Bleus

First, let me apologize for going a week with no new posts! Things have been busy over in Automobiliac HQ, but I have some very exciting new posts in the works, including a Greenwich Concours gallery, as well as some Alfa GTV6 track day video!  So stay tuned for more!

And of course, Le Mans is right around the corner, so I thought I would show my bias towards the French by posting a photo of what has to be the prettiest prototype racing car of the 90s, and which marked Peugeot's return to La Sarthe. The 905 did eventually win the race, but with a less elegant body than the early version pictured here.  The new Audi looks totally sweet, but I am a total sucker for French victory at Le Mans!


Video of the Week: Sauber Mercedes C11 hot lap at Le Mans 

Continuing our "Silver Arrow" theme:

The C11 is, to my mind, one of the cleanest, most purposeful-looking sports racing prototypes of its time.  And boy was it ever fast! Let's watch as a very skilled and brave driver laps Le Mans in the now-vintage C11 in 2010.  His bold passing maneuver at 1:30 might take your breath away for a moment...