Countdown to Le Mans: EP7&8: 5 Le Mans race cars you can buy right away!
Is this the dream 5-car garage of race cars?
Ever imagined having a 5-car garage full of historic race cars? This might be your chance to make it real! Here are 5 amazing cars that raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that are currently for sale.
Image from Fiskens
1. Ferrari 275 GTB/C Competizione
If you were a Ferrari aficionado watching the movie Ford vs Ferrari, you would have definitely noticed one of these cars racing around La Sarthe. The 275 GTB Competizione presented here by Fiskens is a true gem that took part in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. This car was campaigned by Ecurie Francorchamps, a devoted Ferrari privateer team from Belgium. They have campaigned Ferraris at Le Mans ever since 1957, making them one of the most prominent privateers along with the N.A.R.T. team from the USA.
Painted in the signature Giallo Fly of team Ecurie Francorchamps, Pierre Noblet and Claude Dubois drove the car to the checkered flag, finishing 10th overall and 2nd in the GT class. It would later go on to win the 1966 Mont Ventoux Hill Climb with Lucien Bianchi. The success of this car was thanks to the highly upgraded specifications of the car. It had a lightweight custom chassis, the Tipo 213 V12 tuned with better internals and custom carburetors from Weber, and a superlightweight bodywork that would result in a 1,070kg car with 282hp, which was a lot for the era. This 275 GTB/C Competizione being sold is a desirable Ferrari GT, both for the road and the track.
Image from Girado & Co
2. Lancia LC1
If the 275 GTB/C was a nice plate of Pomodoro pasta, here is some spicy Arabiatta for you; the Lancia LC1. While most car fans relate Lancia with their rally monsters like the Stratos and the 037, Lancia actually took part in endurance racing as well, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Now, before you insert that overused “Hahaha, Italian car unreliable! They go sBinalla!” joke, the Lancia LC1 was a serious contender in the World Sportscar Championship like this LC1-0002 being sold here by Girado & Co.
The Lancia LC1 was a Group 6 prototype racer from Lancia. With the built by the legendary Giampolo Dallara himself and with the turbocharged I4 engine based on the competition-proven Beta Montecarlo Turbo. The 1.4L engine would have a single KKK K27 turbocharger along with a revised engine block and cylinder heads, producing 450hp. For a car that only weighed 640kg, this was some serious horsepower.
The LC1-0002 was a full-time participant of the 1982 WSC and was a competitive Group 6 car that would even fight with newer Group C cars. Driven by Teo Fabi and Grand Prix winner, Michele Alboreto, the LC1-0002 earned itself a victory at the Nurburgring 1000km, which was one of the most gruelling races of the season. It would also enter the 1982 24 Hours of Le Mans, taking pole position for the Group 6 cars, but eventually retire due to a mechanical issue. At the end of the season, this LC1 would take four pole positions in the Group 6 class, two second-place finishes at Mugello and Spa, and one victory at the famed Nurburgring. Presented here in its iconic Martini Rossi livery, the LC1 deserves a spot in every collector’s garage.
Image from DH Rofgo
3. Porsche 962C
Now, this list would be incomplete without a Porsche included, so we went on found probably the best Porsche race car on sale at the moment, the Porsche 962C. The Porsche 962 was an evolution from the hugely successful 956, with minor modifications like the wheelbase and more engines available depending on the championship(IMSA was picky with the specifications of the cars back then). While a total of 91 962s were built, only 16 were officially used by the works team, and the rest were sold to privateers. While the works cars took most of the victories thanks to superior specifications compared to the privateer unit, there were some privateers who managed to fight against the works team, with the 962C-106B for sale at DH Rofgo being one of them.
The 962C-106B was campaigned by Richard Lloyd Racing, who were known for modifying Porsche sportscars since the 956 era. Richard Lloyd had a passion for making his cars fast enough to compete with the works Porsches and Jaguars, and this 962C-106B was no ordinary customer 962 as well. To begin with, the car had a new monocoque designed by Nigel Stroud instead of the factory unit, while the standard 962 parts were modified, and unique custom parts were added. The car also had significant aerodynamic upgrades with an entirely new rear wing section and a revised front section with different headlights and cooling ducts. It also had rear wheel covers that the factory Jaguars used, which allowed for better airflow. Just looking at the side profile will quickly tell one how different this thing is from the standard 962.
The car would start the 1987 season with an 8th place finish in Jarama. But then a series of unfortunate events happened, with the car retiring the next four races, including the 1987 Le Mans where it qualified 10th with the Takefuji livery. With more modifications during the season, Nigel Stroud’s hard work finally paid off when Mauro Baldi scored their first victory with the German Supercup at Norisring, with the team scoring another victory overall at the 200 miles of Norisring for the WSC season.
Good results would follow, with the car finishing 2nd in Brand Hatch and 5th in the Nurburgring race. This very car would also be the first sportscar to break the speed of 200kph average at Spa Francorchamps, despite retiring, showing how fast this car was in terms of sheer pace. The car once again finished 3rd in Fuji, giving Mauro Baldi 8th in the driver’s championship(2nd for privateer team drivers) and Jonathan Palmer 18th, while the team finished 5th overall.
However, that was not the end of the car’s career. RLR team campaigned the 962-106B into the 1987 Kyalami 500, which would be the last international race that would be held in the old Kyalami configuration. Supported by the Porsche factory, the 962-106B had a factory spec water to water engine with the Bosch 1.7 Motronic system. With star driver, Jochen Mass at the wheel, the car would eventually go on to win the race quite easily.
Image from Ultimatecarpage.com
Jochen Mass later united with the car in 2018 for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, recalled, “It was very good and we won the race quite easily. I always loved driving the 956s and the 962s – they were fantastic and superior in every respect.” Now restored in the Kyalami specification with a newly built engine from Porsche, this 962-106B is the perfect blend of pedigree and sheer speed; an opportunity you should catch.
Image from William i'Anson
4. Courage C30 LM/C36
Remember those old 2 in 1 type of toys where you could ‘transform’ it into different shapes? Well, here’s one as well, but in a 1:1 scale. The Courage C30 LM/C36 sold by William i’Anson Limited is offered in two bodywork trims, the closed cockpit Group C C30 LM configuration along with the open cockpit LMP1 C36 LM configuration. Don’t know what those mean? No worries, as the next few paragraphs will tell the story of this Le Mans veteran.
Image from William i'Anson
Although Courage might not be a well-known marque, they boast a long history linked with the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Founded by racing driver Yves Courage who himself is a Le Mans local and a class winner, Courage’s goal was to replicate Jean Rondeau’s feat of winning Le Mans outright with his very own car. Since the debut of the Cougar C1 in 1982(Courages were named Cougars until 1993), the team was extremely competent for a relatively small marque, and the C30 LM-010 being sold here today was a pillar in Courage’s 90s success.
Image from William i'Anson
The C30 LM was an evolution of previous Porsche-powered C-series cars built by Courage. With a carbon fibre and aluminum, monocoque mated to a Porsche Typ 935/82 engine and a 5-speed Porsche gearbox, the C30 LM was built to compete in the C2 class at Le Mans 1993. This would be the final year for the Group C cars with fewer entries, and since Courage had a class victory in 1992, the hopes were high.
In 1993, three C30s were entered, and this C30 LM-010 qualified 13th, only one place behind the other C30 LM-011 driven by Derek Bell. Running reliably throughout the race, the C30 LM-010 finished 11th overall, 6th in class. Not the result that they were hoping for, but with the C30 LM-011 finishing 10th overall, it was a not-so-bad result for a small team. The C30 LM-010 returned to Le Mans next year, but with a different name. Now dubbed the C32 LM and running in the LMP1 category, the car would finish an astonishing 7th overall and 4th in class. It would only be beaten by the factory Toyotas and the Kremer team.
After a year of rest for the chassis #010 in 1995, the car came back to Le Mans in 1996. Courage would finish 2nd overall and win its class in 1995, so the hopes were high. Now named the C36, the car was now in a spyder configuration to follow the new LMP rules. Last year’s success would attract star drivers like Jan Lammers and Derek Warwick, while Michael Andretti, who came 2nd with Courage last year, also was part of the C36-010 team. Courage would once again campaign three cars, but the C36-010 would finish 13th overall, six places behind the other surviving C36. Still, the two C36s would score 2nd and 3rd place in the LMP1 class.
The C36-010 would have its final Le Mans outing in 1997, with Mario and Michael Andretti along with Oliver Grouillard as the drivers. While the sister C36 finished 16th overall, and the new C41 finishing 4th(2nd in class), the C36-010 would, unfortunately, retire after crashing on lap 197. The car would be campaigned in the International Sports Racing Seris for the rest of the year, finishing 3rd in Donington, 4th in Zolder, and 6th in Jarama. After 4 Le Mans participations and 3 strong results in ISRS, the car was finally able to retire. The C30 LM/C36 presented here today is currently in the 1993 C30 LM configuration but comes with the 1997 C36 spyder bodywork along with spare parts. This makes it not only a perfect candidate for historic racing, let alone its significant Le Mans pedigree.
Image from Fiskens
5. Audi R8
Owning a classic race car is lovely. But to be honest, getting overtaken every day by modern cars on a track day is not the best way to spend your weekend. So here is something for you speed freaks, an Audi R8. The Audi R8 was an LMP900 car equipped with a 3.6L twin-turbocharged V8 that would produce 670hp and a whopping 700Nm of torque. With both great reliability and pace, the Audi R8 would be the start for Audi’s nearly 15-year long overall domination in endurance racing, and this car is a fundamental part of the story as well.
This car, the Audi R8-405, made its debut in the 2000 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Audi Sport Team Joest. Driven by Allan McNish, Stephan Ortelli, and Laurent Aiello and bearing the #9, this car would flex its muscles even before the start by qualifying 1st on the grid. Although the car started off by leading the race, a puncture and a scheduled rear bodywork change cost them time, giving the lead to the #8 car. Although the Audi R8 had a lego-like structure, meaning it would only take a few minutes to change parts(at one point, they were able to change the whole rear transaxle in just over 3 minutes, while in another car, it would take several hours), by the time it was done, the lead was gone.
Alan McNish tried his best to replicate his 1998 Le Mans win by pulling an astonishing quadruple stint, eventually setting the fastest lap of the race. Sadly, once McNish got out of his car, the team management quietly instructed just to hold the positions until the flag, and the #8 car did, finishing 2nd in the 2000 24 Hours of Le Mans. The #8 car would come home with a victory, while the #7 car followed, finishing 3rd, creating an Audi 1-2-3. This car would eventually finish 2nd in the 2000 Petit Le Mans, and 3rd in the 2001 12 Hours of Sebring. The Audi R8-405 sold by Fiskens will be the perfect opportunity to own not only a significant piece of history but also a brilliantly fast track machine.