Where it all began at Le Mans

The story of the first car ever to win at the 24 hours of Le Mans

7w ago

What you see here is the Chenard-Walcker Type U3 15CV Sport. This car is the proper stuff of legend. For it is the car that won the inaugural 24 hours of Le Mans race in 1923. Back then, it was driven by AndrΓ© Lagache and RenΓ© LΓ©onard, who took turns to drive the #9 car among a field of 20 vehicles representing manufacturers from France, England and Belgium.

They covered 2209.63 km in the 24 hrs, averaging a very impressive 92.09 kmph, on a track that was mostly untarred gravel, and the race was rain soaked! By comparison, the Toyota GR010 that won in 2021 covered 5055.2 km in the same time.

Chenard - Walcker was a French automobile and commercial vehicle manufacturer from 1898 to 1946. The Type U3 15CV featured a 3.0 liter straight 4 engine. Painted in the traditional French blue colours, it competed against Bentleys, Excelsiors and Bugattis among others to emerge victorious.

This beautiful car has been expertly rendered in 1:43 scale by IXO. It occupies pride of place in my collection of Le Mans winners. The pioneer, whose legacy continues strong, nearly a 100 years down the road.

Join In

Comments (11)

  • It is cool, but the headlights make it look cross-eyed 🀣 would make a good character in a Cars film. πŸ˜πŸ‘

      1 month ago
  • You should have posted this for the Le Mans Classic 2023, for the 100 year anniversary of the event

      1 month ago
    • Thanks, by then I should have all the winning cars in my collection. Now that would be something to post on the 100th right?

        1 month ago
    • Most definitely

        1 month ago
  • Eyy someone with a nearly identical name!!

      1 month ago