La Sarthe on the Street: Japanese Collectors Keep Ex-Le Mans Cars Alive [Video]
The 24 Hours of Le Mans has, over the years, turned what would otherwise be ordinary racecars into legends: The Jaguar D-Type. The Ford GT40. The Porsche 917. The Porsche 956 and 962. And, perhaps the most recent legend created by the French endure, the Audi R8. It’s fun to look at these iconic racers in pictures and videos, and it’s even more fun to watch them take part in vintage racing. But what’s it like to drive them?
Well, there are at least three well-heeled Japanese gentlemen who know. They own a Jaguar XJ220C, a Porsche 962C (that you might recognize from one of our first Fast Forward posts) and a Mazda 767B. The Jag and the Porsche get driven on the street, while the four-rotor Mazda (which gave rise to the Le Mans winning 787B of 1991) is confined to tracks and demonstration runs. In all three cases, it’s clear their owners have never outgrown the childhood compulsion to play with toy cars. The difference is these are bigger, louder and worth a lot more.