Time For Tea? Hawthorn laps Le Mans


This Time For Tea? started out with the onboard qualifying lap of Le Mans aboard the Porsche 936/77 Spyder that eventually won the 1977 race with Jacky Ickx, Jurgen Barth and Hurley Haywood taking turns at the wheel. Mighty impressive it is too, especially the jink between two trundling (actually, probably not trundling at all) 911s mid-way down the run to Mulsanne at, it’s safe to assume, 200mph or so. '70s Le Mans at its best, and hugely evocative view of a vintage era in the race’s history.

Porsche, Le Mans, the 1970s - good times
Porsche, Le Mans, the 1970s - good times
But, unashamed Porsche fans that we are, we couldn’t help notice there’s been quite a lot of Stuttgart metal on these pages. Even by our standards. Jaguar’s had quite a presence recently too but, as is the way of things, one YouTube video led to another and this onboard of Mike Hawthorn in a D-Type in 1956 really stood out - and for more than the comedy value of him lapping the track before closure for the race and having to dodge cyclists and all manner of other slow-moving traffic.

It’s bittersweet of course, this video filmed after the horrific crash the previous year – mentioned in the commentary – in which Hawthorn has, rightly or wrongly, forever been implicated. History records 1955 as a victory for him, Ivor Bueb and Jaguar but there was, of course, more to it than that. Set those darker overtones to one side though and you have a fascinating glimpse of old-school Le Mans, complete with tree-lined avenues, junctions rather than corners, peasants weaving about on bicycles and Hawthorn’s engagingly laconic commentary, recorded with a Jerry-rigged mic and camera set-up. Anyone can do the same with a GoPro these days but back in the 50s onboard filming was clearly a bit more involved. Grim associations with tragedy do temper the desire to don the rose tints somewhat but the contrast between this, the Le Mans of the 70s and the modern track do show how the event has evolved.

 

 

 

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Comments (26) Join the discussion on the forum

  • nicanary 23 Jan 2013

    Active75 said:
    Too many stories! Dad raced at the TT Trophy, Dundrod, Goodwood etc. He also competed in a Riley in Hillclimbs before the war. Stopped for speeding once when he was 14 while driving his parents through Brighton. That was before cameras so he must have been moving!

    The cars were all driven to the event and tested on the public roads before the race. In those days anyone getting in the way of a racing driver testing on the public roads received a telling off from the Police! Champagne parties and outrageous behavior at the Hotel de France were the norm. Of course Dad and Gerry were true English Gentlemen.( Gerry was in the RAF as you can tell by the moustache) He would say " well it was all a little lively nothing more"

    This car LXH 3 is still going and running at classic meetings, and has been owned by the same person in Surrey for at least 20 years.

    It was owned and entered at the time by a lady- I will have to come back to you on her name, but she raced at Le Mans also.
    Entered in 1952 by Mrs. P Trevelyan, but the 1954 entry was by Frazer Nash GB. Quite possible they used her car as a works entry to make up a 3-car team.

  • dinkel 23 Jan 2013


    C-type


    D-type


    E-type

  • Jayinjapan 19 Jan 2013

    dinkel said:
    That is really very beautiful and causes me to ache in unusual places biggrin. However, and please excuse my ignorance, what is it?

  • dinkel 18 Jan 2013


  • Active75 17 Jan 2013


    Too many stories! Dad raced at the TT Trophy, Dundrod, Goodwood etc. He also competed in a Riley in Hillclimbs before the war. Stopped for speeding once when he was 14 while driving his parents through Brighton. That was before cameras so he must have been moving!

    The cars were all driven to the event and tested on the public roads before the race. In those days anyone getting in the way of a racing driver testing on the public roads received a telling off from the Police! Champagne parties and outrageous behavior at the Hotel de France were the norm. Of course Dad and Gerry were true English Gentlemen.( Gerry was in the RAF as you can tell by the moustache) He would say " well it was all a little lively nothing more"

    This car LXH 3 is still going and running at classic meetings, and has been owned by the same person in Surrey for at least 20 years.

    It was owned and entered at the time by a lady- I will have to come back to you on her name, but she raced at Le Mans also.

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