Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A bit of sport

If you have a few quid burning a hole in your tweeds, you may want to pop on over to Chichester, England this coming September 15 to bid on a piece of rolling history.

At auction will be the beautiful, racing green, V12 Lagonda in which two twenty-something English lords, Selsdon and Walaren, toodled across Europe in the summer of 1939, mere weeks before World War II exploded.

The young lords were looking for a bit of sport, and were taken with the notion of swinging by France to have a go at the famous, gruelling, Le Mans endurance race.

Studiously unprepared in the British amateur tradition, they used the ramble from England to the Circuit de la Sarthe to get the feel of their brand new car.

Source: Silodrome
The competition was daunting. Aston Martins, Bugattis, Delahayes, and the like were out in force, driven by the great racers of the era, some supported by factory mechanics.

No one else was there on a lark.

Of course, the Nazis were thick on the ground, with orders from der Fuerher to take no prisoners. The Reich had equipped its three teams with the new, fast BMW 328's --- the best of German engineering from the firm that was building engines for the Luftwaffe's fighters.

It was a tough 24-hour race, and in the end a French team won, followed by British teams taking second and third.

As for the lords, they battled to fourth place ahead of all three German teams, no doubt a surprise to all, including themselves.

Next month the sunshine will fall again on the car that carried the lads on their excellent summer adventure.

Does this scream screenplay, or what?

1 comment:

  1. Well for car history, that was actually really interesting!