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The Roundabout Blog

The weird and wonderful at the Le Mans 24 Hours

  • Briggs Cunningham’s ‘Le Monstre’
    The US yachtsman and motorsport impresario campaigned this ungainly rebodied Cadillac at La Sarthe in 1950, earning 11th place. (Klemantaski Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty)
  • Nardi 750 Bisiluro
    This twin-hulled 1955 racer put driver on the right and engine in the middle – along with a scary passenger jump seat. (Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci)
  • Mini Marcos GT
    A curious coupe-like Mini developed by Welsh racing outfit Marcos, the GT completed the race in 1966, but retired in ‘67 due to engine trouble. (Newspress)
  • BRM-Rover Turbine
    The highest evolution of Rover’s series of experimental turbine cars, this rakish 1963 entry packed a jet engine that spun to 50,000rpm. (Heritage Images/Hulton Archive/Getty)
  • Dome Zero RL-80
    Based loosely on a wedge-shaped concept shown at the 1978 Geneva motor show, the Japanese-built RL managed to finish in 1980, even if only dead last. (Dome Racing, via Facebook)
  • Green GT H2
    With a hydrogen fuel cell on board, the GT H2 sought to make Le Mans history in 2013, but nervous builders pulled the car days before the race. (Jean-François Monier/AFP/Getty)
  • Nissan ZEOD RC
    Follow-up to the equally peculiar DeltaWing of 2012, the 2014 ZEOD RC hybrid racer features a 2ft-wide nose that helps yield lower weight and reduced aerodynamic drag. (Nissan)

HIDE CAPTION

Like no other nation on earth, France has a marrow-deep appreciation for automotive nonconformists.

Fitting, then, that some of history’s most distinctively bodied racing cars have appeared at the country’s marquee motorsport event, the Le Mans 24 Hours.

That isn’t to say they have all been conventionally pretty. Above is just a smattering of the uncategorisable machinery that has been brought to La Sarthe.

The 82nd running of the Le Mans 24 Hours takes place 14-15 June. For complete coverage, head over to BBC Sport.