Mercedes Benz, Valvoline, Ferrari discussed on Past Gas
Some solid competitors that year, most fans were excited to see who would win between Ferrari, Jaguar and Mercedes Benz. All three automakers had won the race previously with Ferrari as the 54 champ and had arrived with new and improved cars. The Ferraris were especially fast, but somewhat flimsy and prone to mechanical failure. Jaguar concentrated their racing on Le Mans and their Jaguar D type boasted a straight 6 XK engine and state of the art disc brakes. Mercedes Benz were riding high from their successes in Formula One and decided to debut their new 300 SLR in the 1955 world sportscar championship. The 300 SLR featured a body made of ultra lightweight magnesium alloy. It had inboard drum brakes and a large air brake behind the driver that could be raised to increase drag and thus down force. I think this Jaguar this was the first time the disc brakes had ever been used in competition. That's right, Joe. I think there's a Wheelhouse we talk about it, but that's pretty cool. As mentioned earlier, the cirque de Sartre was designed in the 20s. When cars could only reach speeds of 60 mph. But by 1955, the fastest cars were hitting speeds of over a 170. Oh my God. Yeah. And they just invented disc brakes. Yeah. Since it's opening, the circuit had been resurfaced and widened with two layout changes that made it a bit shorter. The pits and grandstands had been reconstructed, but there were no barriers between the pit lane and the racing line. With only a four foot bank between the track and spectators. There's also no designated deceleration lane for cars entering the pits. On top of that, the cars often had no seat belts since drivers believed it would be better to get thrown clear in a collision rather than being crushed in a burning car. It's so funny. Also back then they had the Le Mans start so like all the guys would line up out of their cars and then run to their car and start it and get out of there. So you don't want to waste all your time buckle it all kinds of safety devices. There's one guy that's just trying to tune the radio before he starts. Come on. Bluetooth connect. Where's my songs to listen to while vaping playlist? Where are my sunglasses? We'll get back to more past guests, but right now, a word from our sponsors. Big thanks to Valvoline for sponsoring this episode of past gas. Did you guys know that Valvoline was the first motor oil brand? Making it the original motor oil? Since its founding over a 150 years ago, Valvoline and its scientists have been innovating, creating reinventing formulas ever since. Those innovations include the first high mileage oil, the first racing oil and the first synthetic blend oil, we here at donut use Valvoline oil and all of our cars. I use it in my forerunner all the time. I really like Valvoline's extended protection full synthetic motor oil just because my 4Runner is kind of old. It needs extra protection, valve extended protection full synthetic is their newest formula and it offers ultimate protection designed to extend the life of your engine, you may not think you're a severe driver, but short trips towing extreme temperatures, turbocharged engines, heavy loads, all put a lot of extra pressure on your engine. Family and extended protection is ten times stronger against oil breakdown, meaning as oil ages, it gets thicker. This oil protects against that ten times better than industry standards. I use this oil in my engine. You should too. So if you're ready to protect your engine, go and get Valvoline oil, they're the best. Big thank you to the zebra for sponsoring this episode. In case you haven't heard, car and home insurance rates are going up this year. Make sure you're not paying more than you need to. Turn to the zebra. They can help you find the perfect insurance for your needs in just minutes. The zebra compares car in home quotes from every major insurance company side by side giving you all the facts you need to make the right decision. It's the fastest way to find the right coverage at the right price. All from a provider you can trust. In fact, the zebra saves people an average of $922 a year on car and home insurance combined. Plus, they do it all in just 5 minutes. The zebra is super easy to use. I've used it. All you got to do is go to the zebra dot com slash pass gas enter your zip code and bam. They're going to give you a lot of options. I did it. It's super easy to find affordable insurance. Save time and money in minutes. Show your sport for the show by going to the special URL. Again, that's the zebra dot com slash pass gas and get your free quote today. The zebra dot com slash past gas. Thank you very much. The zebra. Before the race, Mercedes Benz driver Pierre levee voiced his concern that the pit stop and grandstand area was dangerously narrow. Tragically is concerns went unheard. Just 35 laps into the 1955 Le Mans, the worst crash in motor sports history. Occurred. As he reached the pit stop section next to the grandstand, Jaguar driver, Mike hawthorn pulled right onto the track in front of Austin healey driver, Lance macklin. Macklin swerved directly into the path of lavey, who was trying to pass both the Jaguar and Austin healey. Lavey rear ended macklin's Austin healey, which launched his Mercedes SLR into the air and into the stands. The Mercedes exploded instantly killing levee as well as 83 spectators and injuring nearly a 180 more. And though there is much debate over who is to blame for the disaster. The official inquiry determined that the layout of the track was ultimately responsible. The 30 year old track was simply not designed for cars as fast as those involved in the incident. Despite this ruling, Mercedes Benz called back the rest of their team after the accident and retired from motor racing until 1987, the accident was a monumental turning point for safety and motor sport, and many new rules and regulations were added in the aftermath. That's so many people. The period of 1966 to 1980 is likely a recognizable era to car nerds. This was the golden era of racing. The 15 years saw quite a bit of change on the circuit de la motte, particularly when European dominance turned in 1966 would Ford kicked the Italian Goliath out of the top spot with their unforgettable GT 40. Not only was this the year that an American company won the European endurance race, but Ford managed to secure the entire podium, meaning the 6 time reigning champion was shut out completely. Of course I'm talking about Ferrari. The victory was at least partially fueled by spite after Enzo Ferrari publicly humiliated Henry Ford the second by pulling out of a 1963 deal, although Hank the deuce was a piece of and he changed the terms at the last minute. And Enzo, obviously backed out a deal. You're allowed to back out of the deal. Yeah. When Ferrari pulled out of Le Mans completely in 1973, many believed it was due to Ford's dominance, which continued for four years after the 1966 defeat. If you want more details on this fuel, like we said, we did a four part series on it early on in the podcast. I remember it is pretty good, but it might not be. Now I listen to it again and it's really funny. It's missing one little key element though. Yeah, there's no wink wink nation in there..