Saturday, 10 May 2008

Le Mans 66 and Steve McQueen

This is the album that chronicles the greatest motor race in the world. Le Mans 66 is a vinyl memento of the '34th Grand Prix d'Endurance' which captures the essence of the spectacle. The record is presented amiably by James Tilling and is made up of narrative from Bruce McLaren, Graham Hill, Chris Amon and Carroll Shelby interspersed with sound clips of..well um .. cars going veerrrrry fast...obviously. It captures a flavour of all the immense background activities that goes into preparing and keeping a sports car on the track, continuously, at top whack, for a whole day. You can almost smell the fumes, burning rubber, adrenalin and sweat dripping off the grooves. I was particularly impressed by the Graham Hill segment, where he visits the other team pits to check on how his colleagues are holding up, after he has been forced to retire; no storming off the track and whisking off back to Monaco on his helicopter to sulk for him, what a gent! There is a dramatic finale for Bruce McLaren in the winning Ford as there is a dead heat but this result is overturned. The rules state that as he started further back on the grid, thus he must be declared the victor, because he has travelled the furthest distance. This record is a fine tribute to the bravery of all those legendary drivers who have thrilled millions of motor racing fans with their skills, sometimes losing their lives, in pursuit of the glory of taking the chequered flag.

The only logical accompaniment to listening to this, has to be putting Steve McQueen's 'Le Mans' movie in the DVD player and watching the greatest racing drama ever committed to the silver screen in film history, except possibly for 'The Cannonball Run' or 'Smokey and The Bandit' :-)

Steve McQueen on the starting blocks:

Ford GT40 winning Le Mans 1966:

Steve McQueen fansite reviews the film:


Itchy Knackers said...

And needless to say, this is a record that you will be handing over to me when we next meet. Brmm Brmm!

Scratchy Buckles said...

I might let you get your mucky mitts on it.. it would make a fine appetizer for pre-Grand Prix entertainment.. Go, Lewis, Go!