24 HOURS OF LEMANS 1953 GREG CUNNINGHAM JAGUAR RACING 51704b
Released in 1954 about the 1953 race, "International Road Race" shows the 24 Hours of LeMans with a special emphasis on the American sports car designer Briggs Cunningham and his new 300hp car known as "the Shark" or C-5R. The C-5R was powered by a 331.1 cubic-inch Chrysler eight-cylinder, hemi-head engine with Zenith downdraft carburetors developing 310 horsepower at 5200 rpm. It sat on a 100-inch wheelbase and weighs 5200 pounds. The film features images of the Alpha Romeo, Gordini (driven in part by American Harry Shell), Ferrari, Jaguar and other competitors. As the film shows in this era, the LeMans race was held on roads that were actually shared with motor traffic in practice sessions. The 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 21st Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 13 and 14 June 1953, at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans (France). It was also the third round of the F.I.A. World Sports Car Championship. At 3:40 the race begins with drivers running to their cars and jockeying for position. Cars begin reaching speeds over 150 mph as the Jaguar takes the lead. The race continues for seven hours as the sun goes down at 5:00. By now 15 entries have dropped out, and Cunningham is shown in the pits at 5:20 having a tire changed. At 5:40, the 13th hour, Cunningham is in third. At 6:00, the narrator mentions the fatal accident that tragically killed Tom Cole. At 6:40, Cunningham remains in the top of the race against the Jaguar. The Jaguar's disc brakes end up being a decisive factor, with the Jaguar setting a new course record, with Cunningham coming in third. British drivers Tony Rolt and Duncan Hamilton won the race with one of three factory-entered Jaguar C-Types, the first cars ever to race at Le Mans with disc brakes. Cunningham’s car the C-5R was the fastest car at Le Mans in 1953, and the pre-race favorite to win. It was nicknamed “The Smiling Shark” due to the appearance of the front grille. It was equipped with the largest drum brakes ever fitted on a racecar (17” diameter). Driven by Fitch and Walters, the C-5R clearly outpaced the Jaguar C-types in top speed, but innovative new Dunlop disc brakes allowed the Jaguars to maintain their speed much deeper into the corners. The result was an overall finish of third place for the C-5R. Sources differ about whether the car raced again, some say it did not, others that it was wrecked at Reims in 1954. Briggs Swift Cunningham II (January 19, 1907 – July 2, 2003) was an American entrepreneur and sportsman, who raced automobiles and yachts. Born into a wealthy family, he became a racing car constructor, driver, and team owner as well as a sports car manufacturer and automobile collector. He skippered the first victorious 12-metre yacht Columbia in the 1958 America's Cup race, and invented the Cunningham Downhaul to increase the speed of racing sailboats. By 1940 he was building sports cars for others to race. His first race as a driver was with his Bu-Merc, a modified Buick chassis with Buick engine and Mercedes-Benz SSK body, at Watkins Glen shortly after World War Two. In 1950 Briggs Cunningham entered two Cadillac cars for Le Mans, one a stock-appearing Sixty Special, the other a special-bodied sports car dubbed "Le Monstre." They finished 10th and 11th overall. On December 31, 1950 Cunningham participated in the 6-hour Sam Collier Memorial Race, the first automobile race held on the Sebring Airport race track, which was won by a Crosley HotShot. Cunningham finished 3rd in class and 17th overall in his Aston Martin DB2 Vantage LML/50/21, the first produced. 1955 was last year for the Cunningham marque of cars. Briggs was featured on the April 26, 1954 cover of Time magazine, with three of his Cunningham racing cars. He became an early member of the Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC), an invitation-only club formed to honor notable road racing drivers. He was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 1993, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1997, and named to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2003. This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com
The 1953 Le Mans winning Jaguar C-Type
From 1947-1957 Duncan was one of Britain's celebrated racing drivers. He drove Formula One and Two Grand Prix cars from Lago-Talbot, Maserati, HWM and Gordini, plus works team sports cars for both Jaguar and Ferrari. He won two legendary endurance races -- the 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours and the 1954 Reims 12 Hours.
Le Mans - 1959 - Highlights
The 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 27th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on June 20 and 21 1959. It was also the fourth round of the World Sportscar Championship.
75 YEARS OF JAGUAR HISTORY BROUGHT TO LIFE
The 23rd September 2010 marks the 75th anniversary of the Jaguar marque. To mark the occasion, a group of 75 individually-numbered, iconic Jaguars from across the years will make a two-day journey from Coventry to Goodwood. This exclusive celebration drive, starting in Coventry at 10.30am on Friday 17th September, will take in London's May Fair hotel -- site of the original Jaguar model launch in 1935 -- and finish at the UK's largest heritage motor festival, the Goodwood Revival on Saturday 18th