This weekend will see the 84th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. First staged in 1923, it has made heroes of the toughest, fastest racers ever to grace this planet, and made fools of quite a few more.
From Bentley Speed Sixes to Ferrari 250s, from Ford GT40s to Porsche 956s, the list of Le Mans winners stands not only as a roll-call of the greatest cars in history, but also as testament to the human race’s obsession with finding new, clever ways to go ever faster.
So, to whet your appetite for this weekend’s race, we’ve cobbled you together a gallery of the very greatest Le Mans racers of the last ten decades, no fewer than 20 cars spanning the epic endurance race’s history.
It’s all thanks to the La Sarthe Automobile Museum, who generously put their fabulous collection of Le Mans winners on display, many as grimy as when they crossed the finish line. We’ve also added another one in that you might just recognise…
So click through for a whistle-stop tour of the greatest cars to ever lay tyre big, fat tyre marks at Circuit de la Sarthe. And then tell us: which is your favourite?
Pictures: Rowan Horncastle