23rd - 24th June

55 starters 18 classified finishers

At scrutineering the Lotus XXIIIs destined for Jim Clark (among others) were excluded on safety grounds. End of works Lotuses at Le Mans as Chapman swore he would never again set foot in the Sarthe. Ferrari's sixth win gave them the record for the number of Le Mans victories by a single manufacturer. In turn, Gendebien's fourth victory allowed him to take a well - deserved retirement as Le Mans recordman ahead of 3 time winners Barnato and Chinetti, now joined by Phil Hill. Eleven GTs finished in the first 13. Class wins for Ferrari and Porsche in a world championship from which the sports cars (rebaptised "Experimentals") had been excluded. Last overall win at Le Mans for a front - engined car. Satisfactory Le Mans come - back for Jaguar with private E - Types. Setback for the three 4 litre V8 Maserati coupes and for .the P 212 Aston Martin made up of the rear axle of a Lagonda and the over - bored version of the DB4 GT engine. The Charles Deutsch designed Panhard engined CDs won their duel against the Renault engined Rene Bonnets (cylinderheads by Amedee Gordini) of his former partner. Second victory for Lotus in the Thermal Efficiency Index. Spectator record beaten. Start given by Wilfrid Baumgartner, President of the C. S. I (International Sporting Commission) .

CIRCUIT: Unchanged: 13,461 kms.


Following the amendments made to the regs of the World Championship for Makes, the A. C. O opened up their race to Grand Touring cars and created a new category for experimental vehicles. The latter were limited to 4 litres maximum and certain interior modifications were required (rollbars, padding etc). Definition of minimum speeds in practice. Creation of a Speed and Endurance World Challenge between the A. C. 0 organisers and those of Sebring, the Targa Florio and the Nurburgring. Fuel tank capacity increased.


55 cars 5 nations 19 makes France: 3 C. D. s, 3 Rene Bonnets. Germany: 3 Porsches.

Great Britain: 1 AC. , 3 Aston Martins, 1 Austin Healey, 3 Jaguars, 2 Lotuses, 1 Marcos, 1 Morgan, 2 Sunbeams, 1 Tojeiro, 1 T.V.R.

Italy: 2 Alfa Romeos, 15 Ferraris, 7 Fiat Abarths, 3 Maseratis, 2 Oscas.

United States of America : 1 Chevrolet Makes,firstappearance:

Drivers, first appearance:


Although Graham Hill was in the lead at the end of lap 1, the Aston Martins and the Maseratis were no match for the Ferraris. The British car managed to stay with the prancing horse entries until nightfall when an oil line broke forcing it to retire. As in 1961 the race turned into a duel between the Gendebien - Hill car which hit the front on lap 2, and the less powerful 246 SP of Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez. This battle kept the spectators thrilled until the Mexican driven car was forced to retire in the 14th hour (transmission), while the other 330 LM Ferrari retired during the seventh hour (overheating caused probably by Parkes's excursion into the Mulsanne sandbank) leaving the way clear for the 1961 winners. The Maseratis flattered only to deceive: the Thompson - Kimberley car crashed during the sixth hour after having been in second place at the 2 hour mark. The French - entered Simon - Trintignant model was withdrawn following suspension problems while a defective engine and pump did for the Hansgen - McLaren entry which also ran as high as second. Noblet and Guichet again won the GT category and 2 of the 3 Jaguars finished in fourth and fifth places, allbeit some 200 kms behind the GT winners thus marking the trueLe Mans debut of the E-Type. The Olthoff - Whitmore Austin Healey Mk II managed to get up to eighth place by 08HOO on Sunday morning but succumbed to engine failure after 18 hours. Both Morgan and Lotus won their respective classes, the Elite finishing a remarkable eighth overall, as did Porsche, C. D. and Rene Bonnet.


The only one broken was the lap record with Phil Hill's 3'57"3, a speed of 204, 202 km/h being 1"4 faster than that of the late Mike Hawthorn in 1957! Gendebien and Hill failed to equal their 1961 distance by 25, 325 kms.

another version - story of the '62 race

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Author: ArchitectPage