Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion Showcases a Century of Winners with Le Mans Heritage Display, presented by MOTUL

 When Le Mans meets Monterey at the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Aug. 17-20, there will likely be more 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning race cars assembled in one location in America than ever before. Complementing the four Le Mans-specific race groups will be an impressive Le Mans Legends Heritage display, presented by MOTUL, featuring a century of winners and significant cars that have competed in the French classic. These cars may no longer race, yet they represent the best of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.
 
Curating the Le Mans Legends display is Ellen Bireley, who brings a wealth of experience and expertise. Bireley is a frequent concours judge at numerous prestigious events including the Pebble Beach and Amelia Island Concours d’ Elegance. She was the curator of August 2021’s Indy Car display at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, as well as numerous well received exhibits at the Petersen Automotive Museum and World of Speed Museum. Additionally, she served nearly three decades at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum in various leadership roles. 
 
“Over the years, I have had the opportunity to get to know a wide range of owners and caretakers of these wonderful collections and help share their significance to the racing world,” said Bireley. “I even help supplement and gather historical information on their cars. I enjoy what I do, as it’s like putting together a great work of art when all the pieces come together.”
 
Three infrequently seen Le Mans winners are confirmed and will begin illustrating a century of speed from the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
 

1929 Bentley Old Number One (chassis #LB2332). Built in 1929, Old Number One was the second Speed Six built, and was done so specifically as a race car. It is perhaps best known for winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright in both 1929 and 1930. The car was originally fitted with an open four-seat fabric body by Vanden Plas to meet 1929 Le Mans requirements, however later in the same year a second shell was constructed by Vanden Plas for Brooklands racing. The bodies were changed as needed.
 

 
1966 Ford GT40 (chassis P/1046) was the first victory for the Ford Motor Company, which took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall. While the leading GT40s of McLaren/Amon and Miles/Hulme crossed the finish line at basically the same time, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) determined that the #2 McLaren/Amon entry would take home the checkered flag. The ACO said chassis P/1046 covered more distance in 24 hours, as it had started the race some eight meters behind the Miles/Hulme car.
 

 
1979 Porsche 935 K3 (chassis 009 00015) was the first-ever victory of a rear-engine racing car at Le Mans and the 5th of 19 overall victories at Le Mans for Porsche. This works car was entered at Le Mans by Don and Bill Whittington, who, along with co-driver Klaus Ludwig, drove the 700-horsepower twin-turbo monster to a glorious overall win at the world’s most important endurance race.
 
Entry application for the 12 race groups is currently open through February 15 at https://register.weathertechraceway.com. Each car will be evaluated under strict criteria that includes authenticity, period-correct mechanical and livery, and provenance.
 
More than 400 authentic and historic race cars will be on track, each one steeped in history. From the pre-1920 Ragtime Racers where riding mechanics sit alongside the driver, to the sleek prototypes that swept through the Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans’ Mulsanne Straight at more than 200 mph, the variety of historic race cars at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion will be unmatched.
 
Due to the event’s popularity, there are a limited number of VIP ticket packages available, while multiday, individual tickets and camping are available online at www.WeatherTechRaceway.com or by calling the Ticket and Accommodations specialists at 831-242-8200.

 

(Courtesy of WeatherTech raceway)

Adam Sinclair