Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Le Mans 1955: A Day of Tragedy 6

Posted on December 21, 2009 by Rojo Grande

Five-time F1 Champion Juan Manuel Fangio was able to narrowly avoid disaster during the horrible accident at the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Five-time F1 Champion Juan Manuel Fangio was able to narrowly avoid disaster during the horrible accident at the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The element of danger in sports is like a wedding ring: always present, a constant reminder of commitment, passion…and eternity. All too often that tantalizing element has come calling, then taking the heroes we thought were invincible. On rare, regrettable occasions, danger spreads its cloak beyond the field of play to encompass even the spectator. This is an account of one such tragedy.

The Course

June 11, the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans at the famous 8.38 mile track outside the French town of Le Mans. Traffic moves in a clockwise direction with the pits and infield being on the driver’s right and the grandstand and spectators on the left.

The Principals

Mercedes, Jaguar, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Maserati were the fierce competitors of the era. Daimler-Benz (Mercedes) had three of their new ultra-light 300SLR cars in the race. The formidable team of five-time F1 World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio and the legendary Stirling Moss were favored to win it for Mercedes. Another Benz car featured the team of Frenchman Pierre Levegh and the American, John Finch.

Jaguar was up to the challenge with the team of Mike Hawthorn and Ivor Bueb in their D-type.

Lance Macklin, driving an Austin-Healey 100, was the man “caught in the middle” when all hell broke loose. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Follow Us Online

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Current Poll

    How Will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Do in 2020?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top