Jaguar D from tragic LeMans '55 by Western (and me)
I'm not really into racing cars, and the many unique decals necessary for authenticity really aren't my favorite type of construction, but here is my latest attempt, delayed by those gremlins of the internet.
First, a little background:
The Jaguar D-Type number 6 is the winning car of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1955. The Coventry team updated the Jaguar C Type that won Le Mans in 1953, and the new car with a more powerful engine and more tapered lines competed with the two favorites, the Mercedes 300 SLR and the Ferrari 121 LM.
Jaguar drivers Hawthorn and Bueb won, taking advantage of the withdrawals of the Mercedes and Ferrari after a disastrous accident and the death of 84 people. (Wikipedia has a very detailed account of this horrible accident.)
In the same year the Jaguar D-Type won the 12 hours of Sebring with Hawthorn and Walters.
So here's my photographic essay on that LeMans winner.
I'm not sure when Western Models offered this kit, but most likely some twenty or so years ago. It was rather well made, with less drilling, smoothing, and finishing than many of the models I have attempted. Just as I was dry-fitting the final assembling, I found that the metal parts were so closely made that the thickness of the clear plastic driver's window surround was negating the final fit. I even discovered a couple of pictures by other builders showing fairly large gaps between the major body assembly and the lower substructure; I think those builders didn't take the time to cut down the back and underside of the driving compartment by the thickness of that clear plastic. So chalk up that as a winning lesser gap for me! But I also have to admit that I got in a bit of a rush and left wrinkles in some of the decals, confound it. I like my results even if it is a racing car. Enjoy!
I'm sure you had fun David. For us who rarely build anymore AUTOart blew everyone away with this one.
@mg-harv Good one, Harv. I looked at pictures of this Auto Art model. Is it a really dark green color? I have seen some that look black.
@d-m-holcombe Yep, British Racing Green, when done properly, is very dark. But I'd wager every BRG model in my collection is a different shade.
A few images from the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans which still is noted for the highest fatalities in any automobile race. (Nothing graphic)
The 1955 Le Mans disaster was a major crash that occurred on 11 June 1955 during the 24 Hours of Le Mans motor race at Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, Sarthe, France. Large pieces of debris flew into the crowd, killing 83 spectators and French driver Pierre Levegh, and injuring nearly 180 more
First image shows a point earlier in the race showing how busy the track in front of the pits was.
Next, immediately after the crash. Note the No.26 Macklin Austin Healey which was hit from behind by the Levegh Mercedes No.20 which launched into the crowd.
There were two key factors regarding the track layout at that time – first, there was no designated deceleration lane for cars coming into the pits, and second, that just before the main straight, there was a very slight right-hand kink in the road just after which Hawthorn in the No.6 Jaguar D-Type started braking.
Macklin, who also braked hard, ran off the right-hand edge of the track, throwing up dust. Noticing that Hawthorn was slowing down, Macklin swerved left to avoid Hawthorn, whether it was an instinctive reaction, a loss of control from going onto the change of road-surface, or his car's disc brakes operating unevenly. As a result, Macklin's car veered across to the centre of the track, apparently briefly out of control. This put him into the path of Levegh's Mercedes, closing in at over 200 km/h (120 mph)
The sequence of events.
Here is the Fangio/Moss No.19 Mercedes with its air brake on. The Jaguars had disc brakes which were much better necessitating an additional air brake on the Mercedes, slow to operate.
Finally, here is a picture of the two leading cars before Mercedes withdrew from the race.
Finally, one of my 1955 Jaguar D-Type No.6. models.
IXO from their Millennial Series as a diorama.
@david-green Well done, David. You've helped me understand this horrible wreck. Good choice of photographs, too. Thanks a lot.
@david-green, great post! I know that took time to put together but it is very helpful. Thanks.