Film: 5177

Sport | 1950 | Sound | B/W


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Le Mans 24 hour race France 1950's

Le Mans Road Sign. General views of Le Mans - the market place, big church. In central square, building has "Automobile Club de l'Ouest". 1950's

On race track phantom ride type drive. Car passes bicyclist. Following the white dotted line. Signs of famous cars - Renault, Fiat, Riley, Ferrari, Jaguar, Skoda, Allard, Cadillac, Rolls Bentley, Talbot, Delahaye, Aston Martin. Also the names of Dunlop and Simca. Man watches racing car being test driven through binoculars. Another man with stopwatch as car pulls in. "I made that lap a shade over 91, nice going, old girl". Woman driver - "damn bumpy, if you ask me". She wears a light leather hat. Man and woman driver test suspension. They suggest altering suspension. Man approaches and explains he designed the Dunlop tyres they are using. Girl gets in car and drives off. Camera in car as it races off and goes round bends. Dunlop designer concerned that girl is alright because she is driving car with too low a tyre pressure. Close up in car of girl changing gear. Close up of braking. She wears goggles. There are bicyclists on race track. She feels the steering wheel wobble. She turns bend and has a minor crash. Close up of spinning wheel before crash. Me are concerned because she has not yet arrived back at the pits. She reverses out of the bank. Man looks through binoculars as car approaches pits. Girl is stiff as she gets out. Girl tells tyre designer he was right. Importance of correct tyre pressures is highlighted when Jill takes her Jaguar around the circuit with under-inflated tyres and comes a cropper. Michael Medwin is Dunlop's tyre expert.
Tim who reflects on past racing events and the invention of pneumatic tyres. A bicycle race, Penny Farthing cycles, a race with early cars and 1920s cars with actual footage from Brooklands, Pendine Sands in South Wales - Malcolm Campbell and his car and mechanics. Parry Thomas and his car "Babs" being wheeled onto Pendine Sands. He drives at 170mph. His crashed car. (His racing car was buried here - recently dug up for restoration). Still of Segrave, Segrave driving at 200mph, and the man in close up. Daytona and Utah Salt Flats with actual scenes of the 6-ton Thunderbolt doing 357 mph and of course John Cobb's 400 mph stint. Story of rubber related with scenes from Dunlop's factory. Inner tube making, tyre manufacture (cross-ply), testing tyres, very rare shot of a Bristol Brabazon plane. The great day dawns! It's 4pm in front of a 200,000 host. See the spectacle of 60 cars with from two to twelve cylinders, from over three decades ago burst into life, including Simca, Lancia, Fiat, Cadillac, Ferrari, Healeys and Alards etc. On through the darkness and into the mists of morning. Jill and Charles (Guy Middleton) compete in the race. Rows of bell tents. Campers, 5am breakfast, cars, trucks and coaches from first half of 20th century. Long extracts of racing, including the car of Riggs Cunningham.

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