Video: Fighting at Le Mans in a Shelby Daytona Coupe

13th June 2023
Simon Ostler

Considering we’ve just spent an entire day watching cars circulate the Circuit de la Sarthe for the Le Mans 24 Hours, here we are again, with more racing at the legendary home of the world’s greatest motor race. The difference here is that these cars are all around 60-70 years old, and rumbling around like its 1965 all over again.

The Le Mans Classic is one of those events where you get to experience a vast range of motorsport eras, it’s a celebration of sportscar racing from the very earliest days of the 1920s Bentleys right through the sleek and beautiful ‘50s machines from the likes of Jaguar, Mercedes and Ferrari, the Group 6 prototypes of the ‘60s and ‘70s and, as we see here, this roaring V8 monster that won the GT Class and finished fourth overall in the 1964 race.

It’s safe to say this 13.626km circuit was a very different beast when the likes of this Daytona Coupe were racing in the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Porsche curves were introduced in 1972 and the two chicanes that break up the fearsome Mulsanne Straight were introduced in 1990 so the speeds these cars would have been carrying are difficult to comprehend.

More straights and fewer corners would no doubt have suited this muscular Daytona Coupe down to the ground, because it looks like an absolute handful whenever you put it face to face with a bend in the road. The balance under braking looks to be less than ideal, especially with one hand occupied by the manual gearshift.

There is no match for the sound of this brutal V8 engine, though. Once this driver is able to get back on the throttle the volume is simply breathtaking.

Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: Riding onboard a Ferrari‑swapped Impreza is heaven

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  • Daytona Coupe

  • Le Mans Classic

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