Here’s one of the most beautiful period films we’ve ever shared here: In bright, crystal-clear color, a report on the 24 Hours of Le Mans for 1963. We know you’ll love this.
This beautifully filmed short about the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans doesn’t really focus on the on-track action and the dominating performance of Ferrari. The storied Italian carmaker swept the top six spots that year, led by the winning 12-cylinder 250P of Lorenzo Bandini and Ludovico Scarfiotti.
Instead, the British Pathé production soaks in all the wonderful color of the town of Le Mans—the shops and bistros, the residents and racegoers, thoughtfully adding a sound track of classic French cafe music. Sigh. We never got to enjoy Le Mans in the 1960s, but watching this clip, we sure wish we had.
The eight-minute reel also showcases the pride of Britain at Le Mans in 1963, the Rover-BRM gas turbine prototype driven by Graham Hill and Richie Ginther, and it includes some wonderful closeups of the car and the two drivers. While the experimental racer was not classified as an official competitor, it was able to complete the entire 24 hours and cover 310 laps, which would have been good enough for first non-Ferrari that year. All in all, this is an inspiring glimpse of the classic 24-hour event and we know you’ll enjoy it.