2023

Off-track

From the very first Le Mans Classics, traders and fairgrounds, as well as food shops, were initially grouped in the Village, the central area of the circuit. Then, steadily, new villages have popped up, with restaurants as well as shopping and other entertainment; thus proposing to the spectators – such as the ephemeral museum formed by the 8500 club cars – salutary pit stops as they amble around the circuit where they will have met musicians and other travelling artists.

Almost enough to make you forget for a moment the tens of thousands of cars present on the circuit, including those on display. The star, in this particular year, will of course be the 24 Hours Centenary exhibition which brings together a large number of the 24 Hours’ winning cars and those having marked its history. Another of the great attractions of Le Mans Classic, the Artcurial Auction, takes place next to the pre-grid.

The centenary

The celebration of the centenary has motivated an exceptional exhibition gathering the 24 Hours Great Cars. To ensure their security, the stars will be housed in the 24 Hours Museum located at the entrance of the circuit. They will leave the museum for a parade on the layout where they have been leading the way. 

90 cars that were the first to pass the chequered flag after 24 hours hard racing will be gathered inside the museum, as well as some of the models that have contributed to the 24 Hours history, such as the Howmet TX and the Rover BRM. Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Cadillac, Ford, Cunningham, Jaguar, Matra, McLaren, Mazda, Peugeot, Porsche, Toyota and WM will be among the guests of this exhibition, which brings together, in these difficult times, cars from private collections or museums from abroad. 

Not to be missed, the next one will be in 100 years time! 

The flagship exhibitions

“1923 – The 24 Hours of Le Mans pioneer brands”

The FFVE (Fédération Française des Véhicules d’Epoque) has brought together 24 cars that took part in the first 24 Hours of Le Mans: Amilcar, Bentley, Berliet, Bignan, Brasier, Bugatti, Chenard & Walker, Corre La Licorne, Delage, Excelsior, Georges Irat, Lorraine-Dietrich, Montier, Rolland Pilain, Salmson, SARA, Vinot De Guinguand. A lesson in automotive history since it is clear that few of these manufacturers still exist… 

” Benjafield’s Racing Club & Bentley’s history at Le Mans

70 Bentleys tell the story of Bentley’s victories at Le Mans in the late 1920s and of the famous Bentley Boys, including Dudley Benjy Benjafield, both winner the 1927 Le Mans 24 Hours and founder of the very exclusive BRDC (British Racing Drivers Club). 3 Litre Sport, 4.5L Tourer and Speed-Six cars will be there to remind us that in their time they were the 20th century’s most famous cars, and that Bentley was one of the most famous car manufacturers. 

These cars, some of which will arrive by road, will be on the track during their special support race and some of them will be part of Le Mans Classic Grid 1 reserved for the Pre-War cars. 

Vintage Camping

The Qui n’en Veut club, (a dialect impossible translate) which is very popular with visitors every year, brings together camping scenes from that time in a carefully chosen amazing setting. 

The Mercedes Club will host New Zealanders Fred and Elisabeth who will put down their 1957 Mercedes 220S equipped with a trailer in which they sleep at the end of the more than 250,000km of their globe-trotting adventure started in 2014. Their journey took them to some important places celebrating the success of Mercedes racing and rallying at the time: Carrera Panamerica, Nürburgring, Pau, Monte Carlo, Mille Miglia, Targa Florio and finishes on a high note … at Le Mans Classic. There is no doubt that this couple – who have never fought along the way – will have plenty to entertain their visitors! 

The exhibitors village

In the village, at the core of Le Mans Classic, but also all around, behind the pits and among the paddocks, an ever-increasing number of traders are setting up their stalls, all under the banner of automobile passion: miniatures, accessories, modern and old books, clocks, hats, gloves and clothes, jewelry, helmets, paintings, sculptures, antique relics from the age of racing… A teeming mix of temptations and curiosities that constantly accelerate the curiosity of the shopper and send him from one stall to another of these unique villages. For this centenary year, they will certainly have even more wonders to offer to celebrate the occasion!

The catering

In addition to three days of festivities, it is necessary to think of sustenance and everyone will find food to his taste and hunger… The most varied food-trucks dispense a fast-food – which is essential in a temple of speed; good and of all origins, Italian, Greek, Turkish, English, American and of course French. Chefs – starred – are also transported to this ephemeral centre of the world as in the Welcome, the Panoramic and Heritage Spaces, the latter reserved for companies, which welcome the Package holders…

In this centenary year, two new hospitality units had to be set up to meet the demand. The Henri Pescarolo Package, which is already practically full, and the brand-new Prégrille Package, located near …the pre-grid, which has seen the arrival of a new chef, Grégory Cohen, who receives a lot of media attention.

The party

Le Mans Classic is a gigantic party for car fans who can spend an exceptional weekend with their lesser-interested companions. The Centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is an unforgettable opportunity to celebrate in a big way, and with the family, since it will take one century to live it again… 

Between Artcurial auction, open-air cinema sessions, exhibitions, a tour of all the shops – or almost, because there are so many of them! – you can go, day and night, from one entertainment to another and moreover, of all kinds: dancing, hairdressing, barbering, or even be ecstatic in front of the crazy demonstration of the Wall of Death, listen to or follow the bagad,…

The Drive-in

It is now one of the classic entertainments at Le Mans Classic. The drive-in’s Plein Jour screen will distil to the spectators, headphones on the ears and comfortably sitting in a deckchair, films where the car is king. 

Friday 30 June

18h00 : SOS Fantômes
20h45 : C’était un rendez-vous
21h00 : Au service de sa majesté
23h15 : C’était un rendez-vous
23h30 : The Dark Night

Saturday 1 July

18h00 : Retour vers le futur
20h45 : C’était un rendez-vous
21h00 : Le Mans 66
23h45 : C’était un rendez-vous
00h00 : Spectre

The manufacturers

The manufacturers have not forgotten that the 24 Hours of Le Mans was originally created to “test endurance more than speed”, to show the public the quality of the machines and of course, to obtain indispensable improvements. And in a century, they have tested so many innovations! With varying degrees of success, but always with the same enthusiasm. However, even if they don’t come anymore -for various reasons- to try their luck at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Le Mans Classic is the ideal place for them to celebrate an anniversary, to unveil a new model, a new brand, or to relaunch an old one… 

This year, Alfa Romeo, Bentley Mulliner, De Tomaso, McLaren, Porsche will be present to highlight their past and present which often meet. As a historical partner of Le Mans Classic, BMW will once again be the Pace Car.