These photos are from my father’s trip to Le Mans in 1959 with his friend Bill Greenstreet.
Nine of these images appear in the book “Le Mans 24 Hours: The Official History of the World’s Greatest Motor Race 1949-59” by Quentin Spurring, who actually found the images via the “mydadsphotos” blog.
Apparently the colour images are something of a rarity – there isn’t much from before about the mid-60s.
Please note that the contents of this page now exist at their definitive location on john.shendy.co.uk. They will eventually be deleted from this page.
Part 1 – shots around the circuit
Most of these are taken from their car as they drove round the public roads that make up most of the circuit.
Part 2 – Scrutineering and Qualifying
I really like the colour photos in this section – close-up shots of the cars in Scrutineering, particularly the Ferrari #14 and the line of cars. It also shows just how close they were able to get to the superstar drivers of the day – Stirling Moss is in there.
Part 3 – The Race
A lot of the pictures in this section were taken in the build up to the start of the race, including one of the drivers running to and climbing into the cars. And all this with the crowd separated from the track by just an earth bank – and that’s after the horrific crash there in 1955.
Part 4 – Odds and Sods
Just a few random scenes from around the race.
For more information on the race and the cars, see http://www.lemans-history.com/provas.php?ano=1959