snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Urban Legends » Automobiles » Crashing Le Mans

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Crashing Le Mans
snopes
Return! Return! Return!


Icon 1 posted      Profile for snopes   Author's Homepage   E-mail snopes       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Comment: Have seen this mentioned in a couple of places on the net:
http://mars.superlink.net/~rriegler/mb/6point3/rudi.html

- In 1970 an ex race-driver, delivering a high-performance Mercedes sedan
to a customer, after a few drinks with friends at Le Mans takes a wrong
turn and, finding himself on the the track as the race is starting,
continues to drive until he runs out of petrol, keeping up with the
leaders for some time.

Has to be fake, surely?

Posts: 36029 | From: Admin | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
L
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for L         Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
You could almost see something like this being possible in its early days, but not in 1970. They'd have surely stopped the race.
Posts: 121 | From: Berkshire, UK | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Bug Muldoon   E-mail Bug Muldoon   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
The included picture reeks of Photoshop - the lighting is different with less glare and I doubt a four-door Mercedes could take that line into the corner and still keep up with the other racers.

All the sources on the story I could find were copies of the page in the OP - so it's all from a single source.

--------------------
All along the untrodden paths of the future, I can see the footprints of an unseen hand.

Posts: 6912 | From: Flanders | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
GrandMal de Caesar
I Saw Three Shipments


Icon 1 posted      Profile for GrandMal de Caesar   E-mail GrandMal de Caesar   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
It doesn't require PhotoShop analysis. Take a hard look at the LeMans Benz. It is sitting lower to the ground, because it has been race-prepared. The roof of the race car is visibly a different color than the body. I would argue that the fog lights on the race picture M-B must be larger too.
Sedans race at LeMans, but there are regulations about the cars, qualification rounds, etc. prior to the race. It just looks forlorn, and foreign, there among the pure sports racers passing it.
A more interesting photo is one I have seen of a Rolls Royce in mid-air during a rally. Even then, someone who knew the car was able to decribe the many modifications made to put that luxury car in the air on a brutal cross country rally.

--------------------
Blinded by the lite

Posts: 89 | From: West Virginia | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Richard W   E-mail Richard W   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Apparently the racing in the film Le Mans (1971) was filmed at the 1970 Le Mans race. I would have thought a story like this would be mentioned if true.

There are some galleries with pictures from the film (and therefore of the race) on the IMDB page and here; can't see any evidence yet that there was a Mercedes saloon in the race whether legitimately or not. Has anybody seen the film?

The story as told sounds extremely unlikely though, not least because the race still had a standing start in 1970 (not a rolling start as it apparently has now). And there are too many celebrities involved it...

I'm not sure that the cars in the Mercedes picture actually match the 1970 cars that you can see in the film galleries, but it's hard to see enough of them to be sure.

(edit) If the photo in the article is doctored, and the original is actually from 1970, then could the original be part of a screen capture from the film Le Mans or from a DVD gallery? It was released on DVD in 2003, apparently.

Posts: 8725 | From: Ipswich - the UK's 9th Best Place to Sleep! | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Hans Off
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Hans Off   E-mail Hans Off   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Hang on a minute. What if the Merc in the OP is the camera car for the filming? That would make more sense no?

--------------------
"British English speakers point to Americans adding more syllables so that they can make even more noise without actually saying anything." Llewtrah


Posts: 2235 | From: Sussex , UK | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Richard W   E-mail Richard W   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Hmm, interesting thought - the screen shots I've seen look like they're from static cameras or in-race-car cameras though. Would a camera car be obstructing the race if it was in that position?

One would have to watch the film to tell really...

Posts: 8725 | From: Ipswich - the UK's 9th Best Place to Sleep! | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Delta-V
Xboxing Day


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Delta-V     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
The two lead cars in the photo appear to be Ford GT-40's. Which means the photo can't be the 1970 LeMans race because no GT-40's were entered. The story is also incorrect on this point.

--------------------
"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

Posts: 1225 | From: Wichita, Kansas | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
GrandMal de Caesar
I Saw Three Shipments


Icon 1 posted      Profile for GrandMal de Caesar   E-mail GrandMal de Caesar   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
http://tinyurl.com/oduu2

Anyhow, there were two Ford GT40s entered in the 1970 race. But, one of the other cars looks like a Chapparal GT, and that makes it an earlier race.
So, I would say this one is busted.
On the LeMans film, I think that they used modified racing cars for most of the filming for more information on this film and on racing history, go to The Nostaglia Forum which is on Autosport.com. Use the search facility and read the various threads. I may repost this there and get the reactions of that forum. Practically, there is no better source for this stuff anywhere, given the actual knowledge and experience of their regular contributors.
Me? I am lurker [Cool]

--------------------
Blinded by the lite

Posts: 89 | From: West Virginia | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
glisp42
I'm Dreaming Of A White iPod


Icon 1 posted      Profile for glisp42   Author's Homepage   E-mail glisp42   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Bug Muldoon:
The included picture reeks of Photoshop - the lighting is different with less glare and I doubt a four-door Mercedes could take that line into the corner and still keep up with the other racers.

All the sources on the story I could find were copies of the page in the OP - so it's all from a single source.

Actually, it could. The 6.3 used self levelling adjustable pnuematic suspension enabling it to take corners at very high speeds. Just ask my hot rod buddy who used to take 45 mph curves at 90 in his 6.9 with no body roll.

Edit: More on the "Bankers Hot Rod"

--------------------
What does "Bookachow", "YOMANK" and other lingo mean?

And we'll collect the moments one by one I guess that's how the future's done. -Feist

Posts: 1641 | From: Kansas | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
BoKu
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 604 posted      Profile for BoKu   Author's Homepage   E-mail BoKu   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by glisp42:
...The 6.3 used self levelling adjustable pnuematic suspension enabling it to take corners at very high speeds. Just ask my hot rod buddy who used to take 45 mph curves at 90 in his 6.9 with no body roll...

Could be so, but body roll compensation has nothing to do with inboard/outboard weight distribution. Unless such a system either lowers the center of gravity of the car or increases gravity on the inboard side of the car (Stephen Hawking would probably like to see the latter), it still has the same basic lateral limits as its uncompensated equivalent. With or without, the high CG of the Mercedes will eventually lighten the inboards enough on the corners so that the outboards will load up and break loose.

The only big advantage to body roll compenation (independent of its whiz-bang appeal) is that it can help keep the suspension geometry in the middle of its travel envelope so the tires give more effective contact patches. And even the nicest shape contact patch is useless unless it actually contacts the ground.

For a racing car, the most effective way of keeping the suspension in the sweet part of the travel envelope is to make the suspension rather stiff and give the car a low CG and a low roll center so that there is minimum inboard/outboard weight transfer and little if any body roll.

Posts: 2079 | From: California | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Delta-V
Xboxing Day


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Delta-V     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GrandMal de Caesar:
Anyhow, there were two Ford GT40s entered in the 1970 race. But, one of the other cars looks like a Chapparal GT, and that makes it an earlier race.

Dangit, you're right. I didn't look far enough down the list.

quote:
Originally posted by BoKu:
Could be so, but body roll compensation has nothing to do with inboard/outboard weight distribution. Unless such a system either lowers the center of gravity of the car or increases gravity on the inboard side of the car (Stephen Hawking would probably like to see the latter), it still has the same basic lateral limits as its uncompensated equivalent. With or without, the high CG of the Mercedes will eventually lighten the inboards enough on the corners so that the outboards will load up and break loose.

The Mercedes didn't have roll compensation, just adjustable ride height, which does lower the CG. And in a 24hr race, durability often means more than handling. A (modified) 300SEL actually finished 2nd in the 24hr race at Spa-Francorchamps in 1971. Not too shabby for something built like a light tank.

quote:

For a racing car, the most effective way of keeping the suspension in the sweet part of the travel envelope is to make the suspension rather stiff and give the car a low CG and a low roll center so that there is minimum inboard/outboard weight transfer and little if any body roll.

Actually, lowering the roll center increases body roll (asuming you started with a roll center lower than the CG), since roll is a function of the moment generated about the roll axis by the CG. The closer the RC to the CG, the smaller the moment. Some of the old Porsche 911 racers had the CG below the roll axis, and actually leaned into the turn. Putting the RC at the CG eliminates body roll, but makes the car completely unresponsive to spring changes and nearly impossible to tune for over/understeer. Raising the RC, however, increases jacking (lateral forces lift the car up), which is partly why the aformentioned 911's were spooky to drive.

Mercedes, in general, does a good job of keeping the suspension in the 'sweet spot' by using geometry that is less affected by body roll, allowing them to use lower spring rates for comfort while keeping the outboard tires upright.

--------------------
"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

Posts: 1225 | From: Wichita, Kansas | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Mycroft
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mycroft   E-mail Mycroft   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Slight problem with dates: If he was going from Stuttgart to Cannes (Southern France) for the Cannes Film Festival in May 1970 (ref http://www.fermentmagazine.org/Bio/Cannes.html ); what was he doing in Le Mans (Northern France) in June (ref http://www.maisonblanche.co.uk/shop/en-us/dept_167.html )
Posts: 135 | From: UK | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
bruce down under
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for bruce down under   E-mail bruce down under   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Yeah, that was a lot earlier than 1970. There are several GT40s - more than the two entered that year. There's also a Porsche 908 coupe - last competitive in 1969. If it was 1970, where are the Porsche 917s that dominated that year?

The movie used a Porsche 908 Spider entered by Steve McQueen and co-driven by Jonathon Williams. I'm such a geek that I've watched that movie I don't know how many times - never seen a Benz of any type. Now, I'm not saying it never happened but I'm also a regular at the Nostalgia Forum and it would have been mentioned there, surely. Especially with posters who've included, over the years, Brian Redman, Dan Gurney and others who Were There.

Interestingly, at the final round of the Australian Touring Car Championship, in 1971, a somewhat lubricated spectator decided that 'I can do THAT' and "borrowed" a Chrysler Valiant (a bit like a Plymouth) and drove onto the track with a whole lot of Trans-Am Series - inspired cars. He did a lap or two and decided he couldn't after all.

Last I heard he was "assisting the Police with their enquiries."

There were big Benzes used in other races at the time of this alleged photo. The Spa 24 hour race and other long-distance events were for saloon cars, and MB entries turned up in some of these. Our Bathurst 500 mile race every year had local identity Bob Jane lodging a faux entry for his MB 600 Grosser. But Bob was just having a lend.

Bruce Down Under

Posts: 429 | From: Australia | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2