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100 YEARS OF LEGENDS – The Official Celebration of the Le Mans 24 Hours

By Denis Bernard, Basile Davoine, Julien Holtz and Gérard Holtz

2024 review by Peter McFadyen

What a superb book and a fitting tribute to one of the world’s greatest sports car races, les Vingt Quatre Heures du Mans. Published by Evro Publishing in December 2023, this is the English version of the book produced by the race organisers, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, and as might be expected it is a big book but excellent value at the price.

To produce ‘the official celebration of the Le Mans 24 Hours’ to mark 100 years since the race was first held (not the 100th race – we still have that to look forward to), it might have been simpler to produce a report of each race and add lots of tables and statistics – but that’s been done before and, for the most part, extremely well. So the ACO have taken a fresh approach, an imaginative thematic approach examining the myriad topics which come to mind whenever one thinks of the race and it is difficult if not impossible to think of any they have left out.

Starting, logically, with the origins of the 24 Hours and 24 ‘firsts’ at Le Mans, the book then goes on to cover an array of themes including trophies, circuit layouts, power units – diesel, gas turbine, electric etc – famous car liveries and helmet designs and, of course, the cars with features on French, British and other nationalities. The section on the ‘best French drivers’ includes an interview with Henri Pescarolo while the ‘best of British’ highlights Derek Bell and Allan McNish. The section labelled ‘incredible but true’ lives up to its name with some fascinating tales from across the years. There is a guide to spectating at Le Mans and, eventually, 100 years of results listing the winners of all 91 races up to and including the 2023 Ferrari victory. All in all, a quiz compiler’s treasure trove.

This is not really a reference work nor a book to be read page by page (although there’s no reason why not) but rather one to be dipped into over and over with something new almost certain to be learned each time. As such, it does not have or need an index, the list of contents providing an excellent guide to all the topics and the likely starting points if you’re looking for something in particular. As one has grown to expect from Evro, the book is produced to a very high standard to complement the many excellent photographs and illustrations and the very readable text. This light-hearted but fact-filled book is very worthy of a place on the book shelves – even those already occupied by other works on the same subject.

Publisher: Evro Publishing (

Price: £70.00 plus postage.

Description:   336 pages, hardback, published without dust jacket. 300mm x 260mm. 600 photographs and diagrams.

ISBN: 978191050885

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