Auto RacingUnknown Artist
1925 24 Hour Grand Prix d Endurance
This is the event we know as Le Mans: 24 hours of driving - about seven of them in darkness - the champion of all sports car races. First held in 1923, the race was the brainchild of the Automobile Club de lOuest, with the support of Charles Faroux, the celebrated auto journalist who wrote the rules. In its early years, the event was referred to as the Rudge-Whitworth Cup in honor of the prizes offered by the popular tire manufacturer. For spectators, it was, and still is, an around-the-clock party with nonstop music, dancing and drinking. The drivers experience can only be described as grueling. Here, with searchlights playing across the night sky and headlights streaming, and open car races against a dial that's both clock face and speedometer. It's a masterful design that captures all the events drama, speed and intensity. The 1925 winner was Ed Courcelles-Rossignol at the wheel of the Lorraine. He traveled 2,234 kilometers (1,388 miles) in 24 hours, or an average of about 58 miles per hour.