39th year  -  N° 174                 Saturday, 22 June 2024         Antwerpen		
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Saturday 11th of June 1955

69 Years Ago His Bonnet Was a Flying Guillotine

84 Die in Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR race car crash in Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, Pays de la Loire, France.

49-year-old driver Pierre Levegh struck a protective dirt berm at 200 km/h, disintegrating and igniting his car, throwing him onto the track where he was instantly killed and sending large pieces of flaming debris including the engine block and hood cartwheeling over the berm and into the packed grandstand. The momentum of the heaviest components of the car – the engine, radiator and front suspension – hurtled straight on into the crowd for almost 100 metres, crushing all in their path. The bonnet lid scythed through the air, decapitating tightly jammed spectators like a guillotine.

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