Heading the entry list of the 1961 Le Mans 24 Hour race was the 4 litre / 244 cui GT class made up of three entries all of which were privately entered Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato’s including the left hand drive chassis #0180/L entered and driven by Jean Kerguen and Jacques Dewes, the latter appears to have also been known by the pseudonym “Franc” or “J Franc”.
The other two DB4 GT Zagato’s were the lightweight right hand models of the Essex Racing Stable best known by their registration numbers ‘1 VEV’ driven by Jack Fairman and Bernard Consten and ‘2 VEV’ driven by Australians Lex Davison and Bob Stillwell.
During the 1961 Le Mans Test weekend Jean recorded 9th fastest time driving #0180/L, but during qualification for the race Jean and Jacques could only manage 13th fastest time, right behind ‘2 VEV’ and two spots ahead of ‘1 VEV’.
During the race the Essex Racing Stable Zagato‘s ‘1 VEV’ and ‘2 VEV’ retired early on laps 22 and 25 respectively both with blown head gaskets. #0180/L recorded 286 laps enough to be classified 9th overall and class winners, had it not retired in the final hour with a broken starter motor.
#0180/L is known to have made at least three further race appearances with Jean recording a best 4th place finish driving the car in the 1961 Coppa Inter-Europa run at Monza.
Gwen and Tom Price from Larkspur CA were the owners of #0180/L when Geoffrey Horton took these photo’s of it at Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance last year.
My thanks to Geoffrey for sharing his photo’s and to you for joining me on this “To Finish First” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me for Maserati Monday tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 1962 Le Mans competitor. Don’t forget to come back now !