1965 Rover BRM gas tubine Le MansThe first gas-turbine racing car to ever finish the Le Mans 24 Hours will be returning to Le Sarthe this weekend for the first time in nearly 50 years.

The Rover-BRM gas-turbine race car is heading to the Le Mans Classic following a restoration by the Heritage Motor Centre.

The record-breaking car first took part in Le Mans in 1963 as a guest entrant, finishing 8th overall and taking the prize for being the first ever gas turbine car to complete the race. Seems barely credible even now; it must have seemed remarkable back then.

It returned in 1965 as an official competitor, driven by ace pairing Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill. Again it survived the entire 24 hours, finishing in 10th place and actually placed as the first British car to cross the line that year.

The Rover-BRM is one of 21 motoring icons featured in HMC’s 21st birthday exhibition.

It’ll also visit Car Fest North at Oulton Park, Cheshire, from 1 – 3 August, before going on display in the museum at Gaydon. Will it be back alongside the equally idiosyncratic Rover 200 BRM special edition, we wonder?

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