1935 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 1935 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 13th Grand Prix of Endurance. It took place at the Circuit de la Sarthe on 15 and 16 June 1935. The race was won by Johnny Hindmarsh and Luis Fontés in a British Lagonda, breaking the run of four consecutive Alfa Romeo victories. A record number of 58 starters included a record number of British cars, at 37, dominating the smaller classes. Another notable point of the entry was four all-female cars, and a Le Mans record of ten women competing.

1935 24 Hours of Le Mans
Previous: 1934 Next: 1936
Index: Races | Winners

A strong quartet of privateer Alfa Romeos, including previous winners Raymond Sommer, Earl Howe and Luigi Chinetti, were the favourites. Up against them for outright victory were five Bugattis, two Lagondas and a debut for French manufacturer Delahaye. Most of the race was run in poor weather with intermittent showers, though fortunately there were no serious accidents. Sommer initially had the lead for most of the first quarter of the race, until delayed by engine issues and, with his co-driver too sick to drive, he retired. The race then became a contest between the Hindmarsh/Fontés Lagonda and the Alfa Romeos charging back up the field after early delays. The big Bugatti of Roger Labric was also consistently running among them in the top-three.

Just after half-time, everything changed over the next hour, as successively Labric, Chinetti and then Howe all were forced out with engine or suspension issues. As a drizzly dawn broke, it was the Alfa of Pierre Louis-Dreyfus only a half-lap ahead of the Lagonda, and the lead continued to swap through the morning as the two cars pitted. When the Alfa lost two laps fixing a misfire late in the morning, it gave the British drivers a comfortable margin. However, with less than an hour to go, they were struck with their own engine problems. Forced to tour gently just to make the finish, Louis-Dreyfus passed them, which was mistakenly interpreted as going into the lead when, in fact, it had only got him back onto the lead lap. By the time, that error was picked up there was only ten minutes to run and Fontés made it home to win by a half-lap.

By dint of good reliability, the smaller British cars of Aston Martin and Riley had pushed into the top-five. The works Aston of Brackenbury/Martin took a fine third-place overall and won both the Index of Performance and Biennial Cup. British cars set new distance records in the 2-litre (MG), 1.5-litre (Aston Martin) and 1-litre classes (Singer). All three MGs of George Eyston's all-female team finished, virtually in formation, after running trouble-free to a careful schedule.

Fontés (L) and Hindmarsh (R), sitting onboard their winning Lagonda

Regulations and organisationEdit

To avoid controversy and argument, this year the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) introduced a mathematical formula to calculate the target distances for the Index of Performance. This formula was based on engine size, although a variation on the basic equation was used for 2-seater cars under 1.5-litres.[1] This mainly impacted on the smaller engine cars, adding around 8-12 laps to their targets. The class-divisions remained as per the previous year, except for the over 3-litre class. An additional bracket at 4-litres was included, so creating a new engine class.[2]

There were no significant updates or changes to the track or facilities this year. As usual, the petrol supplier alternated and this year, Shell offered four fuel choices: its regular fuel, 100% benzole, a 70/30 blend of the two and a 70/15/15 blend of the regular with benzole and ethanol.[2] As an incentive, the French Office National des Combustibiles Liquides offered a FF10,000 bonus prize to a team who won either the Index of Performance or Biennial Cup using the ternary fuel.[2]

Le Mans in 1935
6000cc+ 2,640 km (1,640 mi) 2,619 km (1,627 mi) 109.1 km/h (67.8 mph) 194.1 laps
5000cc 2,632 km (1,635 mi) 2,600 km (1,600 mi) 108.3 km/h (67.3 mph) 192.7 laps
4000cc 2,610 km (1,620 mi) 2,569 km (1,596 mi) 107.0 km/h (66.5 mph) 190.4 laps
3000cc 2,450 km (1,520 mi) 2,509 km (1,559 mi) 104.5 km/h (64.9 mph) 186.0 laps
2000cc 2,200 km (1,400 mi) 2,350 km (1,460 mi) 97.9 km/h (60.8 mph) 174.2 laps
1500cc 2,100 km (1,300 mi) 2,225 km (1,383 mi) 92.7 km/h (57.6 mph) 164.9 laps
1100cc 1,880 km (1,170 mi) 2,017 km (1,253 mi) 84.0 km/h (52.2 mph) 149.5 laps
750cc 1,700 km (1,100 mi) 1,743 km (1,083 mi) 72.6 km/h (45.1 mph) 129.2 laps



A record 59 cars arrived for scrutineering at the start of the race-week – the highest for any pre-war Le Mans race.[4] With the German Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union teams dominating Grand Prix racing, the former power-houses of Alfa Romeo and Bugatti turned to sports-car racing. Both marques were well-represented this year. Having matched Bentley the previous year with four wins apiece, Alfa Romeo was keen to go one better and become the most successful make at Le Mans. As well as the venerable La Lorraine and outrageous Duesenberg, the large-engine classes saw the arrival of new teams to challenge for outright victory: the French Delahaye and Talbot, and British Lagonda.

Building upon the growing perception that Le Mans was a “British race held in France”, British brands dominated the medium- and small-engine classes.[5] They comprised 36 of those 44 entrants, including works entries from Austin, Riley and Singer. With the two Lagondas it was a record number of British cars.[6] By contrast, there were only single entries from the French manufacturers aside from Bugatti who had seven cars represented.[4] There were a total of 26 works-supported entries this year. Also of note were the ten women entered, including three all-female pairings. This is still, to date, the highest number of women competing in one Le Mans.

After one of the highest number of finishers in the previous year's race, there were sixteen cars turning up to contest the Coupe Bienniale. These included four Aston Martins, three Singers and fully six Rileys.[7]

Category Entries Classes
Large-sized engines 16 / 15 over 3-litre
Medium-sized engines 9 / 8 1.5 to 3-litre
Small-sized engines 35 / 35 up to 1.5-litre
Total entrants 60 / 58
  • Note: The first number is the number of entries, the second the number who started. Using the equivalent engine-size, with supercharged engines having the x1.4 conversion factor

Over 2-litre entriesEdit

Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 Monza Sport

The Alfa Romeo 8C had been the premier car in the 1930s races. This year, four cars were entered by privateers, but the driver quality made them the cars to beat. Last year's winner Luigi Chinetti was paired with the Monégasque Jacques Gastaud. Raymond Sommer, another two-time winner, also had a gentleman-driver as his partner – Raymond d'Estrez Saugé. The British lord, Earl Howe (running with Brian Lewis, Baron Essendon) brought his three-year old Alfa that he ran the year before. Wealthy Parisian banker Pierre Louis-Dreyfus enticed veteran Henri Stoffel as his co-driver. After four comfortable wins in succession, Alfa Romeo were confident for their fifth win.[8] There was also an Alfa Romeo 6C-1750 SS entered by Guy Weisweiller. Part of a rich Parisian banking family, he raced under the pseudonym "Guy Don". Driving a 1933, late-model, version of the classic 6C, it was now tuned to put out 85 bhp from the supercharged 1774cc engine.[9]

Bugatti Type 50 Sports

Bugatti's largest entry yet at Le Mans saw eight cars arrive. The two biggest were ex-works Type 50 Sports, with their mighty 5-litre supercharged engines. Racing journalist Roger Labric once again had works support, and their driver Pierre Veyron. The other was owned by the wealthy French aristocrat Charles Richer-Delavau.[10] French film director Georges d'Arnoux had raced earlier in the decade but his was his first Le Mans. He shared a 2.3-litre Type 55 with fellow-nobleman Pierre Merlin. There were two touring models – a Type 44 and an elegant new Type 57. This had the supercharged straight-8 engine from the Type 59 Grand Prix car bored out to 3.3-litres giving 135 bhp. It was owned and entered by Franco-Brazilian Pedro Bernardo de Souza Dantas.[11] Three French Bugatti drivers, Max Fourny, Albert Blondeau and Bernard Chaudé had formed a new racing team. The Écurie Argo had two entries: a 2.3-litre Type 51 modified with aerodynamic bodywork over the rear suspension would be driven by Fourny and Chaudé. The other was a Type 35 chassis fitted with a supercharged 2-litre engine with similar bodywork applied. Blondeau had Paul Vallée as his co-driver.[12] The final Bugatti was a Type 51A driven by champion boxer Louis Villeneuve. However, the 1.4 modifier put the supercharged 1.5-litre engine up against 3-litre cars.[11]

Lagonda M45 Rapide

The Fox & Nicholl racing team had raced a Lagonda in the 1929 race, and then scored a successive trio of third places with a British Talbot with works backing. Arthur Fox had renewed the deal with Lagonda even though the company had been placed in liquidation. With works support, he arrived with the new M45 Rapide. This version of the M45 tourer had a 4.5-litre Meadows straight-6 engine that put out 140 bhp. Two cars with a shorter wheelbase were entered, each fitted with a 120-litre fuel tank, improved brakes and suspension. Fox had one car for his team regular Squadron Leader Johnny Hindmarsh and new member Luis Fontés (English son of a wealthy Portuguese shipping executive), while the other had former "Bentley Boy" Dudley Benjafield alongside Sir Roland Gunter.[13]

Delahaye had competed in some of the earliest races at the turn of the century, but had gone back to making standard saloons. But a bold change into the high end sports car market after the recession. Encouraged by wealthy heiress Lucy O'Reilly Schell to develop a car for hill-climb racing, the company set up a competition department. That, in turn, led to them entering Le Mans for the first time this year. The Type 138 Sports had a 3.2-litre engine race-tuned to give 100 bhp. Five cars were built, one for Lucy Schell and another sold to Parisian Henri Toulouse. Bringing it to Le Mans for its first race, he had pro-driver Marcel Mongin beside him.[14]Prince Nicholas of Romania returned for a third attempt with the big 7-litre supercharged Duesenberg.[15] Daniel Porthault came back with his venerable 1926 Lorraine-Dietrich, on the tenth anniversary of its first victory. The 3.5-litre car was re-fitted with a lighter, modern body. His co-driver would again be Just-Émile Vernet.[12]

Talbot returned to Le Mans after a 2-year absence, albeit in far different circumstances. The Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq company was being broken up and Venetian émigré Anthony Lago was targeting the Parisian concern. As director at Talbot he had commissioned a new model – the T120 Baby Sport. The 3-litre engine 90 bhp straight-six engine could get the 4-seat tourer up to 150 kp/h (95 mph). One was entered by its Parisian owner, and Le Mans regular, Auguste Bodoignet.[16]

1- to 2-litre entriesEdit

Riley MPH

After a fantastic race the year before, and strong results elsewhere in the season, the Riley team arrived with confidence. Six new cars had been built modelled on the new Riley Sprite mechanical set-up, two of them fitted with its "12/4" 4-cylinder 1496cc engine tuned to put out 70 bhp. The lead car would be driven by Bill van der Becke with Colin Richardson. The second, entered under the name of Dorothy Champney (Victor Riley's wife), had the all-female pair of Kay Petre and Elsie Wisdom. The other four were the older Riley MPH, with its 1458cc straight-six engine. They were crewed by Riley regulars Dixon/Paul, Newsome/Maclure and Frenchmen Sébilleau/Delaroche. The sixth went to privateer Jean Trévoux for his Biennial Cup entry.[17][6]

MG K3 Magnette

The supercharged MG Magnette had continued its success in Britain. The boosted 1087cc engine could put out 115 bhp. The works team was not present but three international privateers were entered: John Ludovic Ford and Maurice Baumer returned for a third time, and were joined by the cars of French car run by Philippe Maillard-Brune (who had recently won the Bol d'Or race three weeks earlier) and Dutchman Edmond Hertzberger. A fourth car, in George Eyston's team, did not eventuate.[18][6]

Aston Martin Ulster

Aston Martin mounted a serious assault for class and Coupe honours this year with seven entries. These were all the new Ulster model from Technical Director ”Bert” Bertelli to compete in the 1.5-litre class. As none of the works team had qualified for the Biennial Cup this year, the three works-cars were all entered privately under the drivers who had qualified: John Noël and Reggie Tongue had both run their own cars last year and their cars had regular Aston works drivers. Meanwhile, Roy Eccles had run an MG to fourth with Charles Martin. This year he stepped aside and Martin got Charles Brackenbury as his co-driver.[19] Unusually for British cars, the works Astons were painted red this year, like the Lagondas. The works team was supported by four privateers. Maurice Falkner had acquired an ex-works Aston Martin and had won his class in the Mille Miglia this year with Tommy Clarke. The two paired up again for the French race.[20][21]

Frazer Nash had started in 1922 but collapsed at the end of the decade in the financial crash. It was then taken over as AFN Limited by Harold "Aldy" Aldington, a sales manager for the company and keen amateur driver. They resumed production, building bespoke sports cars to order named after motor-racing races. In 1934, AFN took over the defunct Anzani Engineering who made the Gough engine. Two models arrived at Le Mans from British gentleman drivers. The Shelsley was named after the well-established English hill climb event. It had a 1496cc Gough engine fitted with twin Centric superchargers that could make 95 bhp and get up to a speed of 160 kp/h (100 mph). The other entry was a TT Replica which had the same engine, though normally aspirated.[22]

The class was rounded out with a Derby L8, driven by notable female racer, Gwenda Stewart, who had worked with the Parisian Automobiles Derby company to develop the car.[15] Just a single Amilcar arrived this year. Clément-Auguste Martin's Équipe de l’Ours team again worked with Georges Boursin. Normally in a 1.1-litre class, the 1079cc side-valve engine instead made it the smallest in class.[15]

up to 1-litre entriesEdit

Singer Nine Le Mans

A veritable squadron of Singers turned up to defend the class win from 1934. Eight were entered, including three new works entries for the Coupe Bienniale. Mindful of the British production regulations, the new model was called the "Nine Le Mans Replica". The racing-spec engine now put out 50 bhp. Fitted with uprated suspension and a stiffened chassis, it was almost 200 kg lighter than the standard "Nine Le Mans", and could get up to 150 kp/h (95 mph). Le Mans winner and noted journalist Sammy Davis was brought in as team manager to allow Singer's racing manager, Stan Barnes, to drive. His co-driver was Alf Langley, while Stan's brother Donald again raced with journalist Tommy Wisdom, and Norman Black/Roddy Baker ran the other two cars. They were supported by three British and two French privateers running last year's Nine Le Mans model.[23]

This year, the MG company worked with well-known speed-record champion George Eyston to prepare three all-female crews to run the Midget PA in the 1-litre class. This was no publicity stunt, as the women were all high-profile drivers with strong racing history: Scottish Margaret Allan had won races at Brooklands driving a Bentley, and was teamed up with Corinne Eaton who had entered the 1932 Le Mans for Fox & Nichol but crashed en route to the event. Australian Joan Richmond had won the 1932 inaugural Brooklands 1000 miles with Elsie Wisdom. For this event, she raced with Eva Gordon-Simpson, who had been in the Triumph rally team with Eaton and Allan. The third car was driven by Doreen Evans and Barbara Skinner. A fourth, privateer, MG was entered by Philippe Maillard-Brune's team.[24][6]

At the end of 1934, the SIMCA (Société Industrielle de Mécanique et de Carrosserie Automobile) company had been set up by Fiat S.p.A. to license-manufacturer their cars in France. The predominant model was the 508 "Balilla" (known as the Simca-Fiat 6CV). Italian émigré Amadeo Gordini was one of the service agents. Inspired by the racing success of the 508 in Italy, Gordini worked with SIMCA test driver Henri Louveau to modify the 6CV for racing. They worked on the 995cc engine, boosting its power to 36 bhp, improved the transmission and chassis, while shedding weight. Gordini drove single-handed to win his class in the 24-hour Bol d'Or in May. He used the prizemoney to buy that car and entered it into this race with Carlo Nazzaro (nephew of the great Italian driver Felice Nazzaro) as his co-driver.[25] Another standard Balilla was entered by French Bugatti woman Anne-Cécile Rose-Itier.

The end of the grid was filled by four Austins – the EK75 "Speedy" was the latest sports-version of the Austin 7 and three represented the works team for the first time, while an older EA Sports model was entered by John Carr.[26]

Practice and Pre-RaceEdit

During practice, a stone punctured the fuel tank of Labric's Bugatti. After repairs they fitted wooden slats on the floor to stop it re-occurring during the race.[10] The most serious incident during the lead-up happened in the last practice on Friday night. De Valence in one of the big Bugattis had his lead mechanic with him when he lost control coming out of the first corner. Cutting the corner, the car then slammed into the outside fence ripping off the front axle, throwing the two onto the track. George Delaroche, in his Riley, had just been overtaken but managed to stop without hitting the unconscious mechanic. Taken to hospital, he was in a coma for 9 days before eventually recovering. The car was a write-off and would not take the start.[10][21] The weather had been poor through the week. But this boded well for the heavier British cars, negating some of the power of the dominant Alfa Romeos.[27]



Race start with the Alfa Romeos of “Guy Don” and Sommer leading the Talbot tourer

This year raceday started grey and drizzly, however as the cars formed up on the grid en echelon, the rain eased.[7][28] The big news was that Raymond Sommer's co-driver had been taken very ill and would be unable to do much driving. Sommer had found Christian d'Auvergne among the spectators – veteran of four Le Mans in the 1920s. However, the ACO officials ruled it was too late for driver substitution, so once again, Sommer was facing a long race on his own.[8][4] At flagfall, Brian Lewis was the first car to get away, although it was still the big Duesenberg under the Champion bridge first. By the end of the first lap, the Alfa Romeos had got to the front, with Lewis leading Sommer, Chinetti, the Duesenberg and Louis-Dreyfus. After a slow start, Veyron had got the big Bugatti up to sixth, ahead of Hindmarsh's Lagonda.[29][28] After close racing, Sommer took the lead on lap 3, only to pit to reconnect an errant sparkplug-cable. Then on the fifth lap, Lewis had to pit to get the distributor replaced that cost him over ten minutes and two laps.[28][8][29] This left the order as Chinetti, Louis-Dreyfus, Veyron and Hindmarsh as the rain returned. Sommer excelled as it got wetter and had got to second place by 5pm. At the end of that first hour they had all completed 9 laps. A lap behind in 7th was the Bugatti of Viscomte Merlin, then the Aston Martins of Penn-Hughes and Martin with Van der Becke's Riley in 10th. Sommer took the lead soon afterward and then a heavy squall swept the track. Both Louis-Dreyfus and Chinetti pitted for tyres. The latter then had to pit again straight away because oil was leaking onto his rear brakes, costing two laps.[8][28]

At 6.30pm, the leaders had done their mandatory 24 laps and started pitting.[29] Sommer, facing a long drive, had a double-stint. However, at 7pm, he had put a lap on the field, having done 29 laps. Second was the Fontés Lagonda, with Labric and Stoffel not far behind. The other Lagonda was fifth (27 laps) with Prince Nicolas, and the Brackenbury Aston (leading the 1500cc class) on the same lap.[30] Aston Martin was running 8-9-10 ahead of the Rileys. But in a sharp rainburst, Jim Elwes aquaplaned off at the sweeping first corner, sliding backwards in the roadside fence. When he got back to the pits, the crew just hacked off the wrecked rear-end bodywork and sent him back out again.[19] As dusk fell, in the half-light soon after 9pm, Fothringham misjudged the White House corner. Slipping off the road, the Aston Martin rolled throwing the driver out and sliding down the road. He was very lucky to be narrowly avoided by his team-mate Gardner, and Hindmarsh as the Lagonda came up to lap the two Astons.[29] Then Sammy Newsome dumped his Riley into the sandbank at Arnage. Unfortunately, over-enthusiastic spectators helping him out got the team subsequently disqualified.[30][20][17]

Trévoux's MG leads the Delahaye out of Mulsanne corner


By the time the rain stopped around 10pm, the Duesenberg was out with ignition failure, after running in the top-10. Then sensationally, with a comfortable lead, Sommer stopped at Mulsanne corner with fuel-flow problems. It took an hour for him to crawl his way back to the pits just on the electric starter motor.[8][30] During the Alfa's ordeal, Hindmarsh was able to move the Lagonda to the front followed by Stoffel, Labric's Bugatti, Howe and Gastaud all on the same lap. After clearing the fuel-pipe, Sommer rejoined the race seven laps down.[29] Hindmarsh then had to pit to fix his headlamps, smashed by errant stones, losing a lap.[27] Lewis meanwhile, now back in Howe's Alfa, was driving very fast, making up his lost laps. Early into the new day, he was back into second and then into the lead not long after 1am.[30] Likewise, Chinetti was improving quickly after his early dramas and was up to fifth. At 1.15am, Sommer came into the pits, still with recurring engine issues. Now twenty laps behind, after driving solely for 9 hours he was exhausted. Encouraged on by the partisan crowd he went back out for two more laps, but facing a hopeless situation alone with a sick car, he pulled in again and retired.[8][30][29]

At the halfway point, in the drizzle, Howe was leading Veyron by two minutes (113 laps), a lap ahead of Louis-Dreyfus, Hindmarsh. Chinetti/Gastaud were fifth (108) and the other Lagonda of Benjafield/Gunter sixth (106). Martin/Brackenbury ran a strong 7th (105) narrowly leading the 1.5-litre class in their Aston Martin, ahead of the Sébilleau/Delaroche Riley, both comfortably out-running the MG of Maillard-Brune, leading the 2-litre class in 20th (97 laps).[31] Then abruptly over the course of an hour, everything changed: Three laps later Veyron's Bugatti broke its rear axle, and the suspension on Chinetti's Alfa failed. Then at 5.30, Howe had to park his Alfa Romeo with his engine wrecked by a holed piston.[8][31][4][29]

The Riley of Trévoux leading the Thomas Aston Martin through Champion Curve

In the smaller classes, the Aston Martins still held the edge over the pursuing Rileys. The Singer of Black/Baker was in a tight tussle with Maillard-Brune's other car, the supercharged MG in the 1-litre class. They had lead through the latter half of the night but were stopped at 8am with a broken starter motor – a fault that had already claimed their stablemate.[23]


All this chaos left “Heldé” with a 1-minute, half-lap, lead over Hindmarsh, having covered 131 laps by 6am, as the murky dawn appeared. This grew when the Lagonda had to pit for several repairs. The other Lagonda had eased up into third, while the Delahaye of Toulouse/ Mongin was having a trouble-free run and was now fourth. Over the next four hours, Hindmarsh and Fontés drove hard until they were less than a minute behind again at 9am, and then took the lead around 10am.[32][31][27] The weather had closed in again: just after 9 o'clock, Georges Delaroche spun his Riley at Arnage, while running sixth. It dug in, and rolled throwing the driver out. He then spent 45 minutes levering the car back onto it wheels, observed by spectators keeping their distance. However, the liquid had leaked out of the battery and the car would not restart. When those spectators then gave him a push-start, he was destined for disqualification.[17] Soon after that accident, his teammate Freddie Dixon came into the pits with suspension problems. Suddenly the car burst into the flames. No-one was injured but they were out of the race.[31][17]

Soon after that, Stoffel pitted the Alfa to fix a misfire and a water leak, losing seven minutes fitting new spark plugs. The other Lagonda, of Benjafield/Gunter, had got up to third until Benjafield stopped at Tertre Rouge with a mangled gearbox. He ran back to the pit, and then back again with a Lagonda mechanic, who shouted instructions as he did repairs to get it slammed into fourth. Back at the pits there was little options to repair, so they continued on driving with only top gear engaged.[31][27][29]

Pitstop for the leading Lagonda

The Talbot saloon had had a consistent race, though it was unable to keep up with the smaller British cars. Through attrition higher up, it was running 11th by mid-morning. However, the brakes were an issue and completely failed for Bodoignet as he cornered at Arnage, sending him up the escape road. As he reversed back onto the track, he almost collided with Stan Barnes in his class-leading Singer. Barnes swerved into the roadside ditch and thumped a concrete post, but was able to carry on.[16][23] The Talbot struggled on, but at midday, it finally retired with a broken oil-pipe.[16]

Finish and post-raceEdit

The race was winding down to a predictable finish, when Fontés pitted at 3pm, off-schedule. At the previous pit-stop, the car had not had its oil topped up. The Lagonda had a two-lap lead but had dangerously low oil pressure. Rules stipulated it was not allowed to be replenished outside the standard pit-windows, so with less than an hour to go, he gingerly left for another lap.[31][27][4] He came back with the car running worse, but the pit-crew exhorted him to carry on, albeit cautiously. Louis-Dreyfus was driving hard, and with 20 minutes to go, the public-address loudspeaker reported he was closing in quickly on the Lagonda for the lead. The next lap he overtook Fontés and his pit-team signalled him to ease off, believing him to now be leading. However, at 3.55, the announcer admitted the mistake that the Alfa was, in fact, still 3 minutes behind on the same lap.[8][31][4][29] By then it was too late to catch the ailing Lagonda and it came home for the first British win since Bentley at the start of the decade.[33]

A fine third place overall, and winner of the Index competition, Biennial Cup and 1.5-litre class, went to the Aston Martin of Martin/Brackenbury. They were only 7 laps behind the winners, and a further clear 7 laps ahead of their rivals, the Riley of Van der Becke/Richardson. After initially challenging the Astons, their Riley had been delayed during the night but gradually had come back into contention.[17][33] The Delahaye finished a lap further back after a solid debut performance, and only got overhauled by the Riley in the last hours.[14] Next was the Alfa Romeo 6C-1750 of Weisweiller/Desvignes. They had run in the top-10 through the night and into sixth by mid-morning, where they continued on to finish, winning the 3-litre class.[9][14] After its major gearbox problems, the Benjafield/Gunter Lagonda limped home in 13th.[27] After its major gearbox problems, the Benjafield/Gunter Lagonda limped home in 13th.[27]

From a bad run the previous year, Aston Martin were rewarded this year with six of their seven cars finishing.[19] Philippe Maillard-Brune won the 2-litre class. His MG Magnette was the only one to finish. After running mid-field through the night, by late-morning had got into the top-10. They finished ninth after a late-race contest with Falkner and Clarke's privateer Aston Martin ended up with them less than half a lap behind.[18] The Singer–MG battle in the 1-litre class went the way of the former, with racing manager Stan Barnes, and Alf Langley, winning by 11 laps from the SIMCA-Fiat of Anne Rose-Itier. After the duelling pair of Black/Baker and Viale/Debille had broken in the morning, they had a comfortable class-lead. After Barnes got his late-morning scare from the Talbot at Arnage, they were able to make it home without further problems and finishing 16th overall.[23] The 5-year old BNC struggled against the more modern British cars. In what turned out to be the last outing for the model, the team covered the furthest distance yet for a BNC (by 10 laps) and just missed taking 4th in class by 5 kilometres.[22]

Of the 28 finishers, 22 were British cars, and they took the top ten places in the Index of Performance and the top five in the Biennial Cup. All three of George Eyston's all-female teams finished (in 24th, 25th and 26th with just a lap between them), having run to a set schedule. Their only issue had been a single broken tail-light.[24] Two of the little Austins were the last finishers, covering less than two-thirds of the distance of the winner, with the privateer John Carr beating home the works car.

A week later, the Lagonda company was rescued from receivership by Alan Good, who brought in W. O. Bentley whose own company had been bought by Rolls-Royce.[34] They ceased production of the Rapide and Rapier. In October, Luis Fontés was involved in a fatal road-accident that killed a motorcyclist. Convicted of drink-driving, he was sentenced to three years' imprisonment and never raced again.[27] After twelve years and eight entries, it was the final appearance of La Lorraine. An auspicious run had netted two outright victories in the 1920s. It was also the final Le Mans for BNC (7 years), and Duesenberg and Derby (albeit from a limited time).[4] In contrast, Anthony Lago completed the purchase of the Talbot company, and the success for Amédée Gordini convinced SIMCA to appoint him in the new year for their blooming racing program. A lot more would be heard from those two names in future races at Le Mans.[16][25]

Official resultsEdit


Results taken from Quentin Spurring's book, officially licensed by the ACO[35] Class Winners are in Bold text.

Pos Class No. Team Drivers Chassis Engine Tyre Target
1 5.0 4   Arthur W. Fox   Johnny Hindmarsh
  Luis Fontés
Lagonda M45 Rapide Meadows 4.5L S6 D 192 [B] 222
2 5.0 ** 12   P. Louis-Dreyfus
(private entrant)
  "Heldé" (Pierre Louis-Dreyfus)
  Henri Stoffel
Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 LM Alfa Romeo 2.3L S8
D 188 222
3 1.5 29   R. Eccles
(private entrant)
  Aston Martin Ltd
  Charlie Martin
  Charles Brackenbury
Aston Martin Ulster Aston Martin 1494cc S4 D 165 [B] 215
4 1.5 24   Riley (Coventry) Ltd   Alex “Bill” van der Becke
  Colin Richardson
Riley Racing MPH 12/4 Riley 1496cc S4 D 165 [B] 208
5 5.0 7   "Michel Paris"
(private entrant)
  "Michel Paris" (Henri Toulouse)
  Marcel Mongin
Delahaye 138 Sport Delahaye 3.2L S6 ? 188 207
6 3.0 ** 21   “Guy Don”
(private entrant)
  “Guy Don” (Guy Weisweiller)
  Jean Desvignes
Alfa Romeo 6C-1750 SS Alfa Romeo 1774cc S6
D 182 204
7 1.5 38   J. Trévoux
(private entrant)
  Jean Trévoux
  René Carrière
Riley Racing MPH Riley 1458cc S6 D 165 [B] 204
8 1.5 33   M. Falkner
(private entrant)
  Maurice Falkner
  Tom Clarke
Aston Martin Ulster Aston Martin 1494cc S4 D 165 202
9 2.0 ** 42   P. Maillard-Brune
(private entrant)
  Philippe Maillard-Brune
  Charles Druck
MG K3 Magnette MG 1082cc S4
D 157 202
10 1.5 32   C.T. Thomas
(private entrant)
  C.T. “Tommy” Thomas
  Michael Kenyon
Aston Martin Ulster Aston Martin 1494cc S4 D 165 199
11 1.5 31   P.L. Donkin
(private entrant)
  Peter Donkin
  Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton
Aston Martin Ulster Aston Martin 1494cc S4 D 165 199
12 1.5 27   J. Noël
(private entrant)
  Aston Martin Ltd
  Mortimer Morris-Goodall
  Jim Elwes
Aston Martin Ulster Aston Martin 1494cc S4 D 165 [B] 196
13 5.0 14   Arthur W. Fox
  D. Benjafield
(private entrant)
  Dr Dudley Benjafield
  Sir Roland Gunter
Lagonda M45 Rapide Meadows 4.5L S6 D 192 196
14 3.0 ** 26   L. Villeneuve
(private entrant)
  Louis Villeneuve
  André Vagniez
Bugatti Type 51A Bugatti 1453cc S8
D 177 195
15 1.5 30   R.P. Gardner
(private entrant)
  Goldie Gardner
  Alfred Beloë
Aston Martin Ulster Aston Martin 1494cc S4 D 165 [B] 190
16 1.0 51   F.S. Barnes
  Singer Motors Ltd
  F. Stanley Barnes
  Alf Langley
Singer Nine Le Mans Replica Singer 973cc S4 D 144 [B] 183
17 1.5 34   A. Hénon
(private entrant)
  André Hénon
  Roger Rès
Singer Le Mans 112 Litre Singer 1496cc S4 D 165 177
18 1.0 45   Mme A.-C. Rose-Itier
(private entrant)
  Anne-Cécile Rose-Itier
  Robert Jacob
SIMCA-Fiat 508 Balilla Sport Fiat 999cc S4 D 145 [B] 172
19 1.0 48   G. Hendy
(private entrant)
  Gordon Hendy
  James Boulton
Singer Nine Sports Singer 973cc S4 D 144 171
20 1.0 54   A.R. Marsh
(private entrant)
  Arthur Marsh
  Trevor Guest
Singer Nine Le Mans Singer 973cc S4 D 144 160
21 1.0 46   G. Duval
(private entrant)
  Gaston Duval
  Jean Treunet
BNC Type 527 Sport Ruby 993cc S4 D 145 160
22 1.0 52   R. Gaillard
(private entrant)
  Raymond Gaillard
  Maurice Aimé
Singer Nine Le Mans Singer 973cc S4 D 144 159
23 1.0 53   J. Savoye
(private entrant)
  Jacques Savoye
  Guy Lapchin
Singer Nine Le Mans Singer 973cc S4 D 144 155
24 1.0 56   Capt. G.E.T. Eyston
  MG Cars
  Joan Richmond
  Eveline Gordon-Simpson
MG Midget PA MG 846cc S4 D 136 153
25 1.0 55   Capt. G.E.T. Eyston
  MG Cars
  Doreen Evans
  Barbara Skinner
MG Midget PA MG 846cc S4 D 136 153
26 1.0 57   Capt. G.E.T. Eyston
  MG Cars
  Margaret Allan
  Corinne Eaton
MG Midget PA MG 846cc S4 D 136 152
27 750 62   J. Carr
(private entrant)
  John Carr
  John Barbour
Austin 7 Sports Speedy Austin 749cc S4 D 130 141
28 750 60   Austin Motor Co.   Charles Dodson
  R.J. Richardson
Austin 7 EK75 Speedy Austin 749cc S4 D 130 138

Did not finishEdit

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Engine Tyre Target
Laps Reason
DNF 3.0 8   Anthony Lago
  A. Bodoignet
(private entrant)
  Auguste Bodoignet
  Gabriel Constant
Talbot T150 Baby Sport Talbot 3.0L S6 ? 186 181 engine
(20 hr)
DSQ 1.5 36   Riley (Coventry) Ltd   Jean Sébilleau
  Georges Delaroche
Riley Nine MPH Riley 1458cc S6 D 164 [B] 149 outside
assistance (18 hr)
DNF 1.5 35   Riley (Coventry) Ltd   Freddie Dixon
  Cyril Paul
Riley Nine MPH Riley 1458cc S6 D 164 [B] 130 fire
(18 hr)
DNF 1.0 44   A. Gordini
(private entrant)
  Amédée Gordini
  Carlo Nazarro
SIMCA-Fiat 508 Balilla Sport
Coppa D'Oro
Fiat 996cc S4 D 145 129 fuel system
DNF 5.0 6  /  B. de Souza Dantas
(private entrant)
 /  Bernard de Souza Dantas
  Roger Teillac
Bugatti Type 57 Bugatti 3.3L S8 ? 188 129 gearbox
(19 hr)
DNF 5.0 ** 10   Earl Howe
(private entrant)
  Francis Curzon, Earl Howe
  Brian Lewis, Baron Essendon
Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 LM Alfa Romeo 2.3L S8
D 188 129 engine
(14 hr)
DNF 5.0 ** 18   Viscomte P. Merlin
(private entrant)
  Viscomte Pierre Merlin
  Comte Georges d'Arnoux
Bugatti Type 55 Bugatti 2.3L S8
? 187 128 electrics
DNF 5.0 ** 11   L. Chinetti
(private entrant)
  Luigi Chinetti
  Jacques Gastaud
Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 LM Alfa Romeo 2.3L S8
? 188 [B] 116 suspension
(13 hr)
DNF 8.0 ** 2   R. Labric
(private entrant)
  Roger Labric
  Pierre Veyron
Bugatti Type 50 Sports Bugatti 5.0L S8
D 196 116 suspension
(13 hr)
DNF 1.0 50   Singer Motors Ltd   Norman Black
  Roddy Baker
Singer Nine Le Mans Replica Singer 973cc S4 D 144 [B] 107 electrics
(17 hr)
DSQ 750 59   Austin Motor Company   Pat Driscoll
  Don Parish
Austin 7 EK75 Speedy Austin 749cc S4 D 130 106 premature
refilling (18 hr)
DNF 2.0 ** 39   M. Baumer
(private entrant)
  Maurice Baumer
  John Ludovic Ford
MG K3 Magnette MG 1087cc S4
D 158 99 engine
(13 hr)
DNF 1.0 ** 58   P. Maillard-Brune
(private entrant)
  Jean Viale
  Albert Debille
MG J4 Midget MG 739cc S4
D 146 98 engine
DNF 3.0 ** 22   "Tim Davies"
(private entrant)
  "Tim Davies" (Dudley Folland)
  Alfred Pane
Frazer Nash Shelsley Gough 1496cc S4
D 177 96 radiator
(17 hr)
DNF 2.0 ** 41   E. Hertzberger
(private entrant)
  Eddie Hertzberger
  "Raph" (Comte George Raphaël
Béthenod de Montbressieux)
MG K3 Magnette MG 1087cc S4
D 158 92 engine
(~10 hr)
DNF 1.1 43   Équipe de l’Ours
  G. Boursin
(private entrant)
  Marcel Horvilleur
  Gaston Serff
Amilcar CO/4
Spéciale Martin
Amilcar 1079cc S4 D 149 91 engine
DNF 750 61   Austin Motor Company   Charles Goodacre
  R.F. Turner
Austin 7 EK75 Speedy Austin 749cc S4 D 130 89 gearbox
(15 hr)
DNF 2.0 19  /  Automobiles Derby   Gwenda Stewart
  Charles Worth
Derby L8 Derby 1991cc V8 ? 174 87 engine
(~10 hr)
DNF 1.5 23   M.T. Collier
(private entrant)
  Michael Collier
  Peter Mitchell-Thomson
Frazer Nash TT Replica Gough 1496cc S4 D 165 77 engine
DNF 3.0 ** 20   Écurie Argo   Paul Vallée
  Albert Blondeau
Bugatti Type 35 Spéciale Bugatti 1989cc S8
D 185 74 engine
(~13 hr)
DNF 5.0 ** 15   R. Sommer
(private entrant)
  Raymond Sommer
  Raymond d’Estrez Saugé
Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 MM-LM Alfa Romeo 2.3L S8
D 188 69 co-driver sick
(10 hr)
DNF 3.0 9   "M. Rekip"
(private entrant)
  "M. Rekip" (René Kippeurt)
  Edmont Nebout
Bugatti Type 44 Bugatti 3.0L S8 D 186 64 engine
DNF 1.0 49   Singer Motors Ltd   Tommy Wisdom
  Donald Barnes
Singer Nine Le Mans Replica Singer 973cc S4 D 144 [B] 57 electrics
DNF 5.0 5   D. Porthault
(private entrant)
  Daniel Porthault
  Just-Émile Vernet
Lorraine-Dietrich B3-6 Le Mans Lorraine-Dietrich 3.5L S6 D 189 52 engine
DSQ 1.5 37   Riley (Coventry) Ltd   Sammy Newsome
  Edgar Maclure
Riley Nine MPH Six Racing Riley 1458cc S6 D 164 [B] 47 outside
assistance (~6 hr)
DNF 1.5 28   R.E. Tongue
(private entrant)
  Aston Martin Ltd
  Clifton Penn-Hughes
  Thomas Fothringham-Parker
Aston Martin Ulster Aston Martin 1496cc S4 D 165 [B] 45 accident
(6 hr)
DNF 1.5 25   Riley (Coventry) Ltd
  D. Champney
(private entrant)
  Elsie Wisdom
  Kay Petre
Riley Racing MPH 12/4 Riley 1496cc S4 D 165 [B] 38 engine
(~5 hr)
DNF 8.0+ ** 1   N. von Hohenzollern-
Sigmaringen (private entrant)
  Prince Nicholas of Romania
  Émile Beghin
Duesenberg Model SJ Duesenberg 7.0L S8
D 197 38 electrics
DNF 5.0 ** 16   Écurie Argo   Bernard Chaudé
  Max Fourny
Bugatti Type 51 Bugatti 2.3L S8
? 188 26 electrics
DNF 1.0 47   I. Connell
  R. Percival
(private entrant)
  Ian Connell
  Nevil Lloyd
Singer Nine Le Mans Singer 989cc S4 D 144 17 clutch
  • Note *: [B]= car also entered in the 1935-36 Biennial Cup.
  • Note **: equivalent class for supercharging, with x1.4 modifier to engine capacity.[41]

Did not startEdit

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Engine Reason
DNS 8.0 ** 3   Treizefonts
(private entrant)
  Charles Richer-Delavau
  Jacques de Valence de Minardière
Bugatti Type 50 Sports Bugatti 5.0L S8
Accident in practice
DNA 2.0 ** 40   Capt. G.E.T. Eyston MG K3 Magnette MG 1087cc S4
Did not arrive
DNA 8.0   J.M. Pons
(private entrant)
  José Maria Pons Hispano-Suiza Hispano-Suiza 7.9L S6 Did not arrive

1935 Index of performanceEdit

Pos 1934-35
Biennial Cup
Class No. Team Drivers Chassis Index
1 1st 1.5 29   R. Eccles
  Aston Martin Ltd
  Charlie Martin
  Charles Brackenbury
Aston Martin Ulster 1.307
2 - 2.0 ** 42   P. Maillard-Brune
(private entrant)
  Philippe Maillard-Brune
  Charles Druck
MG K3 Magnette 1.294
3 2nd 1.0 51   F.S. Barnes
  Singer Motors Ltd
  F. Stanley Barnes
  Alf Langley
Singer Nine Le Mans Replica 1.284
4 3rd 1.5 24   Riley (Coventry) Ltd]]   Alex “Bill” van der Becke
  Colin Richardson
Riley Racing MPH 12/4 1.265
5 4th 1.5 38   J. Trévoux
(private entrant)
  Jean Trévoux
  René Carrière
Riley Racing MPH 1.247
6 - 1.5 33   M. Falkner
(private entrant)
  Maurice Falkner
  Tom Clarke
Aston Martin Ulster 1.232
7 - 1.5 32   C.T. Thomas
(private entrant)
  C.T. “Tommy” Thomas
  Michael Kenyon
Aston Martin Ulster 1.213
8 - 1.5 31   P.L. Donkin
(private entrant)
  Peter Donkin
  Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton
Aston Martin Ulster 1.209
9 - 1.0 48   G. Hendy
(private entrant)
  Gordon Hendy
  James Boulton
Singer Nine Sports 1.198
10 5th 1.5 27   J. Noël
  Aston Martin Ltd
  Mortimer Morris-Goodall
  Jim Elwes
Aston Martin Ulster 1.195
  • Note: A score of 1.00 means meeting the minimum distance for the car, and a higher score is exceeding the nominal target distance. Only the top-10 finishers are listed

Class winnersEdit

Class Winning Car Winning Drivers
over 4-litre
(new class)
#4 Lagonda M45 Rapide Hindmarsh / Fontés
3 to 4-litre
(new class)
#12 Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 LM Louis-Dreyfus / Stoffel *
2 to 3-litre #21 Alfa Romeo 6C-1750 SS Desvignes / Weisweiller
1500 to 2000cc #42 MG K3 Magnette Maillard-Brune / Druck *
1000 to 1500cc #29 Aston Martin Ulster Brackenbury / Martin *
Up to 1000cc #51 Singer Nine Le Mans Replica Barnes / Langley *
Note *: setting a new class distance record.


  • Fastest Lap – F. Howe, #10 Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 LM – 5:47.9secs; 139.61 km/h (86.75 mph)
  • Winning Distance – 3,006.80 km (1,868.34 mi)
  • Winner's Average Speed – 125.28 km/h (77.85 mph)


  1. ^ Spurring 2017, p.8
  2. ^ a b c Spurring 2017, p.182
  3. ^ Spurring 2017, p.360
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Clausager 1982, pp.61-2
  5. ^ Laban 2001, p.81
  6. ^ a b c d Clarke 1998, pp.138-9: Light Car Jun14 1935
  7. ^ a b Spurring 2017, pp.180-1
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Spurring 2017, pp.188-9
  9. ^ a b Spurring 2017, p.201
  10. ^ a b c Spurring 2017, p.202
  11. ^ a b Spurring 2017, p.203
  12. ^ a b Spurring 2017, p.205
  13. ^ Spurring 2017, pp.184-5
  14. ^ a b c Spurring 2017, pp.211-2
  15. ^ a b c Spurring 2017, p.216
  16. ^ a b c d Spurring 2017, pp.196-7
  17. ^ a b c d e Spurring 2017, pp.208-10
  18. ^ a b Spurring 2017, pp.200-1
  19. ^ a b c Spurring 2017, p.191
  20. ^ a b Spurring 2017, p.193
  21. ^ a b Clarke 1998, pp.140-1: Motor Jun18 1935
  22. ^ a b Spurring 2017, p.214-5
  23. ^ a b c d Spurring 2017, pp.194-6
  24. ^ a b Spurring 2017, pp.206-7
  25. ^ a b Spurring 2017, pp.198-9
  26. ^ Spurring 2017, pp.212-3
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h Spurring 2017, pp.186-7
  28. ^ a b c d Clarke 1998, pp.142-3: Motor Jun18 1935
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Radio Le Mans". www.radiolemans.co. Retrieved 2022-07-26.
  30. ^ a b c d e Clarke 1998, pp.144-5: Motor Jun18 1935
  31. ^ a b c d e f g Clarke 1998, pp.146-7: Motor Jun18 1935
  32. ^ Spurring 2017, p.190
  33. ^ a b Laban 2001, p.83
  34. ^ Laban 2001, p.82
  35. ^ Spurring 2017, p.2
  36. ^ Spurring 2017, p.218
  37. ^ "Le Mans 24 Hours 1935 - Racing Sports Cars". www.racingsportscars.com. Retrieved 2022-07-26.
  38. ^ "Le Mans History". www.lemans-history.com. Retrieved 2022-07-26.
  39. ^ "World Sports Racing Prototypes". www.wsrp.cz. Retrieved 2022-07-26.
  40. ^ "Formula 2". www.formula2.net. Archived from the original on 4 July 2017. Retrieved 2022-07-26.
  41. ^ Spurring 2017, p.120
  • Clarke, R.M. - editor (1998) Le Mans ‘The Bentley & Alfa Years 1923-1939’ Cobham, Surrey: Brooklands Books ISBN 1-85520-465-7
  • Clausager, Anders (1982) Le Mans London: Arthur Barker Ltd ISBN 0-213-16846-4
  • Laban, Brian (2001) Le Mans 24 Hours London: Virgin Books ISBN 1-85227-971-0
  • Spurring, Quentin (2017) Le Mans 1930-39 Sherbourne, Dorset: Evro Publishing ISBN 978-1-91050-513-7

External linksEdit

  • Racing Sports Cars – Le Mans 24 Hours 1935 entries, results, technical detail. Retrieved 26 Jul 2022
  • Le Mans History – entries, results incl. photos, hourly positions. Retrieved 26 Jul 2022
  • World Sports Racing Prototypes – results, reserve entries & chassis numbers. Retrieved 26 Jul 2022
  • 24h en Piste – results, chassis numbers, driver photos & hourly positions (in French). Retrieved 26 Jul 2022
  • Radio Le Mans – Race article and review by Charles Dressing. Retrieved 26 Jul 2022
  • Unique Cars & Parts – results & reserve entries. Retrieved 26 Jul 2022
  • Formula 2 – Le Mans results & reserve entries. Retrieved 26 Jul 2022
  • YouTube ] – 1 minute B&W film of the race, with commentary focusing on British entries