1966 poster
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24 heures du Mans, 1966

The Mini Marcos Mk.I (MM 6102) of Claude Ballot-Léna and Jean-Louis Marnat finished the race in 15th and last place but was the only British car to qualify as a finisher in 1966. The engine was a Monte-Carlo Rally spec. 1275 Mini Cooper 'S' unit ordered off the shelf from the BMC Competitions Department who had no idea what it was going to be used for!

The pictures showing the car without headlamp covers were taken on the Sunday of the race as the covers were removed during the night to improve illumination. Photo 2 was probably taken during qualification or testing - note the fewer air holes at the top of the radiator box. 28 was noted as 'Avril 1966' so was also during qualification. Photo 62 is also thought to have been taken during testing. Note no number circle lamps.

Picture 35 shows how the kit got to France, piggy-backing on Billy Dulles’s Mini Pick-up.

Photos 1 to 5 © Washington Photo, 194 bis rue Nationale, F-72000 Le Mans.
Photos 6 to 10 kindly scanned for us by Gérard Boulin.
Photos 11 to 13 © Sport Auto 1966
Photos 18 and 38 © Michel Bollée
Photo 21 by Paul Parker, Sportscar racing in Camera © Ferret Fotographic
Photo 22 © British Pathé 1966 (frame grab) (Watch video here)
Photos 29, 30 and 32 source pilotos-muertos.com (Spanish)
Photo 31 © l'Automobile 1966
Photos 33, 34 via Maximum Mini
Photo 39 © Archives Dominique Pascal
Photo 40 © Autosport
Photo 41 © Motorsport
Photo 43 © RENAULT TV from Film Club Les Mans 1966-1977 (frame grab) (Watch video here)
Photos 44-48 © David Friedman Collection
Photos 49-50 © Guy le Page - taken at the Esses during qualifying, 2nd April 1966.
Photo 52 by Max Le Grand © Ludvigsen Library Ltd., London.
Photos 53 and 54 taken during Le Mans trials, April 1966.
Photo 55 is at Tertre Rouge.
Photo 56 © motoring-man.
Photo 58 courtesy of Richard Heseltine.
Photos 59-61 courtesy of Volker Holz.
Photo 63 © Philip Hazen via racingsportscars.com
Photo 64 © Sport Auto.
Photo 65 © Autocar & Motor.

Thanks to all the photographers concerned, and to Tom Wiggers, Axel Desjardins, Billy Dulles and others for the leads.

View all photos as Slide Show

See also Auto Passion profile of Claude Ballot-Léna.
Obituary: Claude Ballot-Léna
and Mini Marcos 6102 in Members' Cars.

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Last updated 30th September, 2016