Montlhéry Celebrates its Centenary

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The Linas-Montlhéry Autodrome took just six months to build and this year celebrates its 100th anniversary.  Scene of many pre-war Grands Prix de France and a great number of speed records, almost 1,000 tonnes of steel went into its construction.  It was known for its steep banking, which in places, was too steep for a person to be able to stand upright.  Soon after its construction in 1924, the speed ring was supplemented by a 12-kilometre road circuit through the surrounding forest, which would subsequently become a favourite with French manufacturers and drivers.

After the Second World War, the autodrome, which had in the meantime been bought by the French state, was handed over to the Union Technique de l’Automobile, du Motocycle et du Cycle (UTAC).  From its reopening in 1947, the racing and record-breaking continued unabated, so much so that in 1955 it accounted for 74% of world records.  Although the circuit lost its homologation for racing events in 2004, every year it hosts numerous manufacturers who come to test their vehicles, and many events dedicated to classic cars are organised there including the popular Vintage Revival Montlhéry.

The 1934 SEFAC GP car was restored and returned to Montlhéry in 2022 Photos Courtesy Vintage Revival Montlhéry

For the centenary, Rétromobile will be hosting a 500sqm exhibition organised in partnership with UTAC and the organisers of the Vintage Revival.  Visitors will be able to discover a selection of around 20 vehicles that left their mark on the history of the circuit, ranging from the pre-war Bugatti Type 36/35A and the 1928 Amilcar MCO Grand-Prix, to more recent cars such as the record-breaking Peugeot 404, the McLaren F1 GTR or the BPR Global GT Ferrari F40.

Amongst the many special events to take place at the circuit during the year, UTAC has prepared a spectacular two-day, “100 years of the Autodrome” event on 12-13 October where a selection of cars from different eras of the automobile will take to the track to mark the historic occasion.

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