Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-3556
2000-11-13

The Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans-the Early Years of a 5.6-Km Open-Chamber Wind Tunnel 2000-01-3556

We propose a survey of automotive aerodynamics as assayed at the Vingt-Quatre Heures du Mans, 1923-1955. Since its inaugural running, the circuit for this 24-hour race has always included the Mulsanne Straight. This stretch of French public thoroughfare is nominally straight, nominally 5.6 kilometers long and always a challenging venue for probing automotive speeds-and respective aerodynamics-of whatever era. Our survey, expository as opposed to analytical, makes use of narrative and photographic archives of Road & Track magazine. The cars range from the highly successful to highly bizarre, from the terribly efficient to just terrible.

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