Back on the tracks in drum-braked sportscar races in 2004, after an absence of more than 50 years, will be a rare Gordini T23S. It last raced in 1952 when Robert Manzon crashed while leading the Reims 12 Hours.
The car of Eddie McGuire is one of three T23Ss built by the French company, starting life in 1949 with a 1.5-litre engine. It was upgraded to 2.3-litre form in ’52 and raced at Le Mans, where it led for nine hours in the hands of Jean Behra and Manzon.
It stayed in Gordini hands until 1972 when the damaged chassis was sold to Serge Pozzoli. Finally, a chance conversation between McGuire and Pozzoli’s grandson, Flavien Marcais, led to the car being restored.
The restoration work has been done in the UK by S Longland-Hart, with bodywork by Aubrey Finburgh of Classic Autos.