Jim Glickenhaus used to be best known as a film director, producer and writer. The Exterminator, the 1980 cult vigilante movie, is probably his most famous flick. These days, however, he’s more prominent as the vocal boss of a fledgling sports car company with a big social media profile only matched by its aspirations on the race track. He’s heading to the Le Mans 24 Hours to take on the might of Toyota from this year, Peugeot perhaps as early as next season, and then Ferrari, Porsche and Audi from 2023. And he thinks he can win.
The New Yorker, who turned 71 in July, is a self-confessed car and racing nut with a collection of vehicles significant in size and historical importance. That was the starting point of his dream to race at Le Mans, one he will fulfil in August when his team pitches up at the centrepiece round of the World Endurance Championship with a pair of Le Mans Hypercars bearing his name and built with his money.
The road to the Glickenhaus-Pipo 007 LMH – to give the Le Mans racer designed and developed in Italy its full name – has by his own admission been long and winding. There was “never a conscious plan”, insists Glickenhaus. Rather, his aspirations “grew organically”.