24 Hours of Le Mans – Jim Glickenhaus credits Ferrari/Ford for his love of auto racing

24 Hours of Le Mans – Jim Glickenhaus credits Ferrari/Ford for his love of auto racing

In the wake of its debut at Portimão last month, two Glickenhaus 007 LMHs will take the start in the 6 Hours of Monza, the third and last round before the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The race is special to Jim Glickenhaus whose passion for auto racing traces back to Ferrari in Italy and Ford in the U.S.

It all began in the 1960s for Jim Glickenhaus when he met a major player in Ferrari's history: Luigi Chinetti, a winner at Le Mans both as a driver (1932, 1934 and 1949) and team owner (1965), and also the right-hand man of Enzo Ferrari in the U.S.

Jim Glickenhaus: "When I was a little boy, I was fascinated by how things worked, I loved taking things apart. I loved cars especially, fast and beautiful ones. I read car magazines and listened to Le Mans races on my short wave radio. I wrote Mr. Ferrari (he didn't respond). I rode my bike 10 miles to Mr. Chinetti's Ferrari dealership. Eventually he let me come in and sit in the cars, I was allowed to touch the steering wheel, but not the stick shift. I picked up parts and helped around the shop. One rainy day, he gave me a NART team jacket."

Glickenhaus' first encounter with Ferrari in competition happened in Formula 1, but at the time he crossed paths with a future six-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. "I told Mr. Chinetti I wanted to see a F1 race. He told me when I set out for Europe after high school for a backpacking trip, to go to the pits on Wednesday before the race, and when the Ferrari transporter pulled in to tell the team [that he had] sent me. I unloaded the truck and helped out, I met Jacky Ickx who had driven himself from Paris in his Fiat. In 1969, I went to Europe again to see Le Mans. I remember everything, the crowds, the Ferris wheel, the food, the wine, the cars. I currently own three cars that raced against each other at Le Mans in 1967 (namely two Ferrari 330 P4s, one Ferrari 412 P and one Ford Mk IV, Ed.).

The Ferrari 330 P4 won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 1967 thanks to Chris Amon and Lorenzo Bandini, and gave the Italian marque a hat trick in Florida. At Le Mans, it sported the #20 and was driven once again by Chris Amon, this time with 1964 24 Hours winner Nino Vaccarella. Having qualified in 12th position, the car vacillated between the fifth and seventh spots until seven hours into the race when Amon was forced to retire after a flat tire caused a fire. Two P4s reached the podium thanks to Ludovico Scarfiotti/Michael Parkes and Willy Mairesse/Jean "Beurly" Blaton, second and third respectively. The 412 P was fielded in the 1967 running of Le Mans by British team Maranello Concessionaires (#23) and boasted the characteristic red livery with a sky blue stripe of the cars of Ronnie Hoare, a Ferrari importer across the Channel. From 14th position, the British duo Richard Attwood/Piers Courage broke into the top 10 in the seventh hour and were in the eighth spot when their Ferrari fell victim to an overconsumption of oil, causing them to retire in the 15th hour.

Shared by Mark Donohue and Bruce McLaren, the Ford Mk IV (#2) in Glickenhaus' collection finished fourth at the 1967 24 Hours after a particularly intense race. First delayed by brake pad replacements then recurring clutch troubles, the #2 Ford lost its rear cover on Sunday morning. Regulations required it be reattached for the car to continue the race. Even belts from the pants of the team's mechanics were used! Of the four Ford Mk IVs entered, two made it to the checkered flag. In addition to fourth place for Donohue/McLaren, American duo Dan Gurney/A.J. Foyt (#1) claimed the top step on the podium and surpassed 5,000 km at Le Mans for the first time (5,232 km at an average 218 kph). The Mk IV driven by Mario Andretti/Lucien Bianchi (#3) was eliminated during a pile-up overnight, and that of Denny Hulme/Lloyd Ruby (#4), already delayed by an incident at Mulsanne, was forced to retire following a second one at Tertre Rouge.

For Jim Glickenhaus, this weekend at the 6 Hours of Monza amounts to a return to the source of his passion for auto racing, just ahead of his first participation as a constructor in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans on 21-22 August.

PHOTO (Copyright - Glickenhaus Racing): 8 HOURS OF PORTIMÃO (PORTUGAL), 11-13 JUNE 2021. Two examples of the new Hypercar class on the track for the first time. The Glickenhaus 007 LMH (#709), whose lines recall the iconic Ferrari P4 from the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans, will face off with the Toyota GR010 Hybrid (#7).