Not only the birthplace of motor racing, France also nurtured the sport in its early years. Blue became the French racing color when the marques Mors and Panhard contested the early town-to-town races. France created Grand Prix racing in 1906 when a triumphant Renault prevailed. In the years leading to World War 1, Peugeot dominated Grand Prix racing and joined Delage as a sensational winner of the Indianapolis 500.
Leading expert David Burgess-Wise tells the exciting story of the early years of blue racing cars, taking the tale into the 1920s when first Delage and then the famous cars of Ettore Bugatti dominated Europe's circuits. When Bugatti was eclipsed by the German teams in the 1930s, France turned to sports-car racing with a new generation of spectacular cars. Although Delahaye and Talbot-Lago dominated the sports-car scene, Bugatti made a sensational comeback with two Le Mans wins.
After Word War 2, Talbot-Lago and Gordini carried the blue proudly in the new era of World Championship Grand Prix racing. Matra, a new name, put France on top again in the 1960s and 1970s. Ligier and Rondeau flew the tricolour in sports-car racing. Then the sleeping giant, Renault, awoke and entered the fray with radical turbocharged cars that brought France fresh glory, carrying their success into the 21st Century. Peugeot too returned to gain success at Le Mans.
The saga of over 100 years of French blue in motor racing, the cars and the men who drove them is told in this study. The story is supported by rare illustrations from the world-renowned Ludvigsen Library and striking color artwork of great racing cars specially commissioned for this book.