A book describing a very important period in the Le Mans story. Ferrari and Jaguar raced to stake claims as the foremost manufacturers of high-performance cars. Mercedes-Benz came back from war-ravaged Germany and again set the standards in race-car engineering. Aston Martin finally won at its 20th attempt. Enormous crowds – approaching half a million people – saw the first rear-engined saloons to compete at Le Mans, and the first mid-engined sports-racing cars, and the first diesels.As the victorious manufacturers actively promoted their successes, their commercial rivals also set out to win. As many as 15 brought ‘works’ teams every June, with purpose-built cars. On-track performance soared. In 1949 the fastest car hit 135mph (217kph) on the unique Mulsanne straight. Before the end of the 1950s, top speeds exceeded 180mph (290kph).