1950 Gordini T15 Sport Coupe Pilots: J. M. Fangio, J. F. Gonzalez Team: Automobiles Gordini Race: DNF (S 1.5 class) at Le Mans in 1950 pw (Atlas) - ? (diecast)
Amédée (“Le Sorcier de la Mechanique”) Gordini started making cars with his name in 1946, initially with Fiat engines. By 1949 business was booming and he already had a F1 and sports car racing program. At that time he switched to Simca as his engine supplier and developed the T15 primarily as a monoposto for Grand Prix racing. But in 1950 Gordini had some older spare F2 chassis so he had the idea of adding a new “conventional” body to those chassis. With the new body the T15S (coupe and barchetta) was ready for sports car racing.
The engine of all the T15 was a SIMCA inline-4 with 1390 cm³ of displacement and hemispherical combustion chambers, good enough to produce 130 horses. Since the T15S was very light, the small engine could take it up to 200 km/h. With a good final speed like that, Gordini thought it could be raced at Le Mans. And race it did.
Gordini had 6 (!) cars at La Sarthe in 1950, four T15S barchette and two coupes. Unfortunately none finished the race, but #33 here (chassis #0020S) was the penultimate to retire. Fangio started out last because he was already having starter troubles. By the 95th lap the ignition coil finally gave up the ghost and he had to abandon.
This Gordini T15 is just a pw car from the “Gordini Collection” by Atlas. However, for a pw, it’s at least okay. Specifically, as with all pw models, the weak link are the wheels (and the wipers, and chrome trim, and…). But the overall shape is pretty good compared to photos of the real deal. Since an alternative model of this car is basically made of unobtanium, you pretty much can’t escape this pw version. Therefor, not exactly a successful racer but quirky cool (enough) + piloted by Il Maestro + good price (I paid locally less than current eBay prices) = good buy.