Rondeau M379 #4 – Quartzo

1979 Rondeau M379
Pilots: H. Pescarolo, J-P. Beltoise
Team: Jean Rondeau / ITT Oceani
Race: 10th GC (2nd in S+2.0) at Le Mans in 1979
Quartzo - QLM044 (diecast) 

Published 02/23/19

After driving Formula Renault cars, in the early 1970’s Jean Rondeau started his Le Mans career in modest privateer teams. From 1972 to 1975, he only finished one race, and was quite disappointed with the cars he drove. So, with some friends, he started to design a car of his own. The project caught the attention of the Inaltera wallpaper manufacturer, that agreed to finance the new car. Yet, Inaltera only stayed onboard until 1978, when they abruptly pulled off and left Rondeau standing.

French cars look quirky…

Miraculously, almost overnight he secured new financial backing. With money to spend and based on the Inaltera car, he built his first model, the M378. The car finished in ninth place overall, and first in the GTP class. For the 1979 race he upgraded his car into the M379. The new car had better aerodynamics and breaks, but used the same Ford-Cosworth DFV engine. The DFV was a 2998 cm³ V8 with DOHC and 4 valves/cylinder.

Quirky for sure, but cool nonetheless.

For the 24 Heures du Mans  of 1979, Rondeau had three cars in the race. Two new M379 and an upgraded M378B, that he piloted himself. Piloted by the great Henri Pescarolo, car #4 managed a 10th place overall and second place in its class. This was the first race of chassis #003. All in all, it raced at La Sarthe a total of four times, from 1979 to 1982. In 1980, piloted by Jean Rondeau, it became the first car built at La Sarthe to win Le Mans.

I was genuinely surprised by this one. MUCH better than I expected.

This is my first Quartzo model, and I was unsure what I would get. Their models are older molds, so basically I was expecting something like an older Ixo. In other words, an honest model but “rough around the edges”. Well, a lot rough, or so I thought. However, to my surprise, this Quartzo is quite nice. And that’s terrific, considering that Quartzo is the only game in town. I already had the M379B #16 and the M379C #25, and now I got this M379 #4. The three cars are all the same chassis #003. Moreover,that made me think – what about an “impossible shot”, with the four cars? If so, I only need the 1981 M379C-L #7. I think I’m not done with Rondeaus…

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