WM P79/80 #4 – Bizarre

1981 WM P79/80
Pilots: C. Mendez, D. Morin, X. Mathiot
Team: WM Aerem / Esso Aseptogyl
Race: 13th overall (4th in GTP class) at Le Mans in 1981
Bizarre - BZ197 (resin)

Published 02/24/18

You know that story about two guys in a shed that made a race car? Well, possibly that story originated with WM Racing. Peugeot engineers Gérard Welter (known in the automotive world as one of the fathers of the Peugeot 205) and Michel Meunier established WM in 1969. Staffed exclusively by volunteers and only working on their spare time, in 1976 the team was able to debut the WM P76 at La Sarthe in the GTP class. Because of their day jobs, the team managed to source Peugeot engines. In fact, the manufacturer even let them use their wind tunnel on Sundays. So for the P79/80 the engine was Peugeot’s PRV ZNS4. It was a V6 at 90° with 2664 cm³, 24 valves and DOHC, turbocharged by two KKK turbos.

From the rear it looks quite normal.

In racing WM Racing first came to the spotlight in 1979 when the WM P79 achieved a GTP class win at Le Mans. However, WM forever will be remembered for the P88. The car reached 405 km/h (in reality that was 407 km/h) on the Mulsanne in 1988. That record will never be beaten, because ACO got so worried about the insane speed that for the 1989 race two chicanes were added to the Mulsanne .

But from this angle it’s quirky. What is it with the French and quirky-looking cars?

This P79/80 is the same car that finished in 11th overall in 1980 (as the WM P79/80 #6). Definitively an oddball, so perfect for the W-143 Garage. It showed up for a VERY nice price on a package deal, and I just couldn’t let it pass. A nice model, but I have to say it’s not as nice as my other cars from Bizarre. Maybe Ixo-good (older Ixo, that is) but far from Spark-good. I found out that the P79/80 is not a very popular car on the web. Therefore, and I quite a hard time trying to find info on it. And I also sadly learned that Gérard Welter passed away on January 31, 2018 .

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