The automobile - a story, a passion

In Sarthe, cars and motor racing are a passion!

This cult was born in 1873, when Le Mans resident Amédée Bollée invented the first private automobile, called the Obéissante (Obedient). It intensified in 1923 with the launch of the Le Mans 24 Hours. Today, the automotive industry remains one of the spearheads of the Sarthe economy. Popular events paying homage to the automobile are growing on the legendary Bugatti Circuit, like the Le Mans Classic where some of the most prestigious classic vehicles come to compete.

The unmissable Le Mans 24 Hours brings together, each year, nearly 263 000 fans who wouldn't hesitate to cross seas and oceans to share the unique experiences offered by this titanic struggle. The winner needs to combine performance, endurance, bravery ... and luck!

At the gates to the circuit, the 24 Hours-Sarthe Circuit Museum tells of this symbiotic union between car and Sarthe. You'll be welcomed by the heroes who built the legend of this race, guided by audiovisual documents, models and some very educational information panels as you travel through a century-and-a-half of automotive history. Come and see the unique collection, from the Obéissante to racing cars that have recently won the trophy.

Throughout the department, you'll find car lovers. The Porsche Experience Centre Le Mans, located on the route of the Le Mans 24 Hours racing circuit, is the sixth largest centre of its kind in the world, dedicated to the sports car maker.

For a romantic break, choose one of the three routes on offer. They will take you, as you choose, on the bucolic roads of Maine and Anjou, to the boundary with Touraine or on the legendary Mulsanne Straight. For the most passionate, choose a free route, just for the pleasure of driving an outstanding convertible: Porsche Boxster, Pontiac, Mustang GT...

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