These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years

Besides the speed, the tenacity of the drivers, and the engineering magic involved, of my favorite things about the 24 Hours of Le Mans is its rich history.

Save for an interlude during World War II, the race has been run since 1923. Since then the cars have gone from tank-like engines on wheels to the high-tech, electrified machines we have today.

Le Mans has had a stunning evolution over the past 84 years. I combed through the Getty Images archives to get a sense of just how much the race has changed in that time. Take a look at the gallery below.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


1923: A supercharged Bentley motor car at the 1923 Le Mans 24-Hour Race.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


22nd June 1930: A group of drivers and racing cars during the Le Mans 24 Hour Endurance Race.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


22nd June 1930: A group of drivers and racing cars during the Le Mans 24 Hour Endurance Race.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


23rd March 1935: Doreen Evans one of a team of three British women entering the Le Mans Grand Prix d'Endurance. This is the first time in the history of motor racing that a team of three British cars entering for the race will be driven by women.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


19th June 1938: British racing car mechanics cooking supper and repairing tyres in the pits during the Le Mans 24 Hour Race.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


A view of the spectator stands at the Circuit de la Sarthe, France, during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24th-25th June 1950.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


Drivers running to their cars at the start of the 9-hour International Sports Car Race at the Goodwood Circuit, West Sussex, 16th August 1952. The competitors include Stirling Moss (far right) and Tony Rolt (1918 - 2008, second from right).

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


British entrepreneur Sir David Brown (1904 - 1993) at the wheel of a new 12-cylinder Lagonda racing car during trials, 22nd April 1954. Brown's company, David Brown Ltd., owns the Aston Martin and Lagonda car companies. The new Lagonda car is intended to compete at Le Mans.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


11 June 1955: The scene of the crash at Le Mans racing circuit, after Pierre Levegh's Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR spun out of control and exploded into the tightly pa
cked crowd, killing Levegh and 80 spectators and injuring many more.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


A works Aston Martin DBR1/300 stops at the pits during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, at the Circuit de la Sarthe, France, 20th-21st June 1959. The car, driven by Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori won the race by one lap from teammates Paul Frere and Maurice Trintignant.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


28th May 1962: A row of five D-Type Jaguars, the team which won the Le Mans Grand Prix five years running, on show before being replaced by the new E-Type model.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


Ford CEO Henry Ford II (1917 - 1987, second from left) with Ford drivers after their success in Ford GT40 Mk.II cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, France, 19th June 1966. On the podium are race winners Bruce McLaren (1937 - 1970, left), and Chris Amon (far right) with Ken Miles (1918 - 1966, centre, left) and Denis Hulme (1936 - 1992, centre, right), who finished in second place. Miles was killed in a crash two months later.


These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


Drivers run to their cars at the start of the Le Mans 24-Hour Race, 15th June 1969.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


Helmut Kelleners in the #10 North American Racing Team International Ferrari 512S starts ahead the Andrea de Adamich and Piers Courage Alfa Romeo T33/3 at the start of the Manufacturers Championship 24 Hours of Le Mans race on 13 June 1970 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


Cars at the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, at the Circuit de la Sarthe, France, 14th June 1975. In the foreground are a Ligier JS2 (car number 5, left) and a Mirage GR8 (car number 10), both of which are powered by the same Ford Engines.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years

A Renault Alpine A442, of the Renault Sport team, in practice for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, France, 9th June 1976. The turbo-charged car will be driven (with race number 19) by Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Patrick Tambay and Jose Dolhem.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


11th June 1979: American actor Paul Newman before the start of the Le Mans 24-hour race. He and his two co-drivers finished second in their Turbo Porsche.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


The field lines up along the front straight at the start of the World Endurance Championship 24 Hours of Le Mans race on 15 June 1985 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years

The pre-race line up of cars before the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 15th June 1985. In the foreground is a Rothmans Porsche 962C, driven by Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass, which eventually came in tenth.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


Jaguar team win the Le Mans 24 Hours race held at the Circuit De La Sarthe, in France in June 1988.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years

Vern Schuppan of Australia drives the #18 Shell/Dunlop Porsche AG Porsche 962 C ahead of team mate Derek Bell in the #17 during the FIA World Sportscar Championship 24 Hours of Le Mans race on 11th June 1988 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


General view of the starting grid during the Le Mans 24 Hours race held at the Circuit De La Sarthe, in France in June 1990.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


Michel Maisonneuve drives the #102 Graff Racing Spice SE89C Ford 002 alongside Pierre Henri Raphanel #38 Toyota Team SARDToyota 90C-V 03 and Masanori Sekiya in the #36 Toyota Team Toms Toyota 90C-V 04 under the Dunlop Bridge during the FIA World Sportscar Championship 24 Hours of Le Mans race on 16 June 1990 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


A McLaren F1 GTR, of the Harrods Mach One Racing team, makes a pit stop during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, France 17th -18th June 1995.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


14 Jun 1997: A Courage Competition, Courage-Porsche C36 leads a group of cars into the esses during the Le Mans 24 Hours race at Le Circuit De La Sarthe in Le Mans, France.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years

16 - 17 Jun 2001: Ron Fellows, Scott Pruett and Johnny O''Connell drive the Team Corvette Racing car #63 during the Le Mans 24 Hour Race at Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years

JMR Riley & Scott MK driven by Marc Goossens of Belgium, Jim Matthews of the USA and Christophe Tinseau of France in action during the Le Mans 24 Hours race held on June 15, 2003 at The Circuit de la Sarthe, in Le Mans, France.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


The Champion Racing Audi R8 of JJ Lehto, Marco Werner and Tom Kristensen in action during the Le Mans 24 Hour Race at the Circuit Des 24 Heures Du Mans on June 19, 2005 in Le Mans, France.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


Sebastien Bourdais of France and Team Peugeot leads into the first chicane at the start of the 75th running of the Le Mans 24 Hour race at the Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans on June 16, 2007 in Le Mans, France.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


The Audi Sport R18 E-Tron Quattro of Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello drives during the Le Mans 24 Hour race at the Circuit de la Sarthe on June 16, 2012 in Le Mans, France.

These Incredible Photos Show How Le Mans Evolved Over 84 Years


Porsche Team, Porsche 919 Hybrid, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb during qualifying on June 11, 2014 in Le Mans, France.

All photo credit Getty Images