Paul Newman’s storied Hollywood career is remembered as one of the greatest in cinema, as the actor, producer and director won a plethora of awards and starred in some of the biggest films ever.
But what many people don’t know is that Paul Newman was also a racing driver.
He’s not just someone who has a passion for cars and who accumulated several sports cars, as his driving skills were on par with many professional drivers in endurance races and there are the results to prove it.
Paul Newman was an older-than-usual racing driver
Unfortunately for him, he was too old to truly prove his worth behind the wheel.
It is said that his passion for motor racing was first evident while filming the movie ‘Winning’ in 1968, when he was already 43 years old and when he played a racing driver.
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It would take another four years, until 1972, for his first professional race, which happened in Connecticut.
In 1979, at the age of 54, he took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and finished second together with his teammate Rolf Stommelen in a Porsche 935.
His racing career was so long that, in 1995, when he was already 70 years old, he raced in the 24 Hours of Daytona, becoming the oldest driver to be part of the winning team in a top-level race.
In 1990, the actor took part in the Road America 500 (no points), the Walkins Glen 500 (he finished seventh) and the 2 Hours of San Antonio (he finished sixth).
The 700 hp Chevrolet engine
Newman‘s long racing history as a driver means that, from time to time, some of the cars that passed through his hands were put on sale, such as this Group C Spice SE89P.
It’s a 1989 UK-built car with a 700 hp aluminium Chevrolet V8 engine inside.
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One of his other cars was rescued from oblivion and underwent a full restoration in 2017, with it put back to the colours and configuration in which Paul Newman drove it.
It entered the 2018 Le Mans Classic, which is a good showcase now that its owner has put it up for sale through Duncan Hamilton Rogfo, the famed British collector car sales company.