LE MANS
Post Le Mans
-
17/06/2001
 
The Mystery
Of The 24 Hour Fridge
 
"JACQUES MUST APOLOGISE" "RALF COMES UNDER FIRE" "RUBENS BLASTS...BLAH BLAH BLAH" "TRULLI SLAMS....MORE BLAH BLAH BLAH"

In distinct contrast to the latest, tedious, post-GP tales, Kerry Morse tells the far more interesting story of the Le Mans Fridge.....





In his recent recount, brilliantly told to TotalMotorSport link, of events at La Sarthe, Andy Wallace inadvertently cleared up the 'Great Fridge Mystery'.

Some background:

An hour after the race, Bentley U.S. PR Chief John Crawford came to the media center to give me a set of keys to a new silver Bentley Arnage. This had been planned for some time, as I was to have the car for a few days and drive it around France and then back to London. John Brooks and I had discussed spending some time photographing the Bentley on the circuit on Monday morning and then at various locations on the road. Having a Bentley at one's disposal, especially after such an emotional return to Le Mans, made for some funny situations.

Brooksie and I never asked for permission to do on track shooting. He was stretched out on the ground, aiming his lens at me as I hurled a couple of tons of Arnage towards a curve. We repeated this several times before taking a short break. I drove back towards Bentley Brooks and found him involved in a stare down with two ACO security Gendarmes in a van. No words were being exchanged but they wondered what kind of lunatic was lying on the ground shooting photos of nothing. Perhaps they thought Brooksie had crawled in from the outer campsite after attempting to sleep off the consumption of many alcoholic beverages. (could be true but JB never crawls). As I pulled up to intervene, they suddenly took off and waved to me in a fashion of a salute. No doubt about it, I gotta get one of these Arnages.

We decided to drive over and park the monster at start-finish. I was playing art director moving the Bentley in different positions while Brooks mumbled a variety of obscenities at me. I wandered over to the pit side of start finish as a couple more rolls of film clicked off, I heard JB inquire as to what the hell is that white box over by the 24 hours legend banner on the wall (photo, below). It looked like a small portable dishwasher from a camper. Upon closer inspection we discovered it to be a fridge. The tip off came when opening the door, several champagne bottles rolled out along with a few empties of Bordeaux. Our hero lens man was genuinely upset that all were empty. Not a drop of red left cursed Brooksie. I turned it around and it was made in the U.K. The size used in a flat for two people. We both sat on the ground by the Bentley at the start finish line and stared at the fridge. The conversation went like this.

"How the hell did it get there and what lunatic hauled this down from England?"

"I dunno, what do you think his wife will think when he comes home without the fridge?"

"Well, some people collect old race tires after the race. Maybe he didn't have room in the van for tires and the fridge."

"You think so?"

"How the hell would I know?"

"Weird though. I mean did they throw it over the wall?"

"Just think how wasted they musta been just to get it down here."

"Should we move it?"

"No, just leave it. You can always use photoshop to edit it out."

"Nah, the fridge gives the shot character."

"What you mean? I shot two rolls with that box in the background."

"How come you didn't notice it?"

"No, how come YOU didn't notice it. I'm the photographer."

"Not if you've looked at your stuff lately. Do you like soul music?"

"Bentley good, fridge bad."

"Good thing you have a picture 'cause no one will believe this bit of lunacy."

"Wanna bet that it will still be in the same spot next year?"

"Hey! We could list it on ebay for sale as a fridge with Le Mans history."

"No...".

We later joined Derek and Misty Bell for lunch at La Chaumine in Arnage. I mean, where else would you expect anyone driving an Arnage to eat? (The Pizza place, where we ate on Sunday night. Ed.) They were heading back to England in their Bentley and the locals were appreciative of having two new "Crewemobiles" on display.

As we sat outside a group of pre-war Bentleys made their way past, much to everyone's delight. During coffee, I attempted to tell the story of the fridge but before I could Brooksie said, "Drop it mate". Sigh..a few days later I was back home in Los Angeles driving my VW Rabbit Diesel pick-up known as the penalty box.


Thank you Andy and thank you to the faithful who brought their fridge to celebrate the great finish, as supplied by the boys from Crewe. But next time save some for Brooks.

Kerry Morse.




Official website of the Le Mans 24 Hours
Official website of the Le Mans 24 Hours

Copyright 2000-2016 TotalMotorSport