Cadillac Honors Racing Legend with Limited Edition CT5-V Blackwing Le Monstre and CT4-V Blackwing Petit Pataud

Cadillac Racing at 24 Hours of Le Mans: Honoring a Historic Legacy

Cadillac Racing has found success at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, despite their struggles in the World Endurance Championship. The factory-backed V-Series.R showed its potential, with the #2 and #3 cars qualifying second and third on the Hypercar grid. This achievement is notable considering Penske Porsche driver Kevin Estre’s impressive end-of-session lap that secured pole position.

To coincide with their competitive appearance at Le Mans in 1950, Cadillac introduced two new entries in its Collector Series: the 2025 CT5-V Blackwing Le Monstre and the CT4-V Blackwing Petit Pataud. These models pay homage to the legendary Briggs Cunningham, who entered the race as a privateer with two versions of the Cadillac Series 61 coupe. The French public affectionately nicknamed them “Le Monstre” and “Petit Pataud” (meaning “Little Clumsy”).

It’s crucial to note that Cadillac had no involvement in these original cars. Cunningham initially desired a Cadillac V8 engine for a Ford chassis. However, Le Mans regulations required the engine and chassis to originate from the same manufacturer. As a result, Cunningham had to stick with Cadillac’s 331-cubic-inch V8 with a stock 160 horsepower.

Returning to the present day, Cadillac designers have meticulously crafted the CT5-V Blackwing as a tribute to Cunningham’s aero-bodied entry. Resembling the original Le Monstre, this vehicle features a riveted aluminum skin shaped with assistance from Grumman Aircraft and a wind tunnel typically used for testing slow flyers like crop dusters. Set to enter production in early 2022, only 101 examples of this model will be made.

The 2025 CT4-V Blackwing Petit Pataud receives similar treatment and options but bears the #3 race number of the original coupe. Only 50 units of this model will be produced, commemorating the 1950 race.

Cunningham’s entry at Le Mans aimed to prove the capabilities of American cars in the French race. Prior to his participation, no American representative had competed since 1935. Despite encountering challenges, Cunningham performed admirably, with Le Monstre finishing 11th alongside co-driver Phil Walters after initially falling to 35th due to a crash into a sand bank. Petit Pataud secured a respectable 10th place.

In the current edition of the race, Cadillac represents the American contingent and is the sole contender vying for the overall victory. In the previous year, the team qualified seventh and eighth and finished in third and fourth positions. With just a lone Porsche ahead at the start, there is hope that Cadillac can secure a top position. If successful, they may consider adding a “#1” designation to the 2025 special edition lineup in the future.

For those interested in the rich history of Cadillac Racing at Le Mans, there are additional resources available. A Le Mans documentary titled “No Perfect Formula” by Cadillac Racing is now accessible on YouTube. Furthermore, enthusiasts can delve into the fascinating stories of the original Le Monstre and Petit Pataud at the Revs Institute, a museum located in Naples, Florida, that houses both iconic cars.

Lastly, for fans eager to watch the race unfold, Cadillac Racing provides live-streams on YouTube. The first eight hours, second eight hours, and third eight hours of the race are all available for viewers to enjoy. It’s an excellent opportunity to witness Cadillac’s pursuit of victory at one of motorsport’s most prestigious events.