Tour de France Automobile was launched in 1899 and held almost annually till 1986. Its first post-WWII race in 1951 marked the beginning of a “golden era” that would come to a conclusion in 1966. In the course of time, Ferrari provided a benchmark with its sophisticated GT cars. Between 1951 and 1962, the Scuderia won eight times in the overall standing.
Tour de France Automobile 1964 took place from September 11 through 20 in France and Italy.
Manning a Ferrari GTO (chassis #4153), the Belgian driver pair Lucien Bianchi/Georges Berger joined with other 116 competitors to start off in the city of Lille.
During the next nine days, competition unfolded in six stages, covering a total distance of 6,060 kilometers that ended in Nice. Only 36 teams made it to the finish in southern France. As always, participants had to complete a protracted drive through France that was timed by stages, but this time a visit to Monza, Italy was included. Altogether the long drive consisted of circuit races on the racetracks of Reims, Rouen, Le Mans and Monza in addition to mountain races at famous Col du Tourmalet, Mont Ventoux and Col de Turini. The first appearance of an American racing team had caused some sensation. It was none other than Carroll Shelby himself who signed up three Shelby Daytona’s for the starting grid. At first, these 380hp coupés dominated the race, but they all retired in the third stage because of some serious accidents. Eventually, a 250 GTO took over the lead like so many times before: Piloting their GTO with starting number 172, Lucien Bianchi and Georges Berger became the overall winner in the GT class. Once more the GTO turned out to be the standard-bearer.