Please note that the cars or exhibit items shown in this database are part of our collection but may not be on display when you visit.
Born in rural Vichy, France in 1930, Guy Ligier was a farmer’s son. Orphaned at seven, he left school at 14 to work as an apprentice butcher. In his late teens he became an accomplished, national champion rower, and made his name as a rugby player for the French national team. When his passion for motorcycles captured his attention, the prize money Ligier won from racing allowed him to purchase a second-hand bulldozer to start a construction business as France’s booming motorways were being built.
In 1957, Ligier started car racing with a Simca 1300, graduating to a Porsche 904 at Le Mans in 1964. Later, in 1966, he bought himself a Cooper-Maserati for Formula 1 racing. In 1966 he won the title of class French Champion in rally racing. Between 1966 and 1967, he took part in 12 Formula 1 Grand Prix. In 1968, Ligier formed a partnership with his fellow friend and racer Jo Schlesser and, with a pair of McLaren Formula 2 cars, they started Ecurie InterSport. Shockingly, that same year Jo Schlesser was killed in a practice run of what would be his first time racing as Formula 1 at the French Grand Prix. Heavyhearted, Ligier retired from racing to concentrate on building roadcars, founding Automobiles Ligier. The first sports car Ligier created, with the help of ex-Renault designer Michel Tetu, was designated the Ligier JS1—the “JS” in honor of his late friend Jo Schlesser. Pietro Frua designed its lightweight fiberglass body to specifications from Ligier, which included wide-opening doors and a generous windscreen for forward visibility. In 1970 the JS2 was released, initially powered by a 165hp fuel-injected Ford V6 which was replaced the following year with the Maserati C114 V6 supplied from Citroën—who had bought Maserati in 1968. The JS2 was an exceptional race car, finishing second in the 1975 Le Mans 24 Hours. When Ligier acquired Matra Sports’s assets to create his own Formula 1 team in 1976, the “JS” nomenclature continued as an honorable badge for all his racing cars, road cars, and micro cars.
Ligier celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018 by looking back to the JS2. At the Paris Motor Show that year, the JS2 R was unveiled—the “R” standing for Revival. Similarities of the JS2 were echoed in the razor-like body lines, flared wheel arches, sloping hood, V6 engine, and lightweight coachwork. But unlike the JS2, the JS2 R has been designed exclusively for racing, rather than the adaptation of an existing road car. The JS2 R comes equipped with a 3.7 liter mid-mounted Ford V6 engine, mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox, producing 330 hp. In the FIA, the JS2 R is homologated in Group E, the Free Formula Sports Cars category, fitted with state-of-the-art safety equipment. In the US, the JS2 R meets the requirements to run as a Trans Am racer in the SGT Class. In France, it may also compete in the single-marque Ligier cup.
The car seen here has been used extensively by Ligier in marketing the car, and was also one of three JSR’s seen by thousands of attendees at the 2019 PRI racing trade show in Indianapolis, and at the 2019 SCCA Runoffs. Guy Ligier passed away in 2015, but he would have been proud to see the legacy he built in honor of his dear friend Jo Schlesser continue to inspire young race car drivers.
Manufacturer: Ligier Automotive
Country of Origin: France
Drivetrain Configuration: Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine: Ford, water-cooled V6 3.7 liter engine, 330 hp
Transmission: 3MO 6-speed sequential transaxle
Top Speed: Approx. 170MPH
Years of Production: 2018-
Number Produced: Still in Production
Original Cost: €89,000 - $96,578.03