Chateau Lornay and Hotel Ricordeau...

and other Steve McQueen locations visited during the filming of Le Mans...

 Finally directed by Lee.H.Katzin, the Le Mans film was released 23rd June 1971.

In  " A French Kiss with Death," Michael Keyser  makes  reference to the Chateau Lornay (p.339) where Steve McQueen lived during the filming of Le Mans.

The Chateau Lornay,Vire-en-Champagne 30 miles from the Le Mans racing track.

The region of Vire-en-Champagne is first  mentioned in Neile McQueen Toffel's book on page 215. 

"From what I could determine this was primarily a farming region."        (Toffel, p.219).



Opening scene - drive through the Le Mans countryside:


Credit: Marie Fotini...


Vire-en-champagne images which Steve McQueen would pass on his way to and from the Chateau Lornay.,-0.2870923,3a,75y,37.84h,90.25t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sQU2FMScindTWLXcEmpmV3A!2e0!5s20091101T000000!7i13312!8i6656


Brulon's WAR MEMORIAL...

Brulon's FORMER place of the WAR MEMORIAL

Brulon's WAR MEMORIAL monument now near the church...





The mammoth Chateau Lornay dominates the landscape in Vire-en-Champagne.    It was built in the fourteenth century and modernised after the Second World War.

" imposing presence amidst the wine fields of Vire-en-Champagne." 

(Toffel, p.217)



Hidden away, the Chateau can be found at the end of a tree lined dirt track.

"Wait till you see our place. You'll like it. It's really somethin' !"

(Toffel, p.216)



      The McQueen family lived in this intriguing Chateau during the filming of Le Mans. Neile McQueen Toffel intimately refers to their french residence, and the emotional break up of her marriage, in her memoir book from page 217 onwards.............

 Le Moulin, a few minutes walk down from the Chateau Lornay, is where the present owner, Nicole lives today.

(Source: "Our Le Mans" page 126)



"Again and again, Steve retreats to his favourite spot - two rows of trees at the river, with a view to a mill on which a waterwheel slowly rotates, propelling a clattering saw. He stares for hours at this picture postcard scene, or he watches the animal life of the region intensely." (Our Le Mans - page 126)


  The Chateau Lornay in Vire-en-champagne. 



Steve McQueen has an accident with Louise Edlind - Our Le Mans page 153



13 Rue de la Liberation, 72540 LOUE, France - An upmarket riverside hotel with a legendary fine-dining restaurant, plus an outdoor pool and canoes...

  The Le Mans film crew and the racing drivers were based at the  Lauren hotel, Loue....... a few miles down the road from the Chateau Lornay.  


A fascinating yarn about Steve McQueen and a blond "Puff of Hair", involving a near fatal car crash on the road between the Chateau and the Lauren hotel, is outlined in Neile McQueen Toffel's book (p.212-213).

The hotel is now called RICORDEAU at 11 et 13, rue de la liberation - 72540 Loue. Tel. 02 43 88 40 03 and can be contacted by email:


Dear M.Whistance,

Thank you for your message.

I would like to be able to answer your questions, unfortunately, we have absolutely no documents here about his stay in our hotel (your own documents are the only ones we have)

I tried to learn more with people of the village but apart from remembering seeing him in Loué, they can’t tell me more.

Sorry about that!

If one day, someone comes with inforation, I will think of you !

Sincères salutations,

Anne-Cécile Deschamps

Hotel- Restaurant Ricordeau    

11 rue de la Libération - Loué

 Vous pouvez me joindre au

(Steve, Jack Reddish and Bob Relyea looking for possible locations in the town of Le Mans)






Driving away from the hotel:


The hotel in Loue where the film crew and John Sturges lived during the filming of Le Mans. McQueen discussing the film at the hotel in Loue in 1970. Sturges and friends leave the hotel and McQueen drives away towards the nearby Chateau where he lived with his family in Vire-en-Champagne which can be viewed elsewhere on this website.



He (Lelouch) also filmed sporting events like the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Tour de France.”

Claude LeLouch, a french film director who filmed sporting events like the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Tour de France, with Steve McQueen outside the Hotel Ricordeau in Loue...


 Car chase directed by Claude LeLouch -


 Steve McQueen wrote on a postcard to Yvette to celebrate her birthday celebrations. Steve McQueen wrote on a postcard to Yvette to celebrate her birthday celebrations.


(Our Le Mans page 169)


The Chateau has been restored. Click on the above image for details.


Click here to view exterior and interior photographs of  the Chateau Lornay