Racing cars of every era were in attendance to celebrate all things motorsport
This weekend saw the return of the Goodwood Members’ meeting, with a wide variety of machines taking to the circuit. Here’s some of our favourites.
The UFO-liveried BMW 530i certainly caught people’s attention as it screamed around Goodwood Circuit in the Gerry Marshall Trophy. Converted from a road car some years ago, this tribute to the BMWs that swept to victory in the European Touring Car Championship hasn’t lost all of its creature comforts – inside, it’s still got mahogany trim and blue leather.
Ford’s famed coupe was a staple of touring car racing across Europe back in the 1970s. This car – one of several that was built and raced by BTCC legend Gordon Spice – took six overall victories in period, all whilst wearing the eye-catching Autocar livery that it’s still painted in today.
Porsche 550 Spyder
The Porsche 550 Spyder might have shot to infamy in the late 1950s after actor James Dean was killed driving his modified example, but in its heyday it was a force to be reckoned with. This bright blue example, the fourth customer car built, turned up in style on the back of a converted Volkswagen T1.
Alongside his firm’s T33 and T50 hypercars, Gordon Murray’s personal car collection was on display. This beautiful road racer was a definite highlight – not only was it Abarth’s first mid engined production car, it was their first serious open-top racer, securing many wins in Group 4 races throughout the 1960s.
If there is one car to sum up the spirit of independent ‘50s sports car racing, it has to be the one-off Buckler DD1. This one-of-a-kind racer never made it to Le Mans, instead tearing up the club racing scene in the UK and New Zealand, all while fitted with the gearbox from Aston Martin’s 1953 Le Mans car.
Most people probably don’t associate Saab with Le Mans, but the much-loved Swedish brand entered two bubbly 93s into the 1959 edition of the 24 hour race, with one coming second in class. This racing modified classic looked right at home on the circuit, battling other little monsters like the Renault 4CV and the Morris Minor.
Ferrari 250 GTO/64
The 1964-bodied Ferrari 250 GTOs might not be as pretty as the more iconic early cars, but what they lack in beauty they make up for in speed. This recreation, which took nearly 20 years to build, is identical in every way to the three Series II cars, from the Columbo V12 right down to the chassis.
The Bizzarinni 5300GT has got to be one of the most beautiful cars ever made. However, it’s much more than just a pretty face – with a Chevrolet V8 producing over 400bhp hidden under the swooping bodywork, it’s devilishly quick. While this car didn’t quite hit its 186mph top end around the Goodwood circuit, it sounded glorious at any speed.
Shelby Cobra 289
This striking Shelby started its racing career in Columbia, and it still pays tribute to its South American heritage with a stripe in the colour of “El Tricolor Naciona”. In the hands of historic racers James Cottingham and Harvey Stanley, this Cobra spent the weekend shattering the peace of the South Downs with a thunderous V8 roar.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Cheetah-Chevrolet drove straight out of a 1960s cartoon. Developed by engineer Bill Thomas as Chevrolet’s answer to the Shelby Cobra, the viciously quick Cheetah had all the makings of an excellent racing car, but Chevrolet pulled the plug after less than 25 cars were built.
TVR Griffith 400
Long before the Tuscan, Sagaris and Chimaera, there was the TVR Griffith. Something of an underdog, this Griffith 400 was dwarfed by the E-Types and Jaguars on the starting grid, but despite its small size it packed a big punch. This particular car was the first prototype of the updated Griffith, and was even raced at Goodwood in period.
Aston Martin DP214
Aston Martin’s DP projects were something of a failure – they were designed to win Le Mans, but none ever finished the gruelling 24 hour event. The DP214 was built to facilitate Aston Martin’s second crack at Le Mans, with a streamlined body allowing it to reach nearly 200mph. Just one original car survives today, but this painstakingly-built recreation certainly drew in the crowds.
The Ford GT40 might have ended up as one of the most successful and iconic sports cars of all time, but it took a lot of trial and error to get to that stage. This early prototype represents one of the many stepping stones that saw the GT40 blossom from an unreliable backmarker to a force to be reckoned with.
The F399 ended Ferrari’s sixteen-year losing streak in 1999, taking the firm to its first constructors’ championship since 1983. The controversial design was briefly disqualified after stewards found their bargeboards to be illegal, but the decision was overturned and Ferrari just about took victory.
When the Porsche 956 first hit the track in 1982, not even its designers could have predicted how utterly dominant it would become. The 956 proved to be the benchmark setter in the early days of Group C, winning the World Sportscar Championship three times on the trot before being replaced by the upgraded Porsche 962.
It’s an incredible feat for any car to win Le Mans once, let alone for the same exact car to win the race twice on the trot. Finished in the unmistakable New Man livery, Porsche 956-117 was at a level above the 8 other 956s in attendance.
The 962 was designed to tackle the final frontier of motorsport that the 956 was outlawed from – the American IMSA championship. More powerful, more aerodynamic and safer for drivers than its predecessor, the 962 absolutely wiped the floor with the competition on both side of the Atlantic, racking up five wins at the Daytona 24 hours, three wins at Le Mans, three IMSA championship titles and two World Sportscar Championship wins to name but a few.
Despite a fairly anticlimactic career, the Williams FW13B has to be one of the most iconic F1 cars of all time. An updated version of the FW13 that was used throughout the second half of the 1989 season, the FW13B was considered to be one of the fastest cars on the grid, but only ever took victory twice.