Goodwood Revival is the UK’s most glamorous race meeting, crammed with beautiful people and priceless classic cars. As ever, though, much of the most interesting metal is found outside – in the car park. This year, we spotted everything from a Ferrari F40 (above) to an original Mini Cooper. Keep clicking for a guided tour.
Porsche Carrera GT
Porsche’s seminal early-2000s Carrera GT sported a howling V10 – a leftover from Le Mans – suspended in a gorgeous carbon cradle, plus a manual gearbox and svelte styling. Today, it’s regarded as one of the all-time ‘analogue’ supercar greats.
Aston Martin DB3S and Lamborghini Huracan Performante
A Goodwood car park is never without its contrasts. Case in point: an Aston Martin DB3S replica parked next to a new Lamborghini Huracan Performante, the latter complete with screaming V10. Four-wheeled loveliness for all the family.
The car that saved Ferrari – the F355 is one of the best-regarded mid-engined berlinettas of all time. Jaw-dropping beauty, a yowling quad-cam V8 and super-sweet driving dynamics all cement its classic status.
The original hardcore 911. This was the first of the breed to mature into a pure and proper racing car, with lightweight bodywork and twin-overhead camshafts boosting its flat-six to more than 200hp. The ‘R’ is one of tne of the most sought-after classic 911s today.
Ford Mustang GT350H
The Shelby GT350H was special edition Mustang offered by Hertz in the US. Advertised as the “Rent-a-Racer”, most of the 1,000 cars were painted in this distinctive – and very cool – black and gold colour scheme. Some customers apparently took Hertz’s advice too literally and used the cars for drag racing.
For a company rarely possessed of two pennies to rub together, Lotus does have its occasional mad moments. The Ariel Atom-aping 340R was one of them. This roofless, doorless, track-focused roadster was one of the final cars powered by the venerable Rover K-series engine. Its sharper styling previewed the S2 Elise.
Caterham Seven Sprint
One of the most Goodwood Revival-appropriate cars must be the one that was launched here, right? The Caterham Seven Sprint offers vintage style, rewarding dynamics and limited-edition kudos. No wonder it sold out within minutes of being revealed.
The original SUV (discuss) is a bona fide classic in its own right. Resplendent in red, this early three-door, Belgian-registered Range Rover is considerably more basic than today’s offerings. What would the Kardashians make of it?
Lancia Delta Integrale 16v
Not quite the full HF Evo vindaloo, this Integrale 16v is a tikka-level dark horse delight. Its 200hp turbocharged engine offers plenty of punch, with power going to all four wheels. A legend, both on the road and rally stage.
Morris Mini Cooper
Few things are more fun than watching Minis beat seven shades out of monstrous Yank Tanks on Goodwood Motor Circuit – especially if you follow that by driving this lovely Morris Cooper home. The original hot hatch? Well, technically it’s a saloon, but you get the idea.
Porsche 924 Turbo
The Turbo version of the 924 was designed to bridge the gap between Porsche’s entry-level sports car and the 911s of the era. Turbocharging had proven effective in racing and Porsche was keen to use the technology for road cars. In the end, the 170hp 924 Turbo came perilously close to the performance of the 180hp 911 SC.
Jaguar’s supercharged sports GT had to go out with a bang (and a plume of tyre smoke). The 560hp XKR-S, seen here in the glowing French Racing Blue, did the job. This, or a new F-Type SVR?
“What on Earth is an Efini RX-7?” you might well ask. It’s very simple, really: it’s an ‘FD’ RX-7 like any other, only sold under Mazda’s luxury sub-brand, Efini. Mazda ditched Efini after 1997, making this a curious (and rare) footnote in the RX-7’s history.
Mercedes-Benz 190 2.3-16
A homologation special and the original underdog sports saloon, the 190 2.3-16 is a roadgoing refugee from the DTM (German Touring Cars) series, and constant thorn in the E30 BMW M3’s side. We actually think it’s cooler in subtle 2.3 spec, rather than bewinged 2.5-litre Evo.
BMW 2000 Alpina
One of the earliest Alpinas, based on the ‘New Series Saloons’ from BMW. Both represented fresh beginnings for their respective companies and this Alpina was a rare thing when new. We’d love to know how many are left. German plates suggest this one has travelled a long way…
We described the 720S as “the definitive modern supercar” when we borrowed one earlier this year. Sensationally fast, yet remarkably easy to drive, it’s definitely on our lottery list. This blue car was one of several new McLarens in the Revival car park, including a 650S, 570GT and 570S Spider.
Ferrari Dino 246 GTS
The Dino, named after Enzo Ferrari’s son, was the legendary marque’s first foray into more attainable sports cars. In fact, it started a lineage of mid-engined models that has made been Ferrari’s backbone ever since. It’s one of Maranello’s most beautiful models, too.
The Cinquecento was Italy’s answer to the Mini or Volkswagen Beetle – a true ‘people’s car’ that remained in production for nearly two decades. Nowadays, of course, the entire Fiat range is a bloated facsimile of this tiny, terrific original.
Ford Country Sedan
Patina – defined by the Cambridge dictionary as ‘a thin surface layer that develops on something because of use, age or chemical action’ – is an overused word in classic car circles, but this Ford Country Sedan has it in spades. Rarely has rust looked so right.
An ultra-rare Alfa Romeo racer has been repaired using 3D printing technology – ahead of its debut at Goodwood Revival next week.
The Alfa is one of just 12 Tipo 33/3 models made and previously featured in the Steve McQueen film, Le Mans. Resplendent in Italian racing red, it has been “digitally restored” by Brackley-based KW Heritage.
The main issue was the Tipo’s front engine cover, which had deteriorated over time, causing ignition problems. A replacement part simply didn’t exist, so the company created one from scratch using “additive manufacturing” – also known as 3D printing.
Revived for Goodwood Revival
Using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D scanning programs, KW Heritage created a digital picture of the engine cover, which was then built up using a 3D printer. The whole process of redesigning and prototyping took just a few days, and the finished part is FIA-certified.
The Tipo 33/3 raced successfully at Brands Hatch, Buenos Aires and Sebring in 1971 and is now owned by Martin Stretton Racing. It will be displayed on the KW Heritage stand (unit 294) at Goodwood Revival, where the firm will offer live demonstrations of 3D scanning technology.
Edward Smith of KW Heritage said: “By working closely with teams, restorers, collectors and vehicle owners, we are helping enthusiasts strike the perfect balance between old and new, with modern engineering techniques keeping the cars of yesteryear on the road for longer.”
Pointing out that a track full of 1960s GT racers at Goodwood Revival is worth quite a lot seems somewhat obvious. However in this, the 20th anniversary of the event, Goodwood seems to be going for a record, with a Kinrara Trophy race grid topping £200 million.
The race pertains to pre-1963 closed-cockpit GT cars, with an emphasis on the earlier, elegant side of ’60s GT racing. That means marque-defining greats from the most revered names in motoring: Ferrari vs. Aston Martin vs. Jaguar – and much more. What fortifies that valuation, then?
£40 million+ of Ferrari GTOs
Not much needs to be said about the value of the GTO. They’ve pretty well always been the definition of a ‘better than gold’ classic car investment. Don’t even turn up to the auction if you’ve got anything less than £20 million to play with. If it’s the one-of-two 4.0-litre V12 330 GTO you’re interested in, better to pack £25 million. Both a 250 and 330 GTO will be trading paint in the Kinrara Trophy.
£50 – £100 million of Ferrari 250 SWBs
Then there are 10 Ferrari 250 SWBs (Short Wheel Base).Just one will set you back £5 million, minimum. And unless everyone in the auction hall has fallen asleep, don’t be surprised if that number swells to £10 million and beyond.
£5 – £10 million of Aston Martin DB4 GTs
Aston Martin’s contribution to the original battle of the grand tourers was the DB4 GT. Its answer to the V12-engined Ferrari 250s was the ultimate British bulldog and, truthfully, also something of an underdog. They’re no small change now, though, with most commanding upwards of £1 million for the privilege of ownership.
Ferrari 250 ‘Breadvan’ – £15 million+
This unique Bizzarrini-bodied 250 is a regular race participant and winner at historic events the world over, including many appearances at Goodwood. You’d think this SWB-based one-off worth over £15 million might stay garaged due to the risk of a prang but this car has seen worse and come back for more.
The best of the rest
Not quite adding up to the £200 million headline figure? Don’t forget the smattering of racing Jaguar E-Types, AC Cobras, a Maserati 3500 GT and much more. The Ferraris, Astons and all of these will hit the track around dusk and race into the darkness. We can’t wait.
The Supercar Run has long been one of the highlights of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, always yielding surprise debuts, shock oddities and obscure delights that get you simultaneously Googling the value of your kidneys and exclaiming “What on Earth is that!”. For this, the 25th-anniversary FOS, the Michelin Supercar Paddock looks better than ever, brimming with weird, wonderful and nauseatingly expensive exotica. Let’s take a look.
We counted down the reasons why the Apollo IE might be the greatest supercar of this year’s FOS and a good many of those have held true. Chief among them is the incredible V12 noise. If you want to make a Vulcan sound timid, the Intensa Emozione is THE weapon of choice.
This legendary racing name has ridden a veritable wave of anticipation and trepidation. Will they go back to the track? Will there be a road car? Will they pull it off? From our ride with David Brabham up the hill yesterday, we can tell you it’s very much for real and an utter monster. Bring on Le Mans and a road-faring machine with Brabham on its rump.
McLaren P1 GT
This was a FOS surprise if ever we saw one. McLaren racing wizards Lanzante have been fettling track-prepped P1s for a while now. So, what follows road-registered P1 GTRs and the monster P1 LM? The P1 GT, of course, complete with extended rear-end bodywork, a fixed wing and roof scoop.It’s designed to ape the F1 GT of the late ’90s and looks stunning.
McLaren P1 GT
Another of that extended rear end. The fixed wing is prominent – we’d expect nothing less of something based on a GTR. Multi-spoke wheels add a touch of class, as does that lovely green.
This could be what supercars of the future look like – a fully electric, Nürburgring-munching, Bugatti-baiting monster that in spite of its EV powertrain, does make a noise. Or rather, the air around it makes a noise as its active rear wing waggles in the wind braking before Molecomb. It’s a pleasing noise, too, albeit one that requires serious speeds…
Ferrari FXXK Evo
The masters of the V12 – Ferrari are rarely to be seen laying down in the supercar stakes. The FXXK Evo is the latest iteration of its track-only hopped-up LaFerrari-based machine (because a LaFerrari is tame, apparently). The Evo adds even more aero addenda and even more noise – all wrapped in a lovely black and yellow colour scheme.
Porsche 911 Speedster Concept
Throttling back from the extremes of the previous entries, the new 911 Speedster Concept is Porsche’s birthday present to itself. It likely heralds the imminent demise of the 991-generation 911 but what a way to go out. Retro wheels, mirrors and a tan interior are tasteful callbacks to Porsches of old.
Aston Martin Vantage V600
Talking of goodbyes to outgoing models, the Vantage V600 might just trump the Speedster as a cool farewell. Complete with GT12 powertrain and widened track, but with a manual gearbox and a more sculpted, bespoke style, the V600 is the ultimate-ultimate Vantage. Then again, any Aston bore would know that just from the name.
Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign
At first, you might think Nissan and Italdesign are something of a curious pairing. Then again, common celebrations yield common allies. As such, the GT-R50 by Italdesign celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of both the GT-R badge and the famous styling house. It works, too, given it’s a rebooted 700+hp GT-R Nismo.
Aston Martin Vulcan AMR Pro
The Vulcan, like the FXXK, is a bit of an ageing track-only bruiser. Not that an 800hp V12 can ever be considered decrepit… Regardless, last year Aston saw fit to give it the ‘AMR Pro’ treatment. Canards, a double-level wing and a resplendent livery from the recent Aston Martin Racing Festival mean the Vulcan is as jaw-dropping as ever, even as Valkyrie looms…
Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
You can normally at any given time judge the strength of Aston Martin’s range by the quality of its flagship. While the Vanquish was a champion of heart-over-head desire, the DBS Superleggera that’s now replacing it should serve as the twin-turbo V12 700hp+ strong-arm Aston needs to fight off 800hp Ferrari super GTs. Our review is coming soon.
Koenigsegg Agera RS Final Edition
With the release of the Final Edition cars, the Koenigsegg Agera RS is no longer in production. Still, it dies a record holder and goes out a bang, with the ‘Thor’ and ‘Vader’ special FE models making a splash at FOS. There’s still no mistaking that turbo whir for anything other than an Agera. Let’s hope its replacement (due at Geneva) can live up to the legend.
Ferrari 488 Pista
The long lineage of track-honed mid-engined V8 Ferraris is one of the most revered bloodlines in motoring. That’s reflected both in reviewers’ impressions over the years and the prices old-generation cars continue to command. The 488 Pista is the latest and carries the torch with ease. Can they do no wrong?
Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta
You know a car is cemented in history as an all-time dream car if, five years on from its debut, it’s still grabbing headlines. The last of the LaFerraris – the open-topped Aperta – is perhaps the most desirable and looks every bit as fresh as the day the coupe debuted. A proper stunner, and classy in black with red highlights, too.
It’s still the supercar of the moment, as it was last year and the year before. Like the last one, and indeed the GT40 in the beginning, it will always be one of the greats. Since that incredible 1-2-3 at Le Mans in 1966, all GT-badged Ford supercars have been destined for greatness. This latest example is a successful racer, a jaw-dropping beauty and a competent machine in its own right.
W Motors Fenyr Supersport
Just count the angles, will you? The W Motors Fenyr Supersport looks like it was styled by a man with a minigun loaded with knives who was given five hours with a block of fibreglass. Underneath the incredible exterior beats an 800hp German heart of 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six muscle. It’ll be sure to turn heads boosting up and down Sloane Street on a hot summer’s afternoon, as it did on the Goodwood hillclimb. On sale now for £1.1m, if you’re curious.
The selfish supercar still hasn’t lost any of its gravitas. It’s one of those things that commands awe purely for its packaging and the level of engineering, plus its spine-tingling powertrain. It’s surely a tonic as a track (or hill) attack machine, but bad luck to any prospective passengers that fancy coming along for the ride.
Aston Martin Vantage
As far as anyone with less than £300k+ to blow on something exotic is concerned, the new Vantage might just be the star of the show. With 500hp of twin-turbo V8 muscle and a chassis dripping with an ex-Lotus expert’s setup wizardry, the new Vantage blurs the line between sports and supercar with ease. It looks fabulous while doing it, too – an A+ effort from Aston yet again.
Lamborghini Aventador S
This isn’t a particularly new car anymore, nor the newest car in Lambo’s FOS lineup, or the most expensive, or the rarest. The Centenario Roadster takes those two with ease. The Aventador S earns its spot on our top-20 list for its stunning purple paint scheme alone. Any homage to the Diablo SE30 gets our approval, deliberate or otherwise. Also, something something V12…
What’s your favourite supercar of this year’s Goodwood FOS? Let us know in the comments below.
The Porsche 911 from The Bridge was only ever going to sail through its pre-auction estimate. The question was, by how much?
The answer is a cool £120,000.
With all proceeds going to WaterAid, actress Sofia Helen – who played Saga Norén in the hit TV series – was present at the Bonhams sale to encourage bidders to dig deep. Within the last hour, bidding closed at £141,500 (including premium), far exceeding the pre-auction estimate of £20,000-£30,000.
Actress who drives this ‘77 Porsche 911 in ‘The Bridge’ urges market to bid high in favour of Water Aid. It works – car estimated at £20-30k in the Bonhams catalogue actually sells for £125,000. pic.twitter.com/XDnB2Z3bp5
— Steve Cropley (@StvCr) July 13, 2018
The famous Jäger Grun Porsche was deemed surplus to requirements following the end of the final series, so the production company donated it to charity. Sofia Helen, an ambassador for WaterAid, said: “Saga’s Porsche is not only a big part of my own acting life, but has also become part of Swedish TV history. I’m so pleased the sale of this car will go to such a good cause.”
Goes back to the beginning
The Swedish actress, who has become a household name thanks to her role in the Scandi-noir drama, will be delighted with the final price. She’ll also be pleased to see the back of it. Speaking to the Independent in 2015, Sofia said: “All I can say is that it’s very hard to drive. It’s so old.”
With the 911 leading a tough life on set, the winning bidder will need to spend more cash returning the car to showroom condition. Alternatively, the plan might be to retain the car’s patina, perhaps heading home via the iconic Oresund Bridge, which connects Copenhagen with Malmo.
Spoiler alert: The Bridge concluded with Saga driving over the bridge, stopping in the middle to throw her Malmo CID badge into the Oresund strait between Denmark and Sweden. The series was left open for a potential return, at which point the producers might want to borrow the car for future filming.
Because everything goes back to the beginning.
It was the first run of the first day of Goodwood Festival of Speed, and nobody was quite sure where they needed to be. I sprinted half the length of the hillclimb once it was confirmed, and met the Lamborghini people with no time to spare. Just a quick shot of the car, then get in and drive to the start line.
A suitably frenzied introduction to the Urus, Lambo’s unmissable new super-SUV.
This was its UK dynamic debut (we were there for its London debut, too), which made me the first person to drive it in anger in public. And there was no missing me: yup, I had to have the bright yellow one. My Lamborghini instructor said he rather liked the dark metallic grey one. “Nah,” I said, “if you’re buying a Lamborghini, it’s got to be yellow, right?”
Even a 2.2-tonne Lamborghini SUV. The interior was similarly bold, and anything but SUV-generic, with all the drama of a Huracan blended with the high-tech sophistication of the latest Audi Q7 (well, it does share an architecture with it. And the Volkswagen Touareg. And the Bentley Bentayga).
This is the only SUV where you have to lift a red fighter-jet-style cover to press the start button. To be presented with a suitably Lamborghini-like rasp from the 650hp 4.0-litre V8. Shrinking violet? Not a bit of it. A few blips of the throttle to zing round the electronic rev counter (whose italic typeface matches Lamborghini’s supercars and screams drama) before a panicked marshal waves us on to wherever we need to be.
I look down. I can see aircraft thrust-style levers everywhere, but no actual button marked ‘D’. So I dab one of the paddleshifters to engage first and creep away. Huracans and Aventadors don’t really do ‘creeping’. Reflecting the needs of the people who will buy it, the Urus does it very well indeed. It’s a mellow, cushy drive to the start line and I’m beginning to feel chilled again.
All the words on the drive selector are in Italian. Strada is mellow, Sport is Sport and Corsa is proper. It’s only later I discover that Sabbia means Sand, Terra is rough road and Neve is snow. Thank God I didn’t choose those. People wanted to hear this thing bellowing, to act as their early-morning wake-up call.
Finally, we were called forward. A 4×4 lining up on the famous Goodwood hillclimb start line bricks was once a novelty. Today it’s a regular occurrence. The head-turns here aren’t because it’s an SUV, but because it’s a Lambo SUV. One that, as the man waved me off, likely did 0-62mph in around 3.6 seconds. No thanks to me, launch control does all that. I simply held on in awe.
It’s probably always going to be a novelty to accelerate so quickly while sat up so high, with a howling soundtrack in the background to keep you awake. The Urus is very much on the bold side of the SUV spectrum. To those coming from almost any other vehicle, it will feel like they’ve stepped into a genuine Lamborghini. This is less toning down a Lambo, and more spicing up an SUV.
I’m not going to tell you much about ride and handling because hey, it was 1.16 miles. But I can tell you the Urus is pleasingly responsible, swiftly changes direction to a steering input rather than hesitating and keeling over, and generally feels a lot lighter and tighter on its feet than I was expecting.
I was making ‘it’s an SUV’ compensations in my drive that I didn’t need to make. They all say that, yes, but I really could have gone a lot quicker, and not felt like I was killing the car doing so.
Then we were at the top, with just enough time to contrast a Caterham’s 13-inch wheels with the Lambo’s 22-inch rims, clock how cool the bucket-style seats are inside, and realise owners will be turning heads in one of these for years to come. Then I headed back down the hill, waving to the crowds.
I arrived back now fully awake. That was good fun. I got up, didn’t crash, put on a show and will appear in a few Instagram and Snapchat posts. I’ll also look forward to driving the Urus a bit more in the UK, because it might just turn out to be less of a behemoth and more of an authentic Lambo that we may think.
The 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed is in full swing, celebrating the 25-year silver jubilee of Lord March’s famed garden party.
FoS always celebrates the most important anniversaries in automotive and motorsport, but this year the event itself is laying on its own birthday party.
Motoring Research is there and will be covering the key exhibits throughout the weekend… in the meantime, sit back and watch the Festival of Speed from the comfort of your home or office!
Some people say that the best way to enjoy a party is to head to the kitchen. Indeed, Jona Lewie wrote a song about the very subject. It’s a similar story at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where the car park is often just as exciting as the main event. We couldn’t send Mr Lewie to Sussex, so instead, here are some photos taken by MR’s newest recruit, Ethan Jupp.
A Cardiff-registered Aston Martin DBS Volante parked alongside a Belgian-registered Honda NSX. It begs the question, would you rather head to the Welsh hills in the Aston or to Belgium in the NSX?
You know what it’s like, you wait an age for a McLaren and then… blimey, how many are in this shot? We haven’t seen this many Maccas since we stumbled across a convention of Beatles tribute acts in Liverpool.
What’s yellow and black and often turns up as an unwelcome guest at summer events? There’s something waspish about this McLaren Senna, although we wouldn’t recommend hitting it with a copy of the Daily Telegraph. Other papers are available.
Better than a Mirage
Our man Richard Aucock was fortunate enough to drive the McLaren Senna at the Estoril circuit in Portugal. We can’t recall his precise words, but he almost certainly said it was nicer to drive than a Mitsubishi Mirage.
Not a Mirage in sight
We’ve taken a closer look at this photo and we can’t find a Mitsubishi Mirage. Jupp needs to work on his car park spotting skills. Initial verdict: must try harder.
If the number plate is anything to go by, the owner of this Audi R8 V10 is a fan of the A262 in Kent. We prefer the fab A272, which makes for a nice journey home if you’re heading west from Goodwood.
Once you pop…
It’s never too early to break out a packet of Pringles. Once you pop, and all that. We suspect he’ll find it easier to close the lid on the GT3 RS, although he might want to remove that Wall’s chill bag first.
A Noble act
The Noble M600: built in Leicestershire and powered by a Yamaha 4.4-litre V8, as used in the Volvo XC90 and S80. You’d struggle to hit a claimed 225mph in an XC90, mind, especially seven-up with a dog in the boot.
Ferrari 250 GTE
Launched in 1960, the Ferrari 250 GTE was the first genuine four-seater from Maranello. This very car featured in Classic & Sportscar in September 1983. At the time it was worth between £5,000 and £6,000, roughly the same as a new Ford Sierra. It was also the year in which UB40 hit the number one spot with Red Red Wine. You’ll need a few glasses of that before we tell you that, 35 years later, it’s worth upwards of £300,000.
Loud and fast
This 2001 BMW M3 is worth considerably less, but we suspect that it’s louder than the Ferrari. Or, should that be L1OUDer?
A brace of CSLs
The BMW M3 CSL represents the embodiment of the ‘ultimate driving machine’ tag. CSL stands for Coupe Sport Leichtbau, which is German shorthand for ‘we give you less, you pay us more’. Values have shot up, with the very best examples knocking on the door of £100,000.
Still relatively fresh from its debut at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show, here is a Porsche 911 GT3 Touring. The optional Touring Package does away with the fixed rear wing, but the car is equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox. It is, if you like, a 911 GT3 for the purist.
‘Elf and safety
If only to highlight the absence of the rear wing, here’s another view of the 911 GT3 Touring. It’s good to see that Elf, having found his father in New York, has made his way to Belgium. He should enjoy the chocolates. And waffles. And buns.
Romeo and Giulia
All eyes appear to be on the Audi, but we’d rather enjoy a drive home in this Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.
Here’s an Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster basking in the sun at Goodwood. It’s probably worth a cool £100,000.
This year’s central celebration at the Goodwood Festival of Speed – besides 25 years of the event itself – is the 70th anniversary of Porsche. As one of the most revered sports car marques in history, Porsche has the lead in the FOS celebration standings, with this being its third time as the central brand. Its 70th birthday follows a celebration of 50 years of the 911 in 2013 and the company’s 50th anniversary way back in 1998.
The central feature is always a highlight of Goodwood, with the car selection intended to encapsulate everything great about the marque over the course of its history. Let’s break down Porsche’s super six.
Porsche 911 R
This is an easy one. The car encapsulates everything Porsche stands for on the road in the eyes of enthusiasts. The ultimate in driver feel and interaction, with a slick-throw six-speed manual giving the driver precise control over 500hp of 4.0-litre flat-six as it howls its way to 8,800rpm. The pinnacle of Porsche desirability and driver enjoyment, its place on the central feature was surely guaranteed.
This ground-breaking sports prototype not only gave Porsche its first win at Le Mans in 1970, it’s the tap-root design influence for the most desirable Porsche road cars of all time. The Carrera GT can thank it for its wood-topped gear shifter, which shielded drivers’ hands from transmission heat after up to 24 hours flat-out at La Sarthe. Those curves, that swept-back stance – GT1 through CGT, 918 and beyond – it all goes back to the 917.
Porsche 918 Spyder
Speaking of the 918… Again, this car’s place on the feature was almost guaranteed. It’s still at the pinnacle of Porsche’s technical prowess five years after release. It carries the heritage of a plethora of top-level machinery from the road and racetrack, going through Carrera GT, 911 GT1, 959, 962, 956, 936 and 917. Everything that Porsche was, is and will be was distilled and intensified in this car.
Porsche 959 Dakar
Evidence of a life outside of sports car racing, as well as the versatility of one of its most celebrated supercars, the 959 Dakar is a legendary unicorn – and a signature departure from the Porsche norm. Based on the marque’s 1980s technical tour de force, this off-road racer cementing its place in Dakar history with a one-two finish in 1986.
Porsche 919 Hybrid
Carrying on a legacy of Porsche’s top-level Le Mans sports racers, the 919 is the latest and definitely the greatest in terms of its technology. When the Taycan arrives on UK roads, we can rest assured the EV tech has been proven in the greatest motorsport arena on Earth. In its time in service, the 919 asserted Porsche’s dominance as the most successful automotive marque at Le Mans, with its three wins taking the tally up to 19.
This is where it all started for Porsche. Born in a barn, this was the company’s first foray onto the road – a moment in history that occurred 70 years ago last month. The 356 set that unique rear-engined, air-cooled Porsche standard – attributes for which so many generations of 911 command such reverence (and value) to this day. Some way from the leviathan that is the most profitable car manufacturer in the world, but we all start somewhere…
Are these the cars you’d have picked for the central feature? Let us know in the comments below.
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