Festival In A Blur: Goodwood Speeds Past
Brute GTs & Future Shocks

Days slip by fast in the Speedhunting world: perfect storms of automotive nirvana, a passing blur as one car after another passes through our focal points. The drawback is that perhaps sometimes there’s possibly too much of a good thing.

That’s certainly the case now, as I sit here in the media centre at Le Mans and consider the last couple of weeks, every day filled with shoots, travelling or both across Europe. Hang on, Le Mans? What about the Goodwood Festival Of Speed? First things first. Rewind. The Festival is possibly the biggest sensory overload out there, so here’s an introductory Spotlight from the sunny south of England.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Where to start? The Festival Of Speed embraces every genre, series, discipline and style in a superlative-overloading manner. Whether it has two wheels, four or even six, wings to keep it on the ground or wings to make it supersonic in the air, you’ll see it at Goodwood. So let’s begin with a defining statement on four wheels good, four wheels driven better, Audi’s Tyrannosaur take on the 90 from 1989.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

This is a car that includes so many good words it’s probably illegal in some states. Audi. Quattro. BBS. IMSA. GTO. It’s a pretty good combination. Those four beautiful BBS fans stood outboard from the original 90’s tighter lines, enclosed in huge fenders. The car is such a riot of beautiful detail: the purity of those wheels and then the NACA ducts – and handles for the rear doors of this sensible, practical, four-door saloon.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Did I say sensible and practical? This was from an era when the tubeframe IMSA GT cars looked like they’d had 100-ton weights dropped onto them, making them flat as pancakes as wide as tankers. Just the way we like it.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

It sounded out of this world, courtesy of all this firepower under the bonnet: a straight-five weaponised with a KKK turbo situated surprisingly far up front, to make 710hp going to those four corners. Seeing this car in the flesh at Goodwood is simply a breathtaking experience.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Rod took a look at the history of quattros a while back, which is well worth a read for background of just how this fearsome machine came about – and what happened after.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

If there’s one thing the Brits do well, it’s to somehow get crazy yet impressive supercar projects off the ground. Few were as crazily impressive as the mid-‘90s Lister Storm.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Nothing about it was sensible in the contemporary sense. The wedge-shape might have been still just about in, but the engine was up front – and it wasn’t any ordinary unit, but the biggest V12 fitted to a road car since World War 2: a seven-litre Jaguar power plant taken from Jaguar’s Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar programme.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The Storm was the result of a revival of the Lister name in the late ’80s; the marque had been renowned Jaguar tuners in the 1950s but folded as the ’60s ebbed away. Starting off with hopping up Jag’s XJS into 200mph supercars, the new incarnation of Lister decided to up their game and produce their own GT1 car aimed at the 1995 running of Le Mans.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

For this you had to pretend to the FIA that you were going to build a street-legal version (viz the Mercedes CLK, Porsche GT1, Toyota GT1 et al). A Storm was on the horizon.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The numbers were ridiculous: a 210mph top speed but a £450,000 price tag. However, it was also a four seater, and for a decade the fastest four-seater in the world. Only the Brabus Rocket beat it, and that only in 2006, which gives you an idea of what kind of level the Storm was operating at.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

In road-going guise the Storm was extortionately expensive, and only four were built. Just three survive today, so much as I’ve been lucky enough to see the monstrous GT2 racer on track (which was much more successful than the rapidly obsolete GT1), I’d never seen a road car until now. #BecauseGoodwood?

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Aston Martin have been promising a bold new design direction, but I don’t think we expected this…

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Unfortunately the DP100 can only be driven in the virtual world, but that’s not to say that Aston Martin didn’t put the effort into this real life representation.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

This full scale model was cheekily hanging out in the Supercar paddock, although it wouldn’t be moving…

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Which was a shame: I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who would have liked to see these carbon-tipped blades cutting through the air…

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Aston’s Design Director, Marek Reichman, went through the same design process from sketch to concept as they would for a real car, and it’s possible that we might see some of these design cues turn up in future models.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

In the meantime, the sound of its virtual 800hp, twin-turbo cutting through the Goodwood air will just have to be imagined…

Rotary Saw, McLaren Heard, Merc Carried
The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

One thing that didn’t need imagining was this equally futuristic Mazda prototype. Forty four years younger than the DP100, this was a case of back to the future.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The styling of the RX500 is archetypally ’70s: the angular nose; that high rear deck and Kamm tail; the geometric slots.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The engine is of course rotary, if you hadn’t guessed… Interestingly, the multi-colour fan of lights changed colour depending on condition: green under acceleration, orange when at a constant speed and red when braking.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The 10A twin-rotor (2x 491cc) Wankel engine was tiny, but it somehow produced 247hp and propelled the RX500 to 125mph.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Lightweight panels kept the weight down to just 850kg. There’s so much about this car which is ahead of its time.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The space-age cockpit (check out that 2001-style orange) was accessed via front-hinging doors – beating the Countach by three years – and the engine bay at the rear by gullwing panels – predating the De Tomaso Mangusta.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

It’s easy to think of the F1 as McLaren’s first foray into road cars, but in fact it was under the original founder of the team, the great Bruce McLaren, that streets first trembled to their presence back in the late 1960s.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

This was the M12 GTO, which was developed in 1969 by Bruce after he experienced driving the iconic GT40 coupé.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

As a base, it was decided that they’d use their CanAm M6B GT monocoque. Oh, and its thunderous Chevy LT1 V8 engine. It almost makes the F1 look tame.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

It certainly makes it sound tame… This ultra-rare M12 GTO was fired up at Goodwood’s race track as a warm-up ahead of the weekend, where I was coincidentally looking at a pair of Koenigsegg One:1s. More on them in a later story. But when the McLaren’s V8 was finally coaxed into life, the clouds metaphorically rolled in, darkness descended and Zeus did throw down thunder and lightning. I’m not sure I’ve heard a louder engine in my life. It was like being shelled by heavy artillery.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

A run of 250 cars was planned, with Trojan Cars handling the road-going conversions of the race-bred M6B GTs.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Changes in homologation rules and the tragic death of Bruce (at Goodwood of course…) scuppered the run, but a handful of cars were created – this being one of three Trojans, and another super rare sight in general, let alone in the UK. Notice this is running on French licence plates.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

So, you’ve got a Mercedes-Benz 300SLR Gullwing. It’s a pretty fast car. It’s built to cruise at high speed, to win at high speed in fact. But you want to reduce wear and tear, especially if you’re taking it to a race. What do you do?

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

You build a transporter which goes faster than most other road cars of the time.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

This amazing streamlined transporter was custom built by Mercedes in 1954 expressly to get their race cars to places when they were needed in a real hurry.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

This was from a period where haulers weren’t the homogenised machines they are today: all the big teams were building their own stunning creations.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The tube-frame chassis was mated to the engine and running gear from a Gullwing – to prove a real link between carrier and carried – and Bosch hydraulic brakes made sure the three-ton beast could stop as well as it went.

The 2014 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The original was sadly scrapped back in 1967 (why do companies do that?!), but was recently meticulously reconstructed from the original plans by Mercedes-Benz Classics. Six thousands hours of work, and once again they have the fastest racecar transporter in the world.

Jonathan Moore
Instagram: speedhunters_jonathan



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That carrier looks so elegant, you, would never know it's an absolute beast. Great job, Mr. Moore!

Gianluca FairladyZ

Yeah Gran Turismo Cars ;)


A little bit of sadness when you wish the Furai could made it to Goodwood along with the RX500 :(


Extra points to anyone who can guess the connection between the Audi & the Lister...

Great feature, Jonathan.  Those IMSA & T/A Audis are just mental. There's a small collection of them near the Bay Area in CA, he brings them out to Laguna Audi Club days now & then.


Hey Aston, 

You're a little late to this party, but good to see you.

Pininfarina Birdcage


@T Fritch The taillights.


DerFreibierfredPalindrom Well played, sir. Free beer for you!


Looking at that Mercedes transporter, it looks pretty weird to see the front wheels BEHIND the front doors.


AceAndrew2 Ha, fair enough. I was just at Pininfarina as well, hence the delay in looking back to Goodwood!


That Aston Martin looks like it has a hover-mode installed with those wheels. And that McLaren, WOW!


Wait, I could be wrong...but didn't they use that Mazda in The Last Starfighter from the 80's???


The IMSA Audi is just mental, in the best possible way. Though it does make me laugh how far forward that engine is!


that's an SLR, not just an SL


Correct, it's one of only two Uhlenlaut (Ultralight) coupes built. Sort of a hybrid between the roofless 300SLR and the regular SL. You can tell because it has the faired in headlights of the SLR.


Hotcakes I was thinking the exact same thing when I saw that image. Did this set the tone for engine placement future Audis?


That McLaren: Anyone remember that cheesy show of Hardcastle and McCormick?


Hotcakes Ah yes, it is indeed: an important one letter slip! The transporter was specifically recreated to carry that SLR and normally sits in the Merc museum...


KennedyCao I don't think there's much chance of seeing that: wasn't it destroyed in a fire?!


ToyotaSupraMan It does look strange at first, as it feels like it should have three axles. But when you realise it's only two, and with the placement of the car on top, it then makes a bit more sense. The handling must be quite exciting when it's unloaded though! :)


kphillips9936 Ha, it's got that feel hasn't it! Wasn't that car a re-made Spinner from Blade Runner though?


Jonathan Moore kphillips9936 Now that you mention it...


Jonathan Moore Hotcakes It's less known than the regular SL models, some may think that it's merely a modified SL, overlooking the rich racing pedigree behind that very model... Not saying that the SLs didn't have pedigree, however. These machines, and that carrier, are just phenomenal.


RacingPast Hotcakes I seem to recall it was the original Quattro that started that trend.


Jonathan Moore KennedyCao Yep. Cheers Top Gear for that one


One thing comes to mind on that Aston: Light-Brite lol

Pete the perfect pilot

Kudos to goodwood for bringing this to fos- rx500: fantastic to see it, and it's tiny 10a rotary, what a car! Shame Mazdas currant range is so lame, time for another furai, but make it real mazda, at least 20b rotary.... Can see mad mike storming up the hill in it!


Holy hell, that Quattro is so deliciously sexy. I bet you have to manhandle the thing around the course to keep it in check. :D


Pete the perfect pilot or at least to be his "daily ride"


I remember the only reason I used to watch GT2 racing on Sunday after I was finished delivering my papers was to see the Lister Storm race. To see a road Lister is truly amazing.


Hotcakes Uhlenhaut doesn't mean ultralight, it's the name of the bloke (Rudolf Uhlenhaut) who was Merc's chief of motorsports at the time, and who was ultimately responsible for the two enclosed SLRs. After Mercedes withdrew from motorsports in '55, Uhlenhaut used one of these two cars as his company car, and it's for those two reasons that they are both called by his name. That's also why you sometimes see one of the Uhlenlaut coupes wearing an enormous muffler as big as a briefcase, as the SLR is a very loud car, and obviously this was unacceptable for German roads. But neither car sees much road use today, so the muffler is no longer necessary