Good­wood Fes­ti­val of Speed In­side sto­ries on the Porsches, Mercedes, an Alfa and a Volvo fresh to the Good­wood hill climb

Plethora of an­niver­saries sees Porsche’s 70th top the Good­wood Fes­ti­val of Speed

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Aclutch of sig­nif­i­cant an­niver­saries – in­clud­ing 70 years of both Porsche and Lo­tus, 60 years of the British Saloon Car Cham­pi­onship and the 25th birth­day of the Good­wood Fes­ti­val of Speed it­self – drew a huge field of clas­sics to the Sus­sex hill climb course, many of which had been re­stored es­pe­cially for the oc­ca­sion.

Porsche 911 RSR

The 911 RSR that won the last World Cham­pi­onship Targa Flo­rio, held in 1973, made its post-restora­tion de­but at the Fes­ti­val.

His­toric racer Joe Twyman was there to drive it, ‘It’s just done a one-lap shake­down at Don­ing­ton.’

After Her­bert Müller and Gijs van Len­nep scored that Targa vic­tory, beat­ing the fac­tory Fer­rari 312PBS and Alfa 33TT12S, chas­sis 360 0588R6, known sim­ply as R6, went on to race in the Le Mans 24 Hours, where it didn’t fin­ish, and the Öster­re­ichring 1000Kms (eighth) and Watkins Glen 6 Hours (sixth) that year.

Says cus­to­dian Si­mon Harper, ‘When Maxted­page started the restora­tion it was half­way be­tween Targa Flo­rio and Le Mans spec and was in a poor state. They went to great lengths to re­store it to its Targa Flo­rio-spec, right down to the cor­rect num­ber of pieces of tape on the rear wings.’

Track­ing down cor­rect parts was a chal­lenge, ‘For ex­am­ple, they had to source 917 rear hubs, gen­uine throt­tle bod­ies and a fuel in­jec­tion pump. One of those is €30,000.’

Dauer Porsche 962

This vet­eran of the 1994 Le Mans 24 Hours – com­plete with cracked wind­screen – was brought to Good­wood from the Porsche Mu­seum’s re­serve col­lec­tion. It was the first time it had been seen in pub­lic since Hans-joachim Stuck, Danny Sul­li­van and Thierry Bout­sen brought it home in third place. ‘In 1994 there was a loop­hole in the reg­u­la­tions,’ said Ar­min Burger of the Porsche Mu­seum. ‘Group C cars had been banned and re­placed with Gt­based cars, but chief con­struc­tor Nor­bert Singer had a small num­ber of Group C 962s made road le­gal, so it could be ho­molo­gated in the GT1 class. The road cars were built by Jochen Dauer, so it had to be en­tered as a Dauer rather than a Porsche. ‘Three rac­ing Dauer 962s were built – this one, the Dal­mas/hey­wood/baldi car, which won, and a spare car that was never used. The win­ning car is in a pri­vate col­lec­tion, and the un­raced spare is the one that went on dis­play at the Mu­seum. But this was just put straight away. It never raced again.’

Porsche 962C

Jochen Mass was demon­strat­ing this rad­i­cal evo­lu­tion of Porsche’s all-con­quer­ing Group C car, freshly re­stored by the Mu­seum, al­though as he ex­plained, mod­i­fi­ca­tions didn’t al­ways work.

‘As you can see, it uses a lot of diüer­ent aero­dy­namic ideas,’ said Mass, point­ing out the un­usual nose, tail and duct­ing. ‘It was Richard Lloyd’s project – he wanted to im­prove on the works cars’ de­sign – which no-one ever did, de­spite sev­eral at­tempts!

‘I drove this car at Kyalami and won. It only did a few races. The truth was, only orig­i­nal en­gi­neer Nor­bert Singer truly un­der­stood the 962. The key to the 962’s sta­bil­ity is its sculpted un­der­floor, and the body’s aero­dy­namic fine points work in con­junc­tion with this. Lloyd’s re­vi­sions re­duced drag and made it quicker in a straight line, but harder to con­trol on the limit.’

Mercedes-benz T80

Mercedes un­veiled its still­born Land Speed Record car, the, six-wheel and four-wheel-drive T80, for the first time since it was built in 1939. After a plan to run it on the au­to­bahn near Des­sau, Mercedes re­alised that the con­crete sur­face was too dusty. Be­fore the rescheduled run on the Bon­neville salt flats could hap­pen, war in­ter­vened and the T80 was consigned to the stores.

Said Jür­gen Wittman, head of the Mercedes col­lec­tion, ‘The body and its tubu­lar alu­minium frame is dis­played in our mu­seum, but the rolling chas­sis has al­ways been in the stor­age de­pot. In De­cem­ber we de­cided to bring it out, so we built a replica body frame and reac­quired a cor­rect DB603 aero en­gine from the Ham­burg Mu­seum.’

The 44.5-litre, su­per­charged 48-valve V12 was good for 3500hp, which Mercedes re­alised was nec­es­sary to hit the 650km/h tar­get. A model of the slip­pery body was later tested at Cd0.19. ‘Hans Stuck must have been very brave,’ said Wittman.

Alfa Sportiva pro­to­type

This year’s Fes­ti­val of Speed was the first time this rad­i­cal Alfa Romeo 1900 Sportiva Spi­der pro­to­type has left Italy. ‘Alfa Romeo built a small run of four pro­to­types based on the 1900 Ber­lina in 1954, with the in­ten­tion of build­ing a sports-racer to com­pete in the 2.0-litre class,’ ex­plained Ste­fano Agazzi, Alfa Romeo Her­itage Col­lec­tion man­ager. ‘But me­chan­i­cally it was com­pletely diüer­ent from the saloon – all-al­loy 2000cc en­gine with dry sump, and de Dion rear sus­pen­sion like an Alfetta would have 20 years later. It had 130bhp, and was ca­pa­ble of 220km/h (137mph).

‘To en­sure it could com­pete in both Sports and GT cat­e­gories, Ber­tone built them as Spi­ders and coupés – two of each – al­though a few years later Alfa Romeo de­stroyed the other Spi­der.

‘It was never raced. Pro­duc­tion­is­ing the tech­nol­ogy turned out to be very dif­fi­cult and Alfa was still re­build­ing it­self post-war, so all its re­sources were con­cen­trated on de­vel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion of the new Giulietta. How­ever, the ‘cut­tle­fish’ de­sign of the tail of this one in­flu­enced the Duetto Spi­der a decade later – the other Sportiva Spi­der pro­to­type had tail­fins.’

Volvo 850 Su­per Tourer

‘It’s been 20 years since this last ran,’ said co-owner Johnny Har­alds­son of the Volvo 850 Es­tate that Rickard Ry­dell raced in the 1994 British Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship. ‘I used to work with Volvo, run­ning the 850 then the S40 in the Swedish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship from 1996-99. In the Nineties, TWR pro­vided cars to Swedish teams as well as run­ning them in the BTCC, so we had a good re­la­tion­ship. After the 1994 BTCC, this car went to race in Aus­tralia. By the time its rac­ing ca­reer had fin­ished and I’d bought it and re­turned it to Swe­den in 1997, it had been fit­ted with up­dated aero­dy­namic kit from 1995 and fin­ished in a red liv­ery.

‘Ev­ery­thing had to be dis­man­tled, gone through with an eye to orig­i­nal­ity and re­painted, but me­chan­i­cally it was in good shape. Bodily not so much – it had spent sev­eral months in a ship­ping con­tainer and the metal had had a tough time.

‘In truth, there was no real ad­van­tage to run­ning an es­tate in the BTCC – Volvo knew it would sell more 850 es­tates than saloons so it was just PR. There was a slight aero­dy­namic ad­van­tage in a dead-straight line, but it was un­der­mined by ex­tra weight and sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to cross­winds.’

DTV ‘Mega Bertha’

This rad­i­cal space­framed Vaux­hall Cava­lier V8 Coupé com­pleted its maiden voy­age hav­ing been found as a pile of parts in an Ir­ish garage last year.

‘Bill Bly­den­stein came up with the idea for ‘Mega Bertha’ after Vaux­hall ex­pressed con­cern that ‘Baby Bertha’ [a sil­hou­ette racer with enor­mous bon­net and side-scoops] looked too far re­moved from the pro­duc­tion Firenza it was sup­pos­edly based on,’ ex­plained Ric Wood, who was still fin­ish­ing the car a few hours be­fore the Fes­ti­val be­gan. ‘The idea was to com­pletely con­ceal the space­frame chas­sis and big-block Chevro­let en­gine with a Cava­lier Coupé body a foot wider than the pro­duc­tion car, but with fewer cool­ing and aero­dy­namic add-ons. I have a let­ter from Bly­den­stein say­ing the in­ten­tion was to race it along­side Baby Bertha as part of a two-car team.

‘I bought the body­work, but fab­ri­cated the rest based on the de­tailed de­scrip­tion in Mar­shall’s book. It’s a hand­ful – 800bhp plus rear-wheel drive equals rear-wheel steer­ing! It’s never been de­vel­oped ei­ther, so it’s at its rawest. Scary too – I’m sit­ting be­side the en­gine. It won’t be a mu­seum piece though – it’s el­i­gi­ble for His­toric Mod­sports!’

Opel Manta 400

Jimmy Mcrae’s AC Delco-spon­sored Opel Manta 400 from the 1985 British Rally Cham­pi­onship ran for the first time since 1992, after a hard life and a long and con­vo­luted restora­tion. ‘It’s ac­tu­ally a 1984 car, and was orig­i­nally driven by Rus­sell Brookes un­der An­drews liv­ery for that sea­son,’ said owner Jiri Jirovic. ‘It was up­dated to 1985 spec­i­fi­ca­tion the fol­low­ing year, and run by Jimmy Mcrae. It has cer­tain mod­i­fi­ca­tions com­pared to Brookes’ 1985 car – that was in­fa­mously known as the ‘Bendi-bus’ be­cause the acid-dipped chas­sis was so flex­i­ble that the nose would droop go­ing over crests. With this car, Opel welded ex­tra tubes into the chas­sis rails to stiffen it.

‘Im­me­di­ately after the 1985 British Rally Cham­pi­onship it went to New Zealand, where it was owned and run by a guy called Si­mon Pow­ell. In the Nineties, he sold it to Andy Horne in Scot­land. It had suf­fered a lot of cor­ro­sion, and sadly Andy didn’t know much about Group B Man­tas so he just fixed the rust. The unique Group B parts were in a bad way.

‘I bought it as a restora­tion project at an auc­tion in Birm­ing­ham five years ago and took it back to Prague. It’s all sorted now but it won’t be ral­lied – it wouldn’t take much to de­stroy its orig­i­nal­ity.’

Dauer Porsche 962 proudly sports the same wind­screen that was cracked dur­ing its 1994 Le Mans podium fin­ish

1973 Targa Flo­rio-win­ning 911RSR made its postrestora­tion de­but

Even Jochen Mass found this tweaked 962C tricky to drive

First pub­lic view­ing of the 3500bhp Land Speed Record car

Mercedes T80 was high-tech for 1939

Hans Stuck was due to sit here and chase 650km/h

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