Just like last year, Gordon Murray Automotive made a strong showing at Members’ Meeting. There were so many T.50s scattered around the Goodwood Motor Circuit, it was easy to forget that each one was worth in the region of 3 million pounds. While we thoroughly enjoyed examining the different specifications on display, a bizarre prototype hiding in the corner of GMA’s paddock section really caught our attention. Closer inspection revealed it had a rather endearing name, George, and that it was perhaps more significant than any of the glistening T.50s parked alongside it. Combining an Ultima chassis with a Cosworth V12, George holds the distinction of being the T.50’s test mule, and it was used for configuring the engine and electronics at the Millbrook proving ground. George’s awkward bodywork, littered with radiators and various vents, stood in stark contrast to the masterfully clean surfacing of GMA’s other creations, but we loved it all the same for the fascinating insight it offered into hypercar development.
Of course, the biggest reveal at 80MM goes to the GMA T.33 Spider, which was only announced a couple weeks ago. The topless supercar looked simply magnificent in person, especially in its fabulous shade of vivid metallic blue. While the car on display was no more than a design study, its impressively small size and inviting cockpit had us dreaming of revving out its atmospheric V12 on the open road.
This year, 80MM joined the celebration of both Porsche’s 75th and the 911’s 60th anniversary with an assembly of rear-engined race cars unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. With so many fantastic liveries on display, a waltz through the paddock felt more like a visit to the Tate Modern, only in this case, the artworks took to the track in a cacophony of flat-six screams. One Porsche we found ourselves gawping at time and time again was the Playstation-liveried 993-generation 911 GT2, whose vibrant decals and golden BBS wheels transported us to back to the early days of Gran Turismo.
However, that was far from the most impressive Porsche on display. That honour goes to the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning Porsche 911 GT1 98, which was the final Porsche to win a major endurance race outright. We must also give a special mention to the fantastic 1973 Targa Florio-winning 911 RSR, and the legendary 935/78 Moby Dick, whose outrageous bodykit still manages to trump many of the craziest renders the internet has to offer.
This year’s Members’ Meeting offered a rare treat: an abundance of racers from one of our favourite classes of all time, GT1. Spearheading the charge were the first 3 of 10 outrageously cool Ferrari 550 GTSs built by Prodrive, whose presence at 80MM we have Girardo & Co to thank. Among them was CRD02, which scored a victory at the 2004 Spa 24 Hours with Fabruzio Gollin, Luca Cappellari, Enzo Calderari, and Lilian Bryner at the wheel. CRD03 also deserves a mention as the car Colin McRae drove to the podium at the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans. The scarlet trio were truly a sight to behold, especially as the 550 GTS was the last V12-engined Ferrari ever to win its class at Le Mans.
However, Ferrari and Porsche were not the only marques to show off their GT1 monsters at 80MM. Our friends at Art & Revs displayed their sub-zero Saleen S7R, which gleamed in the golden afternoon light, while the Playstation 2-liveried Viper GTS-R reignited our love for Dodge’s venomous super grand tourer.
The Flying B
Picking a favourite from last weekend is an incredibly tough decision indeed, but if you really twisted our arm, it would have to be the jaw-dropping Bentley Speed 8. The number 7 car you see here is the very machine that was driven to glory at the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans by Tom Kristensen, Guy Smith, and Rinaldo Capello, thus breaking a 73-year dry spell at Le Sarthe for Bentley. Also present was its number 8 sister car, which finished just behind it to secure a 1-2 victory. The super-low dark green endurance racers seemed to have a gravitational pull like nothing else at 80MM, drawing crowds of admirers with their imposing presence as much as their sparkling list of on-track achievements.
Overall, the 80th Members’ Meeting was another stunning success, serving as a reminder that there really isn’t anything quite as glorious as a sunny spring day spent at Goodwood.
Photos by Mikey Snelgar