Lord March’s Festival of Speed is no longer just a hill-climb event. These days, it’s more like a global car show for all things fast and furious, with the classics often taking centre stage.
Of particular interest is the Bonhams Goodwood auction held under one roof, at the historic Goodwood House.
Packed with hundreds of genuine buyers, as well as hoards of onlookers, it’s difficult to get up close to many of the exhibits; even harder to snap clean photographs.
Nonetheless, here’s a selection of some of the more interesting lots that caught our eye – and, in many cases, what they sold for.
1970 Alfa Romeo 2000 GTAM Competition Coupe
Introduced in 1965 at the Amsterdam motor show, the GTA (‘A’ for Alleggerita – lightened) was the factory competition version of the Giulia Sprint GT.
Almost identical to the road-going version, the GTA got aluminium body panels, Plexiglass side and rear windows and other lightweight panels and trip. The result was a car that tipped the scales at 200kg less than the steel-bodied road car.
Alfa’s brilliant twin-cam 1570cc four-cylinder engine was extensively modified with larger valves and a twin-plug ignition that made 170bhp in race tune, compared with 115 horsepower as standard.
Success followed, with Autodelta-tuned GTAs winning three consecutive European Touring Car Championships from 1966-68.
In 1969, Alfa came out with a more powerful version called GTAm, based on the Giulia 1750 GT Veloce – an export model for the United States.
Armed with an enlarged 1985cc engine and SPICA mechanical fuel injection, the GTAm also benefitted from fibreglass body panels and Plexiglass windows for even less weight.
This car was originally built in 1970 by Autodelta and campaigned in Germany’s ADAC race at the Nurburgring. No sale recorded, but estimated worth is between $470,000-641,000.
1935 Aston Martin Works Ulster ‘LM19’
One of the oldest cars on display was this 1935 Aston Martin Works Ulster ‘LM19’ – one of only four ultimate-specification Ulsters constructed for Le Mans that year.
This was a road-useable sports racer that was said to have benefited from the then company head, ‘Bert’ Bertelli’s wealth of experience in high-performance sports cars, who famously described the Ulster Works cars as “the best cars I ever built”.
The car’s history includes competition in some of the world’s most gruelling endurance races including the Le Mans 24-Hours, Mille Migila and the RAC Tourist Trophy in Northern Island.
It was also driven by the greatest British driver of the 1930s, Dick Seaman, who tragically lost his life during the 1939 Belgian Grand Prix driving for Mercedes-Benz.
Sold for $6,245,790
1968 Lotus Elan S3 Coupe
Next up was a beautifully maintained 1968 Lotus Elan S3 Coupe, with only two owners from new and less than 20,000 miles on the clock.
The S3 was an improved version of the standard Elan that launched in 1962, itself a highly focused sports car and one of the best-handling vehicles of the day. Interestingly, it was available as a full turn-key car or in kit form at a reduced price.
Its specialised hardware included an all-independent suspension setup with unequal-length wishbones up front, and a wide-based lower wishbone paired with a customised Chapman Strut (like those used in the Lotus Grand Prix cars) was used at the rear.
Rack-and-pinion steering was borrowed from the Triumph Vitesse and it had Girling disc brakes were also standard fitment on the Elan.
With the advent of the S3, a fixed-head coupe became available for the first time, while other improvements included electric windows, nicer trim and a new dashboard design.
Production of the Elan ceased in 1973, but not before nearly 9000 were produced.
Sold with 19,934 miles on the clock for $56,874.
2004 Ferrari Enzo Berlinetta
Commissioned by the then Ferrari President, Luca di Montezemolo in 2002, the design brief for the Ferrari Enzo was a car that would both celebrate the life-long achievements of founder Enzo, and one that would encompass Ferrari’s F1 technology for the road.
This 2004 Ferrari Enzo Berlinetta (in left-hand drive) is almost new, showing a distance of just 1285 miles on the odometer.
At the heart of the Enzo was a 60-degree 6.0-litre V12 that produced 660bhp, and was capable of blasting from standstill to 100km/h in around 3.5 seconds. Top speed was a tad over 350km/h.
Only 349 Enzos were scheduled for production, but actually, Ferrari built 400 examples – one even going to the then Pope Benedict XVI.
Sold for $1,929,860
1967 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 Fastback Coupe
One of only 11 Shelby American ‘Engineering’ company cars for 1967, this GT500 Fastback Coupe is finished in classic Highland Green with white leather.
Revered by many as the definitive American muscle car, the Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 was armed with a big block 7.0-litre V8 engine with original twin Holley four-barrel carburettors and a rare four-speed manual gearbox.
The Shelby Mustang achieved even greater notoriety when Ford handed the keys to a Night Mist Blue GT500 to legendary Doors member, Jim Morrison, who famously crashed the car on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, before fleeing the scene to the Whisky-A-Go-Go club. The car was stolen and never seen again.
Sold for $183,847
1971 Citroen SM Coupe
The Citroen SM was at the forefront of technology for its time, equipped with innovative features like DS-style hydro-pneumatic, self-levelling suspension, self-centring steering and cornering headlamps (connected to the steering wheel) and power assisted all-round disc brakes.
It was also famous for its Maserati-derived engine – a result of Citroen’s purchase of the Italian marque in 1968. The 2.7-litre V6 developed 170bhp and was capable of propelling the Citroen to a to top speed of 140mph – making it the world’s fastest front-wheel drive car at the time.
Bill Wyman, of Rolling Stones fame, took delivery of this car in June 1971 and is reported to have driven it all over Europe to attend gigs, as well as to Keith Richard’s place to record albums such as ‘Some Girls’.
Sold for $131,329
1961 Porsche RS-61 Spyder Sports-Racing Two-Seater
From Sir Stirling Moss’s own collection is this Porsche RS-61 Spyder, which, alongside the RS60, replaced the Type 718 RSK, itself a follow-on model from the wildly successful 550A Spyder sports-racing car.
The RS-61 was even lighter – tipping the scales at just 530kg. Power was provided by a flat-four air-cooled engine, developed from the 550A car. It developed 142bhp at 7500rpm, though, during races, they could rev to 8000rpm if necessary.
The spare wheel was housed inside the nose of the car, ahead of an 80-litre fuel tank with a racing filler protruding through the cover. There were also two vented grilles at the rear, while multi-louvered panels on each side fed the drum brakes.
Sold for $4,097, 325
1981 Ferrari 512BB Coupe
A personal favourite of this writer and a classic Flat 12 from the famed Maranello marque.
Developed from the previous Ferrari 365GTB/4BB, the 512BB benefitted from an increase in engine displacement from 4.4 to 5.0-litres – mainly to meet emissions requirements of the day.
Performance was nonetheless impressive, with a claimed top speed of 300km/h.
Changes to Pininfarina’s coachwork were minimal, but included a new front splitter, brake-cooling ducts ahead of the rear wheel arches, four rear lights (instead of six) and wider rear tyres.
Valuations were between $487,345-$550,000
1959 Fiat-Abarth 750 Bialbero ‘Record Monza’ Coupe – coachwork by Carrozzeria Zagato
Based on the Fiat 600, Abarth’s tuners increased output from 19 to 57bhp at 7000rpm.
It only weighed 519kg thanks to the Zagato formed aluminium body, which meant it had a top speed of around 194km/h – a proper pocket-rocket in the true sense of the word.
Little wonder that these cars finished in first, second, third and fourth place at the 1959 12 Hours of Sebring in the GT750 class.
Sold for $111,276
1970 Maserati Ghibli 4.7-litre Coupe
Arguably one of the most stunning Grand Tourers ever made, the Maserati Ghibli was styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro at the Carrozzeria Ghia
At more than 4.5-metres long and 1.8-metres wide, the Ghibli was an imposing presence on the road, but its dry-sump lubrication, which allowed the engine to be mounted lower in the chassis, as well as a spectacularly low stance, made it even more appealing.
Powered by Maserati’s superb four-cam, 90-degree V8, performance was scintillating, with a top speed close to 275km/h – just shy of the Daytona, which it comfortably outsold.
Surprisingly, the Ghibli used a leaf spring set-up rather than more exotic systems favoured by rival makes.
Sold for $232,013
1964 Gordon-Keeble Coupe
Here’s a car that you probably won’t be able to name.
Built by John Gordon and Jim Keeble in the Hampshire town of Eastleigh in the UK, in a hangar at the local airport, the Gordon-Keeble aimed to lure well-heeled buyers with the combination of a Giugiaro design and American muscle.
The beautiful coachwork concealed a spaceframe chassis and 5.4-litre V8 engine from the Chevrolet Corvette, giving it impressive performance credentials. The Gordon-Keeble was capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in just over 6.0 seconds. Top speed was around 225km/h.
Priced from £2900, the Gordon-Keeble undercut almost all competitors – but the company fell on hard times and filed for bankruptcy in 1965, despite raising the price to £3600. Production continued until 1967 under new management, but in the end, only 99 cars were ever built.
Some argue that had fate been kinder, the Gordon-Keeble could have ended up in the hands of James Bond as 007’s car instead of an Aston Martin.
Sold for $171,805
1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster
One of only six CLK GTR Roadsters ever made and the only black-finished example in existence, this car was owned by Mercedes-Benz until 2014, and has travelled only eight kilometres since new.
At the time of its introduction, it cost $1.5 million and was the world’s most expensive production car.
It was also the car (in coupe form) that Mercedes would use to get re-enter international sports car racing in 1997. The CLK GTR was powered by a mid-engine SL600-based 6.9-litre V12 developing 600bhp.
The road-going versions closely resembled the racing cars but only produced 550bhp, as well as ditching the racer’s separate rear wing in favour of an integrated design.
It was AMG co-founder Hans-Werner Aufrecht under his HWA GmbH company that conceived the idea of transforming six idle CLK GTR Coupe chassis into the ultimate roadster by simply removing the roof and adding two roll-over bars along with extra strengthening.
Additionally, the Roadster’s engine was also tuned to deliver 640bhp – 40bhp more than the racing version – while an F1-style sequential six-speed transmission with steering wheel paddle-shifters was also added.
Sold for $3,254,422
1960 Volkswagen Type 2 Devon Samba Deluxe Micro Bus
Rare indeed, is this ‘split screen’ 23-window Volkswagen Type 2 Devon Samba Deluxe micro bus, which, at the time of its introduction, was advertised as the perfect vehicle for family trips into the Alps.
With a history of only two owners since new, and a total distance travelled of just 70,000 miles, this particular example is also one of only five known 23-window models with Devon conversions. It’s also one of only two with ‘special order’ mahogany furniture (oak was standard).
Included in what has amounted to a near-full restoration, was a rebuild of the original 34bhp engine along with a new (old stock) exhaust system powder coated to closely match the original colour.
All the original brightwork has been re-plated including the ‘VW’ badge, horn grille and door handles.
Sold for $195,888
1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Coupe – Coachwork by Pininfarina
While the 1963 Ferrari 330 America shared the outgoing 250 GTE’s chassis, it’s replacement, the 330 GT 2+2 was an all-new creation from the Prancing Horse.
It had a sharper nose and tail, a wider grille and signature quad headlamps. With a longer wheelbase (by 50mm) and Koni adjustable dampers, the 330 GT 2+2 rode and handled better than its predecessor.
This example is special in its guise as an ‘interim’ model (one of only 125) of the 330 GT, combining mechanical improvements of the Series 11 cars – including a five-speed transmission – with the quad-headlight appearance of Series I versions.
It also got a suspended pedal box (instead of floor-mounted), as well as electric windows of the later models.
Under the bonnet is a 4.0-litre V12 that produced 300bhp at 6600rpm – good enough to send the 330 GT from zero to sixty in a brisk 6.3 seconds. Top speed was 150mph.
Sold for $392,422
There were, of course, many other magnificent machines in the Bonhams Goodwood auction, which we simply didn’t get enough time with.
Check out the gallery.