Earls Court is one area of Revival where you’ll see cars built after 1966, with ‘predictions’ as to what some of the marques on track and around the venue will be doing in the ‘future’. Here are our cars that rock Earls Court…
Ferrari 288 GTO
Everyone loves a Ferrari GTO – but Goodwood GTOs are always prefaced by the numbers 250. So it’s a treat to see a 1984 288 GTO in Rosso Corsa magnificence in Earls Court this year. DK Engineering’s car is one of the cars in the tribute to V8s section, something the homologation special is well equipped for with its 2.8-litre twin turbo bent-eight mounted amidships. And the way Pininfarina muscled out the 308 GTB’s styling is just to die for…
A spacious luxury living room on wheels powered by Maserati? No not a Quattroporte but a concept car, from Giorgetto Giugiaro no less, that took the idea of a ‘super saloon’ a big step further when it was unveiled in 1976. Huge, angular, with a front end probably not great for creating downforce and C-pillars almost as wide as the car, the six-seater, velour-trimmed Medici, complete with bar and fridge in the back, was of course destined to remain a concept only. But has Giugiaro ever done anything that didn’t influence something else? We think not…
Triumph Stag Experimental Coupé
This interesting one-off is included in the V8 display (perhaps there was no requirement that the V8s had to be reliable?) but is undoubtedly more significant for its body style. The Michelotti-designed coupé concept merges Stag T-bar soft-top design with the roof and fluted rear quarters of the GT6. Rakish fastback or gawky and poorly proportioned version of a handsome car? You decide (we’re definitely in the latter camp).
De Tomaso Mangusta
Motor show stars are seldom as dramatic as the Mangusta, even if its name – it’s Italian for mongoose – lacks a certain glamour. The name is accurate though: mongooses kill snakes, and this car was designed as a rival for the AC Cobra. Complete with 4.7-litre FoMoCo V8 power, just like its nemesis, the 1967 mid-engined supercar came after the Vallelunga in de Tomaso’s model chronology. Made for de Tomaos by Ghia, it’s not a car you see often –400 of them were built, heaven knows how many still around – which is why it’s so great to see this one at earls Court this year. Mangustas rock!
Gordon Keeble GK1
Story is a tortoise ambled into shot when they were taking publicity photographs of the first Gordon-Keeble. So naturally they adopted the animal for the car’s badge. Nothing to do then with the decidedly ambling gestation period of the GK1, from Gordon GT through V8 in a Peerless chassis to this. And how pretty it is! Designed by a 21-year-old Giorgetto Giugiaro when he worked for Bertone, the fibreglass-bodied, 5.4-litre Corvette-engined, Southampton-built coupé surely should have been much more successful than it was. Happy 50th birthday to the G-K anyway!
We like a nice fin at Goodwood Road & Racing and with so many D-types around Revival this weekend there has been something of a fin overdose. But always room for one more and here it is: on the highly distinctive rear of the 1947 Tatra T87 in the Earls Court V8 display. Now this car rocks with a capital R. It rocks so much in so many ways that, in its day, much of its aerodynamic, rear-engined, monocoque, independently sprung innovation was, er, the ‘inspiration’ for a certain Dr Ferdinand Porsche. The Austrian engineer Hans Ledwinka was the man behind it – must have been a genius.