There’s a rich selection of sports racing cars to choose from at the Revival, with contenders in both the Freddie March Memorial Trophy and the Sussex Trophy. That’s a lot to narrow down into a top five, but we gave it a go anyway. Scroll down to see whether you agree with our choices.
5) Ferrari 375 MM Spyder
The Ferrari-only Lavant Cup promises to be a very special grid: exclusively for drum-braked racers of the 1950s, it will feature what are arguably amongst the most beautiful competition cars ever built. Choosing one for our top five wasn’t easy. In the end, we opted for Formula 1 derived V12 power in the form of the 375 MM Spyder. It dominated the World Sports Car Championship between 1954 and 1957, but missed out on a Le Mans victory in 1953 at the hands of the disc-braked Jaguar C-Type – but it will face no such opposition this weekend.
4) Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 PR ‘Disco Volante’
The Alfa Romeo 6c 3000 ‘Disco Volante’ received our Goodwood Greats treatment when it was at last year’s Revival, and its appearance in the Freddie March Memorial Trophy this year earns it a place in this top five. The Passo Ridotto (reduced wheelbase) Disco Volante was modified from one of two 6C 3000 CM Spiders built, but was crashed soon after the conversion. After subsequently being rebuilt, it spent many years in a Brazilian museum before being bought by its current owner and pressed into action historic motorsport.
3) Aston Martin DBR2
The Aston Martin DBR2 may not have had the same level of success as the DBR1, but given that only two were ever built it takes a significant place in history. And besides, the DBR2’s foreshortened career was no fault of its own. Its 3.7-litre became ineligible for championship events when the rules imposed a limit of 3.0 litres, so the cars were used for meetings such as the Goodwood Sussex Trophy, which it won in 1958. Both cars were sent to the USA to help promote the newly launched DB4 road car, with which it shared its engine, while the DBR1s continued to compete in Europe.
2) Jaguar C-type
As well as being captivating to look at, the Jaguar C-type chalked up a victory at its Le Mans debut in 1951. It missed out on victory in 1952 with overheating issues. This was down to a rearrangement of the cooling system which was a consequence of altering the car’s aerodynamics in a bid to keep up with the rival Mercedes-Benz 300SLs. Victory was the C-type’s again in 1953, when disc brakes were introduced – causing rivals to hurriedly add disc brakes to their own cars. Ought we have had a D-type in our top five instead? There’s an argument for it…
1) Maserati Tipo 61 ‘Birdcage’
“Great balance, the car is perfectly sprung and the brakes are just right for its weight and power. The adhesion to the track is just fabulous,” is how Dan Gurney summarised the Maserati Tipo 61. It’s better known by its ‘Birdcage’ nickname, of course, coined thanks to its intricate chassis, much of which is on show through the small aeroscreen. You’ll be able to witness one of the 22 built in action in the Sussex Trophy. We can’t wait to see this one.