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The nine best sounding cars and bikes to see at 81MM

10th April 2024
Simon Ostler

Judging by the entry list, if there are cars on track at the 81st Members’ Meeting you’re going to want to put your fingers in your ears, albeit only briefly. We always look forward to the spine-tingling noise of the historic racers as they take to the Motor Circuit in their full unsilenced glory, but this year of all years promises to up the ante just a touch.

The Can-Am demonstration in particular is going to be otherworldly, but those V8 brutes won’t be alone in their eardrum-bursting endeavours. The V12 of the Ferrari 640 is set to reverberate beyond the confines of Goodwood, backed up by the turbocharged monster that is the McLaren MP4/2B. There are plenty of other loud-mouthed machines due to grace the Goodwood Motor Circuit this weekend, here are eight that we’re looking forward to.

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GMA T.50s

Let’s start with a car that we’re very excited to see in action for the first time at the 81st Members’ Meeting as the Gordon Murray Automotive T.50s makes its global dynamic debut on the Motor Circuit this weekend. If you thought the T.50 that made its debut a couple of years ago was special, just wait until you hear this. A more extreme, track-only version of the T.50 with an even more potent V12 engine, which now revs to 12,100rpm. We already know the sound is going to be outrageous, the only question is just how so.

Image courtesy of Motorsport Images.

Image courtesy of Motorsport Images.

Ferrari 640

We mentioned this off the bat because it has the potential to be incredible. Is there a better combination in motorsport than a Ferrari V12? Particularly this one, in the back of one of the most beautiful F1 cars ever made. The Ferrari 640 from 1989 was a hugely influential car in its day, among other things it pioneered the sequential paddle shift gearbox. But more important than all of that, is the sound of that glorious 3.5-litre V12. In the hands of Gerhard Berger, who raced the car during its single season in F1, we’re hopeful it's going to sing to the very top of its 13,000rpm rev range.

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81MM entry list

04th April

Image courtesy of Motorsport Images.

Image courtesy of Motorsport Images.

McLaren MP4/2B

Another F1 car, although this is a very different beast to the highly strung V12 of the Ferrari. In celebration of Niki Lauda, the Goodwood Motor Circuit will play host to a wonderful moment as the great Austrian’s final F1 car, the McLaren MP4/2B of 1985, is unleashed once more. When in qualifying trim, this turbocharged monster powered by a 1.5-litre TAG-Porsche V6 would develop somewhere in the region of 1,000PS (735kW), letting out a thunderous roar as it did so. Expect to have your bones rattled by this car as it flies around the Motor Circuit.

Image courtesy of Motorsport Images.

Image courtesy of Motorsport Images.

Shadow DN4

No that’s not thunder, it’s just the thunderous rumble of the Shadow DN4 with its 8.1-litre Chevrolet V8. Now in all honesty, this particular Shadow is going to be the least of your worries as a whole armada of Can-Am savages roar around the Motor Circuit at the 81st Members’ Meeting, but with 8.1-litres crammed into the back of this DN4 you can bet it’s going to sound absolutely biblical. Fingers in your ears for this one, this could get uncomfortable.

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81MM timetable

02nd April

Image courtesy of Motorsport Images.

Image courtesy of Motorsport Images.

Mazda RX-7

Among a grid of rasping Rovers and cacophonous Capris, there is one car in the mix of the Gordon Spice Trophy that brings the noise into a different stratosphere. The Mazda RX-7 with its twin-rotor engine sounding utterly furious at all times. There are few cars that would catch the attention of a noise metre at tick-over, this crazy RX-7 is one of them. While it doesn’t quite have the performance of the Rover SD1s or Ford Capris, it deserves a spotlight all of its own for the brilliant sound it makes.

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Porsche 904 Carrera GTS

Another car that will struggle to make headlines when it comes to results at the 81st Members’ Meeting, underpowered as it is compared to the AC Cobras and Jaguar E-types it races against in the Graham Hill Trophy, is the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS. Nevertheless, in our mind it deserves a spotlight all of its own for the sound of that 2.0-litre flat-six engine. It’s just so wonderfully crisp, a precursor to the many remarkable engines that would come out of the Porsche factory over the next seven decades and counting.

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81MM race list

24th October 2023

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LCR-Yamaha

Something we don’t often get a chance to experience at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting is a spot of contemporary motorsport. It’s all change this year, however, as we look forward to welcoming a field of eight sidecars ready to take part in the inaugural Sidecar Shootout. Having already got a sneak peek of one of these machines strutting its stuff out on the Motor Circuit, we’re quietly very excited about experiencing these incredible bikes at full chat this weekend. For the most part they’re based on Yamaha YZF-R6 motorbikes, one exception in our field takes a Honda CBR600 as its starting point, but in all cases, they’re powered by a 600cc engine producing somewhere around 130PS (96kW). What we can say with confidence is that they sound absolutely epic.

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Fiat S76

You can’t make a list of the best-sounding cars at the 81st Members’ Meeting without mentioning the Beast of Turin. Surely everyone has heard of this car by now, if you haven’t, good lord, are you in for a treat. Prepare to have your soul shaken as this 28.4-litre monster storms its way around the Motor Circuit in the S.F. Edge Trophy. The Fiat S76, to give it its proper name, is a true beast, in every sense of the word. The exhaust-less engine spits flames directly from outlets carved from the bonnet itself, which stands at somewhere around five feet tall. Originally built in 1910, this is a true relic of a time long-gone, and yet with this car we get to experience all of the senses of what motor racing would have been like more than 100 years ago.

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How to watch 81MM

03rd April

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Ford Mustang

No surprises that a V8 Ford Mustang sounds absolutely glorious. It is perhaps the epitome of the V8 muscle car, but at Members’ Meeting we’ll have 30 of them presented with a small twist. In the Ken Miles Cup this year, all of the Mustangs assembled on the grid will be powered by sustainable fuel, and yet we’re expecting them to sound every bit as phenomenal as ever when they tear away from the start. The cacophony of 30 Mustangs roaring in unison will be quite the experience, of that we have no doubt.

Photography by Lee Carpenter, Joe Harding and Nick Dungan.

  • 81MM

  • Members' Meeting

  • Event Coverage

  • List

  • Best

  • GMA

  • T.50s

  • Ferrari

  • 640

  • McLaren

  • MP4/2B

  • Shadow

  • DN4

  • Mazda

  • RX-7

  • Porsche

  • 904

  • Yamaha

  • Fiat

  • S76

  • Ford

  • Mustang

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