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The most beautiful cars to see at 81MM

08th April 2024
Ethan Jupp

One thing you can say about all Goodwood event line-ups, from the Members’ Meeting presented by Audrain Motorsport to the Revival, is that there is beauty in abundance. The 81st Members' Meeting will be no different. Some very special, rarely-seen cars join a few regular Goodwood favourites in our list of the seven most beautiful cars to see at 81MM. Let’s get into them.

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Jaguar E-type semi-lightweight

We begin with arguably the definition of beauty on four wheels. The car many still claim remains the most beautiful ever made is the Jaguar E-type and as it’s us, semi-lightweight spec with its blistered arches and chrome-less body only improves on perfection. This particular car of William Paul has been gracing our grids regularly in the post-pandemic era after disappearing for many many years. See it race in the Graham Hill Trophy.

Image courtesy of Motorsport Images.

Image courtesy of Motorsport Images.

Ferrari 640

If you don’t agree that the Ferrari 640 is one of the prettiest F1 cars of all time, you’re wrong. Or you just have a different opinion to me and that’s totally fine. But you’re at least a little bit wrong because while these things are subjective, the 640’s significant beauty is agreed upon by wide consensus. And you’ll be able to enjoy it, as all 1989 F1 season enjoyers did, at 81MM, where it and Gerhard Berger will be reunited for a spectacular on-track demonstration.

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81MM entry list

04th April

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Porsche 906

If Ferrari had the late 1950s and early 1960s in terms of both pace and beauty when it came to sportscars, Porsche dominated the late 1960s with consummate ease. The Porsche 906 is a case in point, evolving the proportions of the 904 into a wider, lower 2.0-litre sports racer that’s just the definition of exotica. The engineering is as elegant as its appearance too, with the 906 weighing just 580kg at the kerb. While never a flagship sports racer, the 906 did manage to score an overall win at the 1966 Targa Florio and in the same year, beating all the full-fat Ferrari prototypes to position behind the dominant Fords at Le Mans. See it race in the Graham Hill Trophy.

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81MM timetable

02nd April

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Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 PR

Beauty and Alfa Romeo are all but synonymous, especially when it comes to their vintage and classic models. Arguably the most beautiful car in the Peter Collins Trophy at 81MM, and in with a shout of being the prettiest car at the entire event, is a 1953 Alfa Romeo 6C 300PR ‘Disco Volante’. It’s been racing with us here at Goodwood for the past ten years or so and can probably at least be in the running for claiming that title at every one of the events it’s partaken in. Just sublime.

Image courtesy of Motorsport Images.

Image courtesy of Motorsport Images.

BRM Chevrolet P154

Quite unlike this, you might be thinking. But hear us out. No, Can-Am cars aren’t the last word in elegance, or style for style’s sake. I don’t think a single one has been called beautiful before. But the BRM P154 in our Can Am demo has a special something. For a start, it’s relatively elegant in shape, with very few protruding aero elements. It’s just a pure sportscar wedge. Secondly, there’s art in the engineering forms on this thing. Just look at those inlet trumpets. Thirdly, there’s something about that Castrol livery that we just adore and that will have people’s undivided attention.

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How to watch 81MM

03rd April

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Maserati 300S

We started with a regular and we’ll end with one, albeit one not quite as widely celebrated for its beauty as the Jaguar E-type. The Maserati 300S is a typical late-1950s sports racer, at least in silhouette. It’s front-engined, broadly rounded in terms of its shape but turn on the lights and there’s a glaze of inimitable Maserati elegance all over. No two of the 27 300s made are the same and yet all are unmistakably beautiful and unmistakably Maserati and not just thanks to the Trident sitting loud and proud in that front grille.

Saturday tickets, weekend tickets and grandstand passes have now sold out for the 81st Members’ Meeting presented by Audrain Motorsport. Sunday tickets are limited so book now to join us for the 2024 motorsport season opener. You don’t want to miss it.

Goodwood photography by Joe Harding, Pete Summers and Jayson Fong.

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