The Goodwood motorsport content team is making final preparations for the Festival of Speed’s Silver Jubilee and we can now confirm that Mercedes-Benz will bring its unique six-wheeled T80 record car for a rare public appearance.
The T80, which is normally hidden away in Stuttgart, has never been seen outside of the factory without its bodywork and it’s in this guise that it will appear in July. The machine was built to make an attempt at a new Land Speed Record of 373mph on the motorway near Dessau.
The project was shelved at the outbreak of the Second World War however the 3000bhp machine never ran. The car was pushed ahead by Hans Stuck who, in 1936, wanted to become the fastest man on the planet. He approached Ferdinand Porsche as designer and persuaded Daimler-Benz to come onboard.
By the autumn of 1938 the components of the car were completed, bar the engine and, at the time, the target was 200hp for a top speed of 340mph. In September that year, though, George Eyston – with competition from John Cobb – raised the LSR to 358mph with his Thunderbolt. New targets were set for the T 80 and the final power from the V12 DB 603 aero engine was raised by 800bhp to 3000bhp.