The Eight Coolest Cars of the 2016 Goodwood Revival Car Park
Goodwood’s parking lot is also a special place
As a testament to how special the Goodwood Revival actually is, we journeyed to the far reaches of the parking lot to prove that special cars can be found just about anywhere at this premiere English gathering. Below, eight of our favorites from the Goodwood Revival parking lot.
Fiat 850 Coupe
The Fiat 850 was built as a replacement for the 600 sedan, the Italian people's car that was the basis for many an Abarth special. With the 850, Fiat broke out its city car into variants, including a two-door sedan, a Bertone-styled Spider, and this two-door coupe. The shape was drawn by Mario Boano and his son, both serving as Fiat's in-house styling team in the mid-'60s, and it has to be one of the best-looking small cars ever sculpted. The little 0.8-liter engine is rear-mounted and water-cooled, producing about 48 hp on a good day. Abarth versions bored out the block to a full liter or ditched the original engine for a twin-cam from the larger Fiat 124 range.
Monteverdi High Speed 375/4
A rare sight anywhere in the world, this High Speed 375/4 sedan is one of only 20 or so ever built in the 1970s to compliment the High Speed 375 coupe. A truly international effort, Monteverdi High Speed models were designed in Italy by Fissore who also built the bodies, then assembled in Switzerland, and powered by all-American Chrysler V-8 engines. The 375/4 models were built to be among the fastest, most luxurious sedans in the world in their time and some were fitted with high-end options such as mobile television sets. The car's high cost and boutique nature ultimately led to few sales. To see one out in public is potentially a true once-in-a-lifetime event.
Ferrari Dino 246 GT
Enzo Ferrari's homage to his late son bears beautiful Pininfarina styling but not a single external Ferrari badge. That, along with a six-cylinder engine instead of a 12, led the enthusiast populace to declare the car "not a real Ferrari," a stigma that stuck for decades and kept values low for a long time. This created two scenarios. One was that people who couldn't afford to maintain a vehicle built and designed by Ferrari trashed many a Dino. Second, owners would often bolster their egos by attaching all manner of Ferrari badging to the car's flanks. This example (in a striking and rare pale yellow color), seems to have avoided the first tragedy, but does have a prancing horse affixed to the rear — easily remedied. Is the Dino a real Ferrari? Just check the Ferrari build tag in the driver's doorjamb for your answer. Oh, and an excellent Dino today will cost you more than a brand-spanking-new 488 GTB, a car that draws a direct lineage to its mid-engine predecessor.
The Marcos GT is an English sports car that started life in 1964 with a plywood chassis, fiberglass body, and Volvo B18 1.8-liter I-4 engine. Despite the seemingly hodgepodge construction and a competitive price tag, the car was both quick and capable and immediately made a name for itself on the racetracks of Europe. Through the years, displacement would shrink and grow through a variety of Ford engines, and the chassis construction would shift to steel. A V-6 version was also made, some of which were imported to the U.S. with such "luxury" equipment as an automatic transmission and air-conditioning. The original Marcos GT went out of production by 1972 and today remains a good value for a quick and distinctive classic sports car — if you can find one.
Citroen DS 21 Cabriolet
The Citroen DS series is best known for the sedan model and its quirky styling, adjustable hydro-pneumatic suspension, and exceptional ride quality. Though the model was sold globally, it was always more popular in Europe than the U.S., where its unconventional technology and design were an acquired taste. The rarest DS variant was the convertible, such as the one we found in the Goodwood Revival parking lot. Just one of fewer than 1,400 built for Citroen by French coachbuilder Henri Chapron, the drop-top DS used a specially reinforced frame to compensate for its roofless nature. Extremely expensive even when new, today it will cost you six figures to get into a nice example of a DS Cabriolet.
Bentley S2 Continental with trailer
Produced between 1959 and 1962, the Bentley S2 Continental was the two-door variant of the S2 sedan range. Bentley itself sold the chassis and powertrain, which would then be bodied by one of several European coachbuilders of the era. The S2 looks very similar to the S1 that preceded it, but has a host of improvements such as standard power steering and improved air-conditioning. Also an improvement, Bentley's 6.2-liter V-8 engine replaced the previous inline-six, giving the Continental a healthy dose of power. In fact, the owner of this car uses it to tow a vintage camping trailer (in matching paint scheme) to various events around the U.K.
Dubbed the Flying Catfish by those with an adversity to the styling, the SP250 was the last car produced by Daimler before its takeover by Jaguar. Nevertheless, the cars were an interesting foray into the sports-car arena with a fiberglass body and an iron-block, 2.5-liter V-8 engine (with hemispherical heads!) good for around 140 hp; not bad for the time. The steel ladder frame was based on that of the Triumph TR-3, and the car was technically a 2+2, though the rear bench seat was best used as a parcel shelf. While these were officially imported to the U.S., they weren't hot sellers here and are much more common in their home country. This example was one of five found in the Goodwood parking lot.
Compact European cars were an increasing threat to the American auto industry in the 1950s and '60s, and the Corvair was GM's answer. With a rear-mounted, air-cooled, flat-six engine it was an American alternative to Volkswagens and Porsches, in concept if not in practice. Though the Corvair was designed in America, it was also built by GM's overseas operations in such countries as Belgium and Switzerland for the European market. Sales were never staggering in Europe, but they weren't in America either. Still, it's far less common to find a Corvair in England than it is the U.S., not based on sales alone but also the U.K. 's oft-damp weather, which caused many a Corvair to develop terminal rust. This 1964 Monza convertible version seems to have escaped the tin worm and presents very well with a few custom touches.