Each year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Cartier Style et Luxe lawn offers an insight into some of the most glamorous, unusual and very rare classic cars the world can offer. To appear here, cars have to have significant historic interest and be in immaculate condition; often, there are classics only avid classic car aficionados will have heard of. Here we highlight 10 such cars not just from the Cartier Style et Luxe lawn, but the entire Goodwood Festival of Speed. How many have you heard of? Hope you enjoy…
This is a unique Phantom III. It was bought for the personal use of General Wladyslaw Sikorski (1881-1943), Poland’s exiled Prime Minister and Commander in Chief of its armed forces during World War II. While most of the 704 Phantom IIIs built were given ponderous bodywork, the car presented here is unique in being the only true two-seater built on this chassis.
Benz 200HP ‘Blitzen Benz‘ (Built 1909)
Determined to top 125mph, a speed not even aircraft or trains could achieve at the time, Benz enlarged its 15-litre GP engine to make the 21.5 litre monster. It produced a powerful 200bhp, and by 1914 had hit 144mph. Looks super cool as well hey!
Vauxhall 30/98 Wensum (Built 1925 )
Back in the 1920s, car bodies styled on the lines of motorboats were the height of fashion. The Wensum was a factory-built boat-tailed two- or three-seater with flared wings, so-named because the works manager kept a boat on the River Wensum, Norfolk. How cool is this?
Isn’t this magnificient and beautiful? The TVR Trident story is probably the most intriguing and dramatic chapter in TVR history. In the 1960s, TVR saw its future in a move upmarket, and to achieve this it sought to build an Italian-designed coupe, built around its familiar American V8 mechanicals. Between 1964 and 1966 TVR produced only four Tridents before losing the manufacturing rights to a local TVR dealer who started making his own (non TVR) Tridents. The TVR Tridents are unique in many ways: designed by an Italian/English designer, handmade by Carrozzeria Fissore in Turin and powered by an American Ford Cobra V8. They are also the only TVRs to date to feature a steel/aluminium body work. The project was scrapped when the company went bankrupt in 1965.
AC 428 (Built 1965-73)
The AC Frua or AC 428 is a British GT built by AC Cars from 1965 to 1973. With an Italian body, British chassis, and American big block V8 it is a true hybrid. Production was 81 cars built in total: 49 coupés (known as fastbacks), 29 convertibles, and 3 special bodied. Stunning.
Lancia Flaminia 2500 Sport Zagato (Built )
If there were any doubts that Lancia produced some of the world’s finest vehicles, the Flaminia 2500 Sport Zagato kicks them into the middle of the Ligurian Sea. Powered by an improved version of the Aurelia’s V6 engine, the Flaminia featured disc brakes and tinted glass – both firsts for an Italian car. The Sport Zagato was the most desirable version, boasting a ‘double bubble’ roof.
Vauxhall SRV (Built 1970)
Wait, Vauxhall doesn’t build supercars, does it? Well, no, but back in 1970s, while Vauxhall was churning out the likes of the Viva, Cresta and Victor, the company turned to Wayne Cherry and Chris Field to raise its profile. The result was the Le Mans-like SRV (Styling Research Vehicle). Paint it pink and it might suit the Pink Panther.
Another fine example of a coachbuilt Phantom III, this one was the creation of London-based Freestone & Webb. Note the reverse leaning A- and B-posts, designed to give an impression of speed, even when standing still. Absolutely gorgeous hey!
How super cool is this? It’s based on the chassis of an Alpine A110 and was created by Parisian teenager Denis Meyrignac. He used it as a ‘rolling CV’ to prove his credentials, which enabled him to carve out a successful career in F1 and automotive design.
Fiat S76 (built 1911)
The Fiat S76, later known as the Fiat 300 HP Record and nicknamed “The Beast of Turin”, was a car built in 1911 by Fiat specifically to beat the land speed record held at the time by Blitzen Benz. It is the one surviving example of a pair of speed-record contenders the Italian automaker built before WWI. Its gargantuan 28.5-liter inline-four was capable of providing an impressive 300 hp, enough to propel the car to 116 mph, and a one-mile land speed record, in 1911. Super cool and very noisy.
So there you have our top classic cars you’ve never heard of, from this years Goodwood Festival of Speed. Which one caught your eye the most? Have I missed any out that caught your eye more from the weekend?