The sounds of Goodwood

This month as part of our Goodwood package you can hear some of the greatest sounds in motor racing thanks to our free 50-minute audio CD. Here is our selection of featured cars.

DSJ always maintained that there was no more wonderful sound than a racing engine at full chat. The CD presented with this month’s MOTOR SPORT offers you a rare chance to enjoy the noise of some of the finest thoroughbred engines, the like of which will race at September’s Goodwood Revival.

These recordings were made to accompany Nick Mason’s lavish book Into the Red, in which Mason and racing journalist Mark Hales test 21 cars from Mason’s superb collection, pushing them to the limit. From ground-shaking 1901 Panhard to super-successful Porsche 962 sports-racer, Mason and Hales gave each an intensive workout, and relate the sensations and emotions they inspire. As well as photographing the cars in action inside and out, they used DAT technology to capture the signature engine sounds, making Into the Red the only book with its own soundtrack CD.

Following the book’s success, Nick Mason’s team have published a limited collectors’ edition, bound in leather replicating the seats of Mason’s Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, and boasting an aluminium slipcase with a rivet pattern inspired by the tail of Maserati’s beautiful 250F. In addition, each book has a showing the buyer’s name and edition number.

On our CD, Grand Prix Editor Simon Taylor interviews Nick Mason about his collection, interspersed with recordings of seven of these cars as a sample of the sounds which will echo around Goodwood on the weekend of September 18/19, when the 1999 Revival Meeting brings spectacular historic racing back to the Sussex circuit. For readers not able to attend this electrifying meeting, it may serve as some consolation; for those who have their tickets booked, it’s a taster of the greatest mechanical music ever created.


Unforgettable. The shrill scream of 16 tiny pistons and the centrifugal blower can still raise the hairs on the neck. Never mind that this ‘great white hope’ of post-war British motor racing, with its 1.5-litre supercharged power-plant, was redundant by the time it finally came good in 1953, it has a place as one of the great cars a triumph of passion over common sense. You can hear two of them at the Goodwood Revival meeting, scene of the V16’s first race victory.


A top runner in Grands Prix in the second half of the 1950s, before the mid-engined revolution. Neither innovative nor unusual, just simple, efficient and reliable, with an almost incidental beauty of line. The final, triumphant wave of Maserati’s trident in a long history of single-seaters, this is the model which Fangio drove in his greatest race, and the typically Italian open-throated sound of its three twin-choke carburettors is still one of the exciting sensations of historic racing.


While Italy and Germany dominated Grand Prix racing between the wars, English Racing Automobiles concentrated on the voiturette class. The result was the ERA, foursquare and robust, with a Riley-derived supercharged straight-six engine of 1.5 or 2-litres. The sight of an ERA on axle stands, rear wheels spinning in the air as the Pre-selector gearbox warms through, is a paddock tradition. A favourite with privateers, the rasping ERA is the archetypal Thirties British racer.


Gorgeous to look at and delightful to drive, the D-type consolidated a wonderful racing pedigree for Sir William Lyon’s Coventry firm. Using an uprated version of the powerful straight-six XK engine in a pioneering part-monocoque chassis clad in a wind-cheating alloy shell, D-types won Le Mans in 1955, ’56 and ’57, as well as many sportscar races worldwide. Private owners loved its tunable engine and simple engineering, and Jaguar eventually built 87 examples of what had begun as a pure racer.


For a few glorious years the sportscar championship echoed to the bellow of the 5-litre ‘big bangers’, and the 512S was Ferrari’s answer to Porsche’s fearsome 917. Wheel-to-wheel rivalry between two marques desperate for glory made 1970 and 1971 a golden age of sportscar racing. With its melodious fuel-injected V12, the 512S remains a high point of endurance racing. Yes, it’s too recent to have raced at Goodwood but it sounds too wonderful to leave out.


A racing milestone, the 18 was Colin Chapman’s first mid-engined design, and brought Lotus its first F1 victory in the hands of Innes Ireland at Goodwood, Easter 1960. A multi-purpose design, it could run in F1, F2 and Formula Junior classes, which accounts for over 150 being built. For F1, a 2.5-litre Coventry-Climax FPF engine offered 237bhp, enabling Stirling Moss to astonish the establishment by winning at Monaco in 1960 the first championship win for Lotus.


It’s incidental that this is arguably the greatest road-going Ferrari of all, for the stunning-looking GTO was built to win GT races. And win them it did, all over Europe in 1962, ’63 and ’64 and especially at Goodwood, where the sight of Graham Hill’s GTO heeled over at impossible angles of drift on his way to victory in the 1963 TT was one of the circuit’s great moments. Listen to the shriek of the 3-litre V12 on the CD, then come to the track and hear the real thing.