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Three Amazing Cars Up For Auction At The Goodwood Revival Sale

Bonhams is yet again orchestrating a sale of some of the finest automobiles in history at this year's Goodwood Revival weekend.

| By Robin Nooy | 11 min read |

As summer draws to an end, so comes to an end the season of car events and auction weekends. One of the latest in the year, but also one of the very best, is the Goodwood Revival that’s running this very weekend. Three days of the most amazing classic road and race cars tackling the historical Goodwood circuit in West Sussex, England. With drivers pushing their cars to the limit, and sometimes beyond, it is one of the most open and pleasurable motoring experiences you can attend. Naturally, with such an event gathering the finest cars in history, some will be offered up for auction, looking to find a new caretaker. Orchestrated by Bonhams, this year’s Goodwood Revival Sale brings together 107 cars from all corners of the world. The list includes iconic machines from Bugatti, Ferrari, Jaguar, Bentley, Lancia and many others. Limiting ourselves to three cars only, we’ve picked the headlining Porsche Carrera RSR, the purest-as-can-be Land Rover Series I and arguably Japan’s finest car ever made, the Toyota 2000GT.

Going through the entire list is always a joy to see what is on offer. As ever there are some motoring obscurities like an Aston Martin Virage Coupé prototype, things that you and I might have never heard of before, and obviously some proper A-listers from the likes of Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche. Some of the cars up for auction are tied to charitable initiatives, such as a 2015 Bajaj Tuk Tuk or a 2010 Ford Fiesta Zetec S Rally car. And it’s not all old stuff either, as there’s a one-owner Mercedes McLaren SLR Roadster from 2007, a 2009 Ferrari F430 Scuderia or even a one-of-one 2022 Land Rover Defender 110 James Bond 007 60th Anniversary Edition on offer. But truthfully, the focus usually is on the proper classics. The reason for our selection is quite simple; the Porsche can’t be ignored, the Land Rover is the purest car ever (one of ten Land Rovers up for auction by the way) and the Toyota is just the single most beautiful sports coupe from the land of the rising sun.

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The missing Icon

Porsche as a brand is steeped in racing history, in all types of racing. From road racing to hill climbs and Formula 1, from CanAm to rallying and the Dakar, the German manufacturer has conquered it all. But most important of all, it is the absolute king of GT and Endurance Racing. No other mark has such an extensive and successful career in long-distance racing on closed circuits. The number of Le Mans wins (19 in total) is just the beginning of the long list of records and statistics. While cars like the 917, 956 and 962 are considered Le Mans royalty, there are plenty of other absolutely legendary cars to be found in the history books. As you likely all know, Porsche started its racing career very humble, entering a race-prepped Porsche 356 SL “Gmünd Coupe” in the 1951 edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours. Decades later, Porsche still holds many records at the famous French endurance race.

But it’s not all about the prototypes when it comes to Porsche’s success stories, as there have been plenty of amazing cars in lower-tier classes worthy of the spotlight. Cars such as the 1973 Carrera RSR, to some, the greatest Porsche GT cars ever to have raced. The car won the 1973 edition of the Daytona 24 Hours at the hands of Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood. It also entered into the Le Mans 24-hour race that year, piloted by Herbert Müller and Gijs van Lennep. Despite being a closed-cockpit production-derived car, the Carrera RSR was fielded in the same class as the Matra-Simca MS670B and Ferrari 312PB, both open-top full-fledged prototype racing cars. That meant the competition was fierce, especially considering both the Matra-Simca and Ferrari used 3-litre 12-cylinder engines that produced north of 450bhp, which is over 100bhp more than the Porsche had. Nevertheless, the Carrera RSR came in fourth overall, behind two of the Matra-Simca’s (first & third) and one of the Ferrari’s.

In 1973 it would also compete in the World Sports Car Championship, entering the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, the Osterreichring 1,000km race, and other events. It was sold to Hector Rabaque Sr with the intention for his son, Hector Rabaque Jr to campaign it further. It entered the 1974 edition of the Le Mans 24-hours, where it would fail to reach the finish due to ignition issues. Following its success in these grueling endurance races, the Carrera RSR with chassis number 9113 600686 raced on for quite a few years in competition. Despite this illustrious career the car eventually vanished, having reportedly fallen off Rabaque’s trailer in an accident on public roads, damaged beyond repairs in the crash. Luckily we now know this wasn’t the case and the damage was only minor. The car was exported from Mexico, the Rabaque’s home country, to Italy, where it was stored in a private collection for years. More than three decades later, the car resurfaced for some work to be done on it before it was sold to an American collector.

This ultimately led to a seven-year-long legal battle over the originality of the car. As this one vanished, someone else claimed to have the original 1973 Le Mans 4th-place finishing car instead. That was in fact a false claim, even though the car in question was a factory-raced Carrera RSR. Just not this one, the famous ‘R7’ as it was known internally at Porsche. The story on Bonhams’ dedicated page transcribes the entire history of the car, which is absolutely fascinating to read.

So, steeped in racing history and arguably one of the most famous cars in Porsche’s extensive lineage of race cars, this is truly a unique opportunity. Not many of these cars are around, let alone with such a track record. This ex-works car, meaning it was campaigned directly by Porsche has graced some of the finest circuits in the world and competed in some of the most daunting events you can imagine. It is currently in pristine condition, finished in the iconic silver with blue and red Martini sponsorship, as it raced at Le Mans in 1973, complete with the red front bumper, distinct ‘Mary Stuart’ style rear wing and No. 46 roundels. The estimate for this genuine Porsche legend is an eye-watering GBP 3,750,000 to GBP 5,750,000.

Off-roading purity

If I were to ask you what the most famous 4×4 car of all time is, the answer is very likely to be the Land Rover. Admittedly, the Willys Jeep and the Toyota Landcruiser are also very eligible candidates for the title of best off-roader but none have shaped history to the extent of the Land Rover. It was designed as a very practical vehicle, meant for agricultural and light industrial use. The construction was crude and simple to keep costs down and usability up. Shortly after the Second World War, Rover saw a need for such vehicles and started on the design. The Series I was taken into production in 1948 and quickly became the go-to vehicle for people and companies in need of such a car. The Series I was around for a decade before being replaced by the Series II. In 1971 the Series III was introduced, which became the most common variant, with 440,000 cars built.

By 1983 it was in need of an update once more, and the Land Rover 110 was introduced, followed by the 90 in 1984. These numbers indicate the wheelbase in inches, and it wouldn’t be until 1990 that the name Defender would be introduced. Throughout its entire life, from Series I to Defender, the humble off-roader was built in a wide range of configurations to accommodate whatever it needed to do. From farming to military use, and from emergency services to a high-street cruiser, it did it all and it did it everywhere. Of the roughly 2 million cars built, it’s estimated that two-thirds of them are still around.

Bonhams is offering a very early and very basic Land Rover Series I 80″ 4×4 Utility, first registered in 1948. It is in fact the second production Land Rover ever built and was completely restored from top to bottom by Land Rover specialist John Taylor. It still has the original 1.6 litre 4-cylinder petrol engine and running gear as well as many of the features these very early, so-called pre-production cars had. This includes different seat backs, for instance, only found on the first 150 cars. It also has a handmade bulkhead, hydrostatic brakes, a two-spoke steering wheel and an early full grill.

From the outside, this is the simplest, most humble thing I’ve ever seen and I can’t imagine it being all that comfortable to drive. But, and this is the thing what it’s all about when it comes to these cars, it is a genuine piece of history. Imagine the hardships a car like this had to endure in over 75 years of running up and down farms or elsewhere. It was never built to be a show queen, but it has turned into one nonetheless, winning “Best Land Rover” at the prestigious Dunsfold Open Weekend concourse. Bonhams is offering this superb Land Rover Series I with an estimate of GBP 100,000 to GBP 150,000 which is an impressive amount of money for how little ‘car’ you actually get in return.

Japan’s Finest

Prior to the Fabulous Toyota 2000GT, there wasn’t much to get excited about in the Japanese automotive industry. Sure, the cars were already starting to become quite good and could occasionally rival European or American cars, although pretty much everything was focused on practicality with often simple and lacklustre styling. The 2000GT instantly changed that and is considered one of the finest cars ever made, not just limited to Japan but in general. It’s also often cited as the Japanese E-Type, which I think is an injustice to the 2000GT. There are some visual similarities between the two as both have an engine in the front and drive to the rear, with a rather long nose section and a cabin pushed to the back. It’s the classic recipe of a grand tourer.

The car debuted at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show and went on sale two years later. Between 1967 and 1970, Toyota would build just 351 of them (sub-contracted to Yamaha by the way). Toyota fitted a 2.0-litre straight-six engine under the long bonnet, which made about 150 horsepower. The manufacturer also built 9 Toyota 2000GTs with a 2.3-litre straight-six, albeit with a bit less power. Fitted with either a five-speed manual or a three-speed automatic, it could reach a top speed of around 215kph. The 2000GT gained international fame thanks to featuring in the 1967 James Bond movie ‘You Only Live Twice’ but in roadster form. The movie required Sean Connery, who portrayed the titular character, to quickly get in and out of the car to escape some bad guys. The small opening of the door wouldn’t accommodate that, so two roadster cars were built instead. These featured a faux-tonneau cover to simulate it had a retractable top.

This specific car is finished in a gorgeous cream-white colour that emphasises the elegance of the 2000GT perfectly. The front section of the design is trademarked by the built-in headlights on either side of the grille, the pop-up headlights on top of the nose, and the panels in the flanks to access the battery and such. The low-slung coupe has an angled wrap-around windshield and low but long doors to gain access to the cabin. Around the back, the body ends in a curvaceous tail section with double-round rear lights, bumper stops and a double central exhaust. The interior features leather seats, wood trim for the dash and centre console, a wooden steering wheel and period-typical switches and knobs. Fun fact, the handbrake is mounted in the vertical section of the centre console and needs to be pulled back to engage.

The 2000GT wasn’t a huge sales success for Toyota, as it was more expensive than the Jaguar E-Type and the Porsche 911 at the time. Nevertheless, it became a true Japanese motoring icon. It was the first Japanese car to have disc brakes all around, Toyota took it racing (and won with it!), it became a movie star, and so on. But above all, it is an absolutely gorgeous machine! The estimate for this specific car is between GBP 700,000 and GBP 900,000 but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it exceed the 1 million mark.

For more information on these three or any of the other cars up for auction at the Goodwood Revival Sale, please visit and

Editorial Note: All images are sourced from and used with permission by Bonhams auction house unless stated otherwise.

6 responses

  1. It’s Willys, not Willy’s. And those Jeeps played a significant role in World War II. I’d love to know how Rover has “shaped history” in a manner that exceeds that. What, by breaking down endlessly?

  2. Well, the story is not about the Willys Jeep as none were up for auction at the Goodwood Revival Sale. And to say the Land Rover hasn’t had an impact on history isn’t fair. It has been used in countless combat or peace keeping situations and more than two million have been built, with more than two-thirds still in existence (in varying conditions, admittedly). In automotive history it is a very important car, and so is the Willys Jeep. We’ve never denied that.

  3. minor point…the rear wing of the Porsche is called a “Mary Stuart” rear wing…after the dresses of same.

  4. Thanks for painting out that slight error, and it’s now been corrected.

  5. That Porsche looks like a toy car brought to fruition ! I mean the colors just make it so toy like but in the end just stunning in real life I’m sure.

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