Mercedes-Benz Festival of Speed line-up; T80 will star

Iconic German brand has revealed line-up for 25th Goodwood FoS, including rare appearance of 1939 Land Speed Record-attempt T80

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Mercedes-Benz has revealed its line-up of classic cars for the 25th Goodwood Festival of Speed – and this includes a 1939 T80 that’s never before been seen without its bodywork outside the factory.

The Festival of Speed is now firmly established on the motor sport calendar, and this year takes place from July 12-15. Over 150,000 fans from across the globe are expected to attend the silver jubilee event.

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What Mercedes has described as ‘the star of the show’ is a rare public appearance of the six-wheeled T80, a one-off racer from 1939.

The car was designed to make an attempt at a new Land Speed Record of 373mph on the motorway near Dessau. It’s eight metres long, three metres wide and features a huge 44.5-litre V12 engine capable of up to 3000bhp. However, due to the outbreak of World War Two it never ran.

The T80 normally remains hidden in Mercedes-Benz’s Stuttgart factory. It has never before been seen without its bodywork outside of the premises, meaning Goodwood visitors will be among the first to witness it in that form.

The iconic Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR will also be present at Goodwood. Designed by Rudolf Uhlenhaut, it reigned supreme over sports car racing in 1955, including Sir Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson’s famous Mille Miglia victory. The Le Mans disaster and Mercedes’s subsequent withdrawal from racing ended the car’s dominance.

Fans will also get to see the CLK LM. An upgraded version of the brand’s GT racer, it took pole in the 1998 Le Mans 24-hours – Mercedes-Benz’s first attempt at La Sarthe since 1991. However, both cars dropped out of the race early on with engine failure.

Various Silver Arrows race cars from 1934 to 1954 will also be at Goodwood to celebrate Mercedes-Benz’s long history in motor sport, while the modern day will be represented by Valtteri Bottas and test driver George Russell driving the 2016 Mercedes Formula 1 car up the Goodwood hillclimb.

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