If ever there is a car event that should go on every car enthusiast’s Bucket List, then it’s the Goodwood Revival. This event has so much on offer that even if you’re not a ‘die hard’ lover of cars there are plenty of other activities to attract your attention. The Revival is a three-day event held on the second weekend of September each year at Lord March’s Estate at Goodwood just north of Chichester.
This year’s event celebrated 50 years of the Ford GT40, the life of Jim Clarke (Britain’s first double Formula One World Champion), and 100 years of the Tour De France (Yes…. the bike race!). In the centre area of the racetrack was a superb collection of historic aircraft and aerial displays of the Battle of Britain Memorial flights paying tribute to 70 years since the Dambusters Raid, were conducted on each day of the event. In addition there was the Earl’s Court Motor Show celebrating Aston Martin’s centenary.
As you enter the car park just off the A27 you are overwhelmed by the number of classic cars driven by spectators to the event. A walk through the car park can be an all-day affair just taking in all the classic cars as well as the host of other activities. On offer in the car park are trade/retail outlets where you can purchase car parts, books, model cars, memorabilia and any item you might need for your outfit to match the period of your car. And for the ladies with an eye for that very ‘special look’ you could visit one of the many make-up and hairdressing salons to get a makeover matching the period of your car. There were also plenty of activities for children, as well as food and music pavilions.
The major outside attraction was the Bonhams Collectors’ Motor Car Display and auction. We attended the auction on the Saturday afternoon, and watched in amazement at people spending vast amounts in the blink of an eye, or more appropriately the fall of the hammer. Here are some of the highlights, in Australian dollars:-
- 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 ‘Flat Floor’ 32000 miles $399,756
- 1972 Ferrari Dino 246GT $419,610
- 1961 Ferrari 250GT Series II Cabriolet $1,253,514
- 1967 Ferrari 330GTC Berlinetta $687,651
- Ex-Scuderia Ferrari 1935/36 Alfa Romeo Grand Prix Racing Monoposto $10,525,729
- 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Sports Saloon $589,440
- 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV (delivered to Rod Stewart) $1,630,756
- 1969 Ferrari 365GTC (delivered to Eric Clapton) $1,025,183
Then we went into the racetrack…….and there was more of everything. More memorabilia shops, food and drink outlets, a supermarket, a milliners and numerous street theatre performers. People were dressed up to ‘the nines’, just like they would be at the Melbourne Cup – but in this case it was all about the period – pre-war, war time, post war, 50’s and 60’s. As we wandered around we were swept up in the carnival atmosphere where everyone was out to have a great time. This event also attracts many visitors from France, Germany, Holland etc. all dressing in their period clothing, and we even saw a couple of very convincing French Gendarmes wandering around.
We came to Goodwood to see the historic car racing, but it wasn’t until the Sunday that we had time to do some serious race watching. It was fortunate that we had Grandstand seats for this day, as over the three days of the Revival the weather was overcast with occasional rain and on the Sunday during the feature race it bucketed down. I won’t go into all the details of the car and bike racing on offer as this was covered in Grady Edwards previous article, suffice to say it was enough to whet the appetite of any classic car racing enthusiast.
Despite the weather being inclement at times (which didn’t perturb the locals) Judy and I came away from this event knowing we’d had a great experience and would talk about this for years to come. The French couple who were staying at the same B&B as us and attending the Goodwood Revival to market their unique model cars, made the comment that this event is a rare opportunity to get exposure to a microcosm of British people – and we wholeheartedly agreed.
A personal highlight of the event was to meet, and have a book signed by Sterling Moss.
Our recommendation for anyone planning to attend Goodwood is to dress up for the event so you feel part of the atmosphere. Those who attend are keen to ensure an authentic look, so be sure to go ‘all out’ and do it well, otherwise you’ll feel conspicuously under dressed.
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