This was my first ever trip to the Goodwood Revival and I managed to convince my other half and daughter that it would be a fun event to go to. We set off pretty early (which I forgot to tell them when convincing them to come with me) and the trip down in our Beetle was uneventful and pretty quick. At the Revival there is a separate parking area that is available to cars built before 1975, so we had a choice of two for this. The car park is right next to the entrance and is part of the show. We parked up next to two Rolls-Royces and in the background there is a lovely red panel van liveried up as a Ferrari support vehicle.
One other thing worth noting in the picture above is the amount of cloud. It hadn’t yet started raining when we arrived, but it was supposed to rain quite heavily for most of the day. A quick picture of my two guests for the day was taken before we had a wander around the car park.
Period dress is not compulsory but is encouraged, and both had entered in to the spirit of the event. Getting dressed up is not something that men are that good at, but an old tweed jacket and a bow tie had me looking almost like I was in the 1960s.
I am unable to look around a lot of old cars without becoming attracted to the idea of owning a couple of them. One of my friends is forever looking up the price of cars on Car and Classic when we go to Breakfast Clubs at Goodwood and I am almost as bad. There were a number of Ford Mustangs parked up which is certainly one that I fancy in the fleet, fortunately none of them had a “For Sale” sticker on them.
There are a lot of vintage clothes stalls at the Revival which my daughter in particular enjoyed looking around. We spent the period before the rain arrived having a look, I did think that it may be a good idea to purchase a raincoat given the weather forecast but held off hoping that it might not be too bad.
We headed over the road in to the circuit itself once the rain started. We had tickets for grandstands but the first one that we went in to was so open to the rain that we would have just got wet sitting down instead of standing up. Fortunately we were able to get all three of us in to the GRRC tent where we sought shelter for the next few hours and watched the racing on the TVs there. The tent was pretty crowded as it appeared that most of the membership had that same thought as us but we had tea and coffee and after a while managed to bag a couple of seats.
A couple of ventures outside were short-lived, but after a while we headed back to the vintage stalls for another look round. There was a Butlins Roller Disco that was great fun, but I had a hankering to watch cars going around again. I left the other two in the disco and headed back to watch.
The race that I was able to bear the bad weather for was the Whitsun Trophy, which featured the most powerful cars of the weekend. The rain was still coming down although it did pause for a few minutes during the race. Here are two Ford GT40s in the early laps, and the spray from the track is almost as bad as the rain itself.
The racers included several professional and ex-professional drivers, and the rain emphasised the gap between these people and the rest. Notwithstanding that there were different cars racing together, the cars at the front were being driven much more quickly, and cars were being lapped after just five laps. The heavy rain combined with the powerful cars meant that drivers were treating the slower corners with a lot of respect, and the winner took first position as a result of the then leader going on to the grass at the slowest corner which meant that they had to drive very slowly in order to get back on to the tarmac.
Still, I wouldn’t want to be driving one of these cars on that track, I had enough trouble in an MX-5 at a very wet Snetterton a few years ago. Driving an open race car on a track in the rain is not one of life’s more relaxing experiences.
Meeting back up with the other two, we decided that the weather had won and that we should probably make our way home, Our car’s windscreen wipers coped with the heavy rain that fell pretty much all of the way home and we finally had a chance to dry out.
It was a great day, we will all be going back next year but I hope that the weather is more like that enjoyed by people who went on the Sunday (glorious sunshine) than the Saturday. Nonetheless, despite the rain my guests were able to raise a smile at the end of the day.
The next big event at Goodwood is the Members Meeting which this year was very cold but dry (it is held in Mid-March). I think it is fair to say that is easier to keep warm at a cold race circuit than it is to stay dry at a wet one!