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Goodwood Revival preview: the best bits from Pussy Galore to Stonehenge

Don’t forget your flares


Goodwood Revival

FOR THREE days in deepest Sussex next month, time and place will undergo an extraordinary shift as pre-history meets the Second World War meets the golden years of British motor racing. No, it’s not an episode from Dr Who but this year’s Goodwood Revival, a celebration of motor racing against the background of times past, held at the famous former F1 circuit.

This year’s event (it’s been running since 1998) promises to be among the most memorable with all manner of anniversaries being celebrated, legends honoured and great cars raced. As in previous years, visitors will be expected to turn up in period dress. It’s not a requirement but put it this way, with, typically, 98% of people dressing up for the Goodwood Revival, you’d stand out a mile in a Superdry hoodie.

Goodwood Revival

But what period are we talking about? The Goodwood Revival celebrates the Sussex race track’s glory years (and what is commonly regarded as the golden era of motor sport) from 1948 to 1966. A lot happened in fashion during those years, from the sober styles of the immediate post-war years to the hippy look of the mid-1960s, so there’s plenty to be inspired by.

Meanwhile, 1966 will be the upper limit for racing cars, support vehicles and motor exhibits on and off the track. In short: if it’s modern, it ’aint welcome.

Below, we bring you the highlights from this year’s Goodwood Revival, taking place from September 12 to 14, but a word or two of warning: single tickets for Saturday and Sunday are all sold, and Friday’s allocation is running out fast. If you can stretch to it, though, there are still ticket packages available for all three days. For tickets, click here or telephone 01243 755054.

 

Motor racing

Goodwood Motoring

There’s racing every day at the Revival but three races in particular stand out.

On Saturday, the launch of the Jaguar D-type in 1954 is celebrated with the Lavant Cup. Twenty-three (that’s 23) examples of the most successful racing car of the 1950s (it won Le Mans three times) will go head to head around the circuit. Away from the track, a further 10 will join the still-hot racers for a D-type parade.

Again on Saturday, the Shelby Cup will celebrate 60 years of the small-block V8 powerplant, an engine that revolutionised motoring in the US, and 50 years of the Ford Mustang. There’ll be 32 small-block cars racing on the track, including 20 Mustangs, one of them driven by current Marussia F1 driver Max Chilton.

For exotica, however, the race to see is the RAC Tourist Trophy Celebration on Sunday. A total of around £150m in racing and special project cars, including Jaguar E-types, AC Cobras and Aston Martins, will lap the Revival track to create the most valuable historic motor race in the world.

 

Jackie Stewart celebration

Jackie Stewart

The famous, three-time F1 champion will celebrate 50 years since being “discovered” at Goodwood. The story goes that the young Scot was spotted testing a Cooper T72-BMC by track manager Robin Mackay who was so impressed, he promptly invited Formula 3 team owner Ken Tyrell down to the circuit to watch him. Tyrell snapped up the young driver and within three years they were both riding high in F1. Stewart will celebrate his 50th in a daily parade of racing cars he was associated with, including the very Cooper he drove all those years ago.

 

Classic car show

Classic car show

If the cars on the track are too fast for you, then you’ll enjoy the static display of over 4,500 classic cars (cars registered no later than 1974). Held “over the road”, Goodwood’s affectionate term for the area immediately beyond the circuit, the display acknowledges the fact that many people arrive at the Revival in their own classic. To spice things up, each day a panel of judges, that will include racing driver Stirling Moss, will tour the cars to choose a shortlist from which visitors to the show will decide the overall winner.

Around the show will be gathered trade stands offering period dining and period clothing. If the drive down in the convertible ruined your hair, there’s even a period hairdresser. All this and Bonhams will be hosting a car auction, too, so you may be able to snap up a classic for the drive home.

 

The Spirit of Aviation

Helicopter

It’s not just cars at the Revival; there are planes, too. Lots of them. The organisers are getting excited  about the appearance of Pussy Galore’s helicopter from the 1964 James Bond movie, Goldfinger. Of greater interest to car fans is that a gold-painted Aston Martin DB5, like the one from the same film, will be parked next to Ms Galore’s chopper.

Back to planes, others in the exhibition will include Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson’s Fokker DR1 triplane (the type of machine used by First World War German fighter ace Baron von Richthofen, aka the Red Baron) and an Auster 5 that took part in the D-day landings.

 

West Sussex at War

Goodwood Revival: airplane

No, the region won’t be declaring independence. Instead, the Revival will be celebrating the part the race track played in the Second World War when for a few, vital years, it became RAF Westhampnett. Accordingly, on Sunday, there will be a parade of 200 wartime vehicles and 400 people in military uniform, accompanied by a fly-past of planes including two Lancaster bombers, Spitfires, Hurricanes, Mustangs and, assuming it penetrates all that airpower, a lone Mescherschmitt BF109. Also present will be 25 D-day veterans who will be presented to a grateful crowd by Lord March himself.

 

Stonehenge

If you can’t bear the long queues of traffic on the A303, only then to see it from behind a fence, you’ll like the Revival’s replica of Stonehenge. Yes, it’s a fair question: what is a replica of Stonehenge (in fact it’s even larger, so that everyone can see it) doing at the Revival? The organisers say it was inspired by this year being the 50th anniversary of the founding of Britain’s Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. It also says it is 99 years since the pre-historic monument was given to the nation by Cecil Chubb, who bought it at auction for £6,600 (£500,000 in today’s money). Whatever the truth, it just goes to show that the Goodwood Revival is no ordinary day out.

 


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