Monday, 17 September 2012

Goodwood Revival 2012

Well, where to start with the Goodwood Revival? Let’s get the clichés out of the way first. It is a magical step back in time. The car park is a show in itself. It is one of the essential shows on the petrolhead calendar. And yes, it does just keep getting bigger and better every year.

As ever, the true magic was in the racing, with the two main highlights being the St Mary’s Trophy and the Royal Automobile Club TT. The former featured late fifties tin-top racers of the Ford Zodiac/Austin A40 ilk, comprising two 25 minute races – one on the Saturday and one on Sunday. Part two was little short of sensational, thanks to the plucky BMW 700, complete with 900cc flat-twin bike engine, which used its towering power-to-weight ratio to relentlessly harry the big Jags before, er, spinning out across the grass. Twice. Thoroughly entertaining. The RAC TT featured early sixties racers such as the Ferrari 250 GTO & SWB, various Aston Martins and E-Type Jags and numerous other multi-million pound cars. The top spot on the podium was taken by the lightweight E-Type of Adrian Newey and Martin Brundle, ultimately coming home with a staggering 29-second lead. To see these priceless machines off the leash on this historic circuit is just about as exciting as motorsport gets.

...but there’s far more to the Revival then the racing. For starters, everybody is in period dress, which lends proceedings a wonderfully surreal air. Tesco’s period-themed store adds to this peculiar scene-setting, as you spend the whole weekend seeing chaps in plus-fours and ladies in polka-dot dresses swigging cans of Double Diamond and chowing down on Marathon bars and Opal Fruits. Access to the paddocks is, much like the Festival of Speed, generously open to all (aside from the halo cars’ paddock – only press and teams get to play with the GTOs; don’t worry, I’m sure I can bag a press pass next year...), and it’s ineffably cool to find yourself weaving between Cobras, Tatras and D-Types as mechanics tweak carbs, swap brake pads and smack knock-off spinners with sizeable mallets.

The Revival this year saluted Dan Gurney, the legendary racer who co-founded All American Racers with Carroll Shelby, invented the concept of spraying Champagne on the podium, enjoyed success in F1, NASCAR, Indy Car, Can-Am, Trans-Am, and invented the Gurney flap, among countless other achievements. Goodwood revived the famous ‘Dan Gurney for President’ campaign, a tongue-in-cheek affair instigated by Car & Driver magazine in the run-up to the 1964 election, as a colourful means to celebrate his career. Gurney was present, and seemed pretty chuffed with it all.

There is much else to share, but my effusive ramblings cannot compare to actually being there: if you were present, you’ll know what I mean. If you weren’t, get it in the diary for 2013! Rather than bombard you with 1,000-odd photos, below is a random selection of stuff from across the weekend. Stay tuned to SSBB in the coming days for close-ups on a variety of my favourite cars from the 2012 Goodwood Revival...


Ben Jewell said...

What is the white car on the 6th picture ? looks familiar but I can't put a finger on it

Laira samsung said...

How much does the Goodwood Revival cost to get into?
Extendable trailers

juice said...

Ben - that's a Morris Minor. A heavily modified one too, with altered bonnet and wings and various other tweaks.

Laira - I suspect your question is a masked attempt to get me interested in extendable trailers...