Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Glamcabs 2014

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

If you’re a fan of motorsport, old cars, or dressing up, there’s a good chance that you will have visited the Goodwood Revival at some point. Selling itself as ‘a magical step back in time’, the annual celebration of carefree fast living of the period 1948-66 sees old-school race cars having the very life thrashed from them on track, while all around flit cheery folk in era-appropriate attire. And one of the stalwarts of the event is the Glamcabs outfit; evoking the spirit of the 1963 movie Carry On Cabby, the display perfectly captures the concept of gleaming mkI Cortinas driven by glamorous young ladies. It makes for a very photogenic spectacle – but of course, the focus of all this rose-tinted revelry is very much on the girls, the smiles, the skirts, the tongue-in-cheek sauciness of a time when ‘PC’ meant ‘police constable’. But what of the motors? Are they not the true stars of the show?
Well, maybe, and maybe not. But just for a moment, let's allow these noble old Fords to creep out from behind that rosy curtain and enjoy their own moment in the limelight. They’re unique in Revival press coverage in that they’re among the most photographed cars at the show, but seldom paid attention to; they’re generally hidden by legs and lipstick, so here are a few snaps just to pull them to the front for a moment.

Two particular highlights here are FRU 658D and RSY 446. The former is a fully restored 1966 airflow model, with a breathed-on 1,600cc crossflow putting out 130bhp. The red roof was unearthed during the stripdown when the vinyl roof was peeled back, revealing itself as an original factory option and thus faithfully reinstated.
The latter is a '63 LHD pre-airflow that was brought over from France by Throbnozzle Racing's Joe Allenby-Byrne. It was found in Nice with 22,000km in the clock, having sat unused since 1975. He's kept the gorgeous original patina rather than eroding the car's character by restoring it, and the mechanicals have been subject to a tender overhaul, with a 120bhp twin-Weber'd crossflow making it perfect for family cruising duties.
...and there are various other old Fords here too, of course. But OK, here's a lascivious peep at the girls before we continue. If you squint, you can just about make out the Cortina behind them.

Click here for more photos from the 2014 Goodwood Revival.

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