Every year, people from across the country flock to glorious Goodwood, dressed in their finest period wear, to celebrate a golden age of motorsport. This year, the Sytner Edit team went along to see just what Goodwood Revival is all about.
We’re sure you’ll agree when we say that the ‘golden age of motorsport’ was a truly incredible time; a time that many of us would have loved to experience first-hand. It was time when legends were born and pioneers wrestled with almost untameable, raw, racing cars - risking life and limb for what they were whole heartedly passionate about. Thanks to celebrations like the Goodwood Revival, it is possible for all generations to share what is considered by many as the very soul of motorsport. Greeted by the unmistakable smell of motor oil and the incredible sound of classic engines and the period dress, it truly is one of the greatest events on the motoring calendar.
If you’ve ever attended Goodwood Revival or Festival of Speed, then you’ll be all too familiar with the rather astonishing traffic jam that always seems to form. However, unlike near every other traffic jam that you’ll ever be stuck in, the queue to enter Goodwood Revival is truly stunning. Following Jaguar E-types, Ford GT40s, vintage Porsches and old Ferraris into the car park is something that has to be experienced to be believed; the noises and smells seamlessly mixed with the beautiful setting make for a jam that you’ll never be annoyed to be a part of.
Once parked, the show begins instantly – a car park has never looked so good. It is hard not to spend a large chunk of time just wandering the endless rows of beautiful cars – both modern and classic – that flock to see all of the action taking place across the weekend. Browsing the maze of sensational vehicles you find yourself being struck with excitement time-and-time again as you find a rare gem – McLaren F1, Ferrari Dino, BMW E9 CSL – it’s a simply breath-taking place to be.
As mentioned, Goodwood Revival is an incredibly accurate revival of the ‘golden ages’ of motorsport – the (optional) dress code certainly plays a large part in this. Unlike every other show that celebrates the hay day of motoring, it’s customary to dress in 40’s, 50’s 60’s or 70’s clothes when you go to the Goodwood Revival. It’s something that not only helps to set the show apart from all others on the calendar but also helps to form the very spirit that makes Revival so very special.
Out on track the action is non-stop with cars of all shapes and sizes, from various periods, taking to Goodwood’s legendary race track to compete in numerous trophy and cup races. Whilst the majority of those taking part in the racing are professional racing drivers, there’s often the odd celebrity getting involved with the action. To name just a couple of this year’s stars, it was great to see Top Gear’s Chris Harris, Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis and Olympic Champion Sir Chris Hoy take to the track.
It’s one thing to wander amongst these fantastic machines in the paddock but it’s another to see them pushed to the limit out on the track - their natural habitat. Settling in to spectate the action, there’s endless joy to be found in watching a classic MINI fly around a corner on three wheels whilst the driver saws rapidly at the wheel to maintain control. Possibly one of the highlights of the show, however, comes in the form of the incredible sound that is created by each and every car. With the majority of the cars coming from a time where they didn’t have to be domesticated by noise limits, you’re treated to a delightfully unaltered and pure sound. It’s a wonderful experience.
With races that range from single seat Formula One cars and GT cars to fields of saloon cars, there’s no end of variety and entertainment for everyone. The sheer variety of track action presents you with the extremely interesting ability to compare each very closely, their small quirks and differences becoming very apparent – the smaller hatchbacks like Mini Coopers being thrown abruptly into the corners - under steering as they struggled to grip – contrasting completely with the way in which the old F1 cars attacked the track with a certain finesse and precision.
The action didn’t just take place on land however; old aircraft took to the skies in some scintillating aerial displays. Some of the world’s most iconic aircraft were present at the Goodwood Revival – the highlight being a display that included the legendary Lancaster bomber, Spitfire and Hurricane all in formation.
Sitting infield of the track, the many aircraft and helicopters formed a spectacular centre piece when watching the track action unfold; the mixture of legendary cars and iconic planes just another element that makes the Goodwood Revival unlike almost any other automotive event.
The Goodwood Revival was a true enthusiast’s show; only there could you begin to understand and comprehend the importance of the period that the show celebrates. The entire day we were there - from the traffic jam to leaving the car park at the end of the day - was an incredible experience that, for petrol head’s like us, created a lasting feel of nostalgia.
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