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GOODWOOD - Views from Four Lads Who Have Attended

Photos by Bob Forward
Text by Bob Forward; Alan Sharpe, Sussex, England; Magnus Karlsson, Boras, Sweden;
and Jean Caron, St. Vital, Manitoba

80 photos in the slide show -in order -people, parking lots, paddocks, aircraft, motorcycles, and racing

SBCC President, Bob Forward, who attended the Goodwood Revival in September thought he would provide some thoughts and suggestions to those who may wish to attend. I suggested to Bob that it would be nice to include comments from a few of my friends who also have attended the Goodwood Revival or the Festival of Speed (EAD) .

Bob Forward, SBCC, Saskatoon - Notes

Bob Forward's 2012 Goodwood trip, if you get a chance to attend the Goodwood Revival do it! You will not be sorry. Our day started by leaving our Portsmouth Hotel at 8:00AM for the 18 mile trip, the event is well signposted and traffic moved well so we were adjacent to the grounds and parked by 9:00AM, not bad!. We started walking to the event and passed into the premium parking area, wow hat a collection of cars parked in this area. On the event site there is so much to see, and to do, cars racing, static displays, airplanes flying over head. These included a Lancaster bomber and three Spitfires in formation - seven Merlin engines flying together what a sound! Many people were dressed in period clothing which added to the enjoyment of strolling the grounds. A trip to the Goodwood store cost a few pounds but they have nice stuff! There are many places serving food and drink but they are extemely busy, so many people were enjoying a picnic lunch on the grassy areas surrounding the track, boy this looked like fun! One day is not enough time to really take in this event, so I suggest a two day pass. The track closes at 7:00PM but action continues in the parking areas until about 10:00PM with lots of food and beer available, a variety of entertainment, and a wide variety of items for sale.

Alan Sharpe, Sussex, member of Morgan Sports Car Club - Notes

Alan provides an overview of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival.

Goodwood is close to Chichester on the south coast of England. In WW2 there were two RAF airfields here: Tangmere, which is famous, and its satellite Westhampnett which is not so well known, although it was from here that the Battle of Britain ace Douglas Bader took off on his last flight of the war. He was shot down over France and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner making a thorough nuisance of himself and ending up in Colditz.

In 1948 the owner of the land, Freddie March, the 9th Duke of Richmond and Gordon, converted the perimeter of Westhampnett airfield into a motor racing track and called it after his estate -Goodwood. It was an immediate success.

The circuit has a working civilian airfield at its centre and is now used mainly for track days and testing but the grandson of the 9th Duke, the Earl of March hosts two massive events each year.

The Festival of Speed is held in July, not at the circuit, but in the grounds of stately home, Goodwood House. It is essentially a one vehicle at a time sprint hill climb. Expect to see the latest supercars and bikes along with some very fast historic vehicles. Many of the big names in Formula One, British and European motorsport will be there driving or mingling with the crowds. Although it's competitive and timed, many drivers stop in front of the grandstands and demonstrate how quick they can turn rubber into black smoke!

The Goodwood Revival is held over three days in September at the Goodwood Circuit. You can walk through the pits and see an eclectic range of vintage and classic racing cars and motorbikes. Think ERA, Cooper-Norton, Lola, BRM, Lotus Cortina, AC Cobra, Maserati, Ferrari, Jaguar, Morgan, Manx Norton, Talbot-Lago, Frazer-Nash, Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Vincent, Aston Martin, AJS... get the picture? The racing is breath-taking, and you'll see many top names in the sport competing, including Rowan Atkinson of Mr Bean and Blackadder fame who is by no means a slow driver.

Visitors are encouraged to wear period WW2 or 1950s dress, and at least 70 percent of us do so. The atmosphere is infectious. There is a retail park selling vintage clothing, car parts, tools and antiques. This must be the place to buy automobile art-work straight from the artist. You will find fast and slow food, music, dancing, a fairground, comedy, bars, motor shows, reconstructed vintage garages, barber shop quartets, classic aeroplane collections... you'll never see it all in one day

A few words of warning There are no tickets available on the day. All tickets, pit passes, grandstand seats must be booked in advance and they sell out very quickly. Gates open at 7:30AM and by 9:00AM the country lanes around Goodwood will be grid locked. Early arrival is essential. We are generally standing by the gates by 7AM. It can take two hours to get out of the car park at the end of racing. Leaving early seems a waste of money, so plan to stay late. There's plenty of entertainment and food outlets. If you live far away then pre-book some local accommodation.

In summary: the Festival of Speed for the latest super cars and rubbing shoulders with Lewis Hamilton. The Revival for a taste of what motor sport used to be like. You can tell which one I prefer - Alan Sharpe.

Magnus Karlsson, Boras, Sweden, member of AHC of Sweden and AHC of USA
Boras Motors - Healey Restorers- Notes

Goodwood Revival is a must place to visit that is for anyone with the slightest interest in classic cars and to see them race.When you enter the Goodwood estate you will find that the classic car park in itself is worth the trouble going there. It is bigger and has more interesting cars than any major car show in Europe. Even though not mandatory most people attending the event dress up in period clothing, which helps create that special Goodwood atmosphere. The race track with its surroundong is basically unchanged since its hey day in the Fifties. The most interesting race cars in the world from the 50s and 60s will come to Goodwood each year, together with the most famous drivers, past and present. Over 160,000 spectators attend the three day event. There is so much on offer besides the racing, everything from air shows with WW2 fighters and bombers, vast areas with stalls vending everything from the smallest car paraphernalia to complete cars, classic car auctions, complete replicas of famous buildings like Earl's Court car show building; actors in period clothing performing; and of course the beautiful Goodwood girls. More than you can digest. In short go to Goodwood, you won't be disappointed!

Jean Caron, St. Vital, Manitoba, member of AHC of America and AHC of USA
and past president of the AHC of Manitoba- Notes

I went to Goodwood with six other fellows in 2008. We had heard that there was little that could compare to it; and whoever told us that was right! I had been to a few vintage car meets in the USA but Goodwood was over the top. While it is somewhat expensive to attend, it is still cheaper than Montery or Pebble Beach, it is by far the best venue to see vintage racing at its best. If you manage to obtain tickets well in advance you will be treated to three days of great racing, mid day air shows with Spitfires, Mustangs and thousand of people in period costumes. All vehicles are pre 1966 the year Goodwod closed down. Many of the car are raced by the likes of Stewart, Surtees, and Cheevers. If you are lucky enough to know someone with a Goodwood Club membership you will be able to secure a pass into the paddocks to see the cars close up, providing you wear appropriate period clothing, hat, tie, and jacket or racing overalls. While in the paddock you can walk right up to the cars, talk to the mechanics, drivers and owners; and take as many pictures as you like. I recently learned from Larry Paterson (Calgary) that the carnival atmosphere has taken over the rest of the grounds and he feels the event has lost something from previous years! Another interesting activity is to walk the parking lots reserved for pre 1966 cars. There were three such lots when I was there with over 600 cars in total - Austin Healey 100s, Mercedes Benz 300SL Gull wings, old Bentleys and SS100 Jaguar side by side. Definitely a great event not to be missed.