GALLERY: The Goodwood Revival Is Still The Ultimate Historic Motorsport Weekend
Photography by Scott Paterson
The Goodwood Revival has proven yet again that it is most fascinating display of motorsport in the world, vintage or otherwise, on track or off. Sip Earl Grey served out of a Morris Mini! Blush when the birds in white boots look your way! Listen to the music of the British Invasion, in Britain! Turn around and watch GT40s driven like it’s 1966! Look at that drunk man spilling lager on his shirt, just like his daddy would have done it!
Between the preserved history and the tongue-in-cheek reinterpretations of it, it all piles onto the Revival’s esteem amongst car enthusiasts and scally cap historians both. The unique formula for the weekend might not stay unique forever as it’s being copied and cadged from more and more each year (it’s probably inevitable that anything as successful as the Revival will generate quasi clones of itself), but so far none have been able to match the period-correct atmosphere that comes to life each September in West Sussex.
The fact that the thousands of the weekend’s event attendees make the effort to dress up is a feat that would outshine most renaissance fairs, but the fashion element wouldn’t be half as thorough without the machinery to draw the crowds of petrolheads in alongside ye olde English cosplayers—even the most sartorially inept man will yank on a pair of old trousers and don some plaid if it means he can watch contemporary Le Mans champs door-to-dooring each other in Ferrari 250 SWBs and GTOs. Plus, getting a Jackie Stewart sighting in the paddock or walking underneath a Douglas C-47 (that flew during D-Day no less) isn’t a bad way to spend a few minutes away from the track.
There are a few people who really go for it at the “festorics” in Monterey, the Peter Auto series brings spectacular diverse historic series around the world’s best circuits, but only another Goodwood event—the Members’ Meeting—can really match the racing action at the Revival. The Goodwood Circuit is decidedly old-school in its design, and the short, flat, narrow course sends a few million dollars’ worth of cars into its tire walls each year. No matter though, as long as the chassis and engine numbers haven’t been scraped away it appears that the owners of these cars find flogging them very much “worth it.” Some folks with the extra garage space will build replicas of the real cars (which they also own) for the purposes of competition, but by and large the grids at the Goodwood Revival are populated by the bonafides.
So, yes, there are contrivances big and small to be found nearly everywhere you look on the grounds of Lord March’s estate, but you won’t see anything dubious on the circuit itself. We’ll be back tomorrow with some focus on the best (and worst) dressed of the weekend, but for now we hope you enjoy our views from another sublime year at the Goodwood Revival.