Goodwood Revival is Much More Than Just Classic Cars
Photography by Amy Shore for Petrolicious
Power walking through the quickly-filling track of the Goodwood motor circuit, clad in my 1950s day dress, frilly ankle socks, bright red lipstick and pearl necklace, the only thing that looked out of place was the Nikon D600 camera swinging around my neck–not quite fitting the period style I was going for. However, I wasn’t going to let that little inaccuracy affect my fun as for the first time ever, I was one of Goodwood’s official photographers for their 16th annual Goodwood Revival where spectators and drivers alike get to turn back time for a glorious three days.
Despite it only being 7:30am, I was already late. As I headed towards the press center, the air was embroidered with a variety of smells from cooking bacon-breakfast rolls wafting from one of the many food vans to exhaust fumes from the Jaguar D-Types with mechanics swarming about. Hairspray was visibly escaping from the already heaving hairdressers as women (dressed far more glamorously than myself) sat having their hair twisted into victory rolls topped with a fascinator. I hadn’t even seen any racing yet and I was already seriously excited about the weekend ahead of me.
The Goodwood Revival launched its first event on 18 September 1998, precisely fifty years to the day since the Goodwood circuit first opened. The Earl of March re-enacted the opening of the track at its very first Revival meeting in the same Bristol 400 that his grandfather had used 50 years previously. The track had been untouched by the modern world and had previously been restored to mirror its image from the ’50s to every detail. Today, the Goodwood Revival now attracts over 100,000 visitors each year and still continues to hold its quixotic values with the majority of spectators in period clothing as they enjoy the exceptional classic racing.
The three day event provides full days of racing for enthusiasts who eagerly set up their folding chairs at the track fence with their packed lunch and tea flasks. Disappointingly, most of these folk aren’t dressed in period clothing but are there with eyes like excited children in a giant sweet shop for their love of the superb classic racing. You’ll probably find the flip side of the crowd in the Veuve Clicquot tent on the Richmond Lawn as they’re judged for the daily Best Dressed competition. Strutting their stuff, the best dressed judged award winners for both the ladies and the gentlemen depending not only on their overall look, but also the accuracy and authenticity of their outfits, whether they’re elegantly dressed women draped in mink fur or stylish men clothed in a period pilot’s uniform.
If you’re struggling for an outfit, you can always head over to The Highstreet where you’ll find rows and rows of shops and stalls selling everything vintage or car related that you can imagine; artwork, badges, hats, fur coats, toys, even juke-boxes and free-standing safes. Here, you can also find cafes and pubs dotted around for a light refreshment or even the fully, authentically stocked Tesco supermarket to grab some lunch.
For even more food and entertainment options, you can head Over The Road where you’ll find fairground rides, a Helta Skelta, carousel rides, singers, waffle vans, and if you have an extra penny or two, the jaw dropping Bonhams auction building.
This year’s event also had a sight that had not been seen for over 60 years–two Lancaster aeroplanes flying in formation with one another whilst being accompanied by Spitfires and Hurricanes. The crowd’s eyes were torn from the racing, their tea, and their entertainment to simply gaze up at these magnificent flying machines. The press center was also conveniently placed alongside the airstrip which was a fantastic spot to admire the aircraft however, conversation did have to temporarily cease as the numerous aircraft set off and landed.
Finally, we come to the cars and the racing. Cars worth millions of pounds are casually parked in their modest paddocks alongside one another. No barriers, no distance requirements and if you want to know more about the car, there is nearly always one of its mechanics around. When it comes to the racing, there’s not much more I can say other than if you want to experience breathtaking, tire-squealing, rubber-burning, heart-stirring, nose-to-tail, wheel-to-wheel racing where the drivers race more dangerously and more daringly than you’ve ever seen in your life, get yourself tickets for the 2015 Goodwood Revival.