Here we are again: I’ve described the atmosphere and environs of Goodwood once before, for the Festival of Speed, but this is different — a festival, but not The Festival, and a full race programme rather than a hill-climb. This is the annual Goodwood Revival meeting, where the proud and doting owners of classic racing cars and bikes meet up for mutual admiration, conversation and annihilation, all held in front of a large crowd of enthusiatic spectators in period dress. Although which actual period seems to be a matter of some debate — anything from the 1940s to 1970s seems to be acceptable, although I couldn’t help but feel that some of the crowd wouldn’t, if challenged, have considered themselves to be in costume. Much tweed was apparent. As was a splendid selection of classic cars and bikes, as both competitors and spectators.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many pristine and beautiful E-Types in one place at the same time. Or as many priceless and irreplaceable vehicles beating several shades out of each other on the racetrack in the name of bloody-mindedly determined competition. The day provided a whole gamut of races and demonstration runs, from all vintages and marques. The highlight from a motorcycling perspective was the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy — the renamed Lennox Cup, contested so closely last year by Wayne Gardner and Sheene himself on his Fred Walmsley Manx Norton. After the race this year there was a brisk lap by many of the Grands Prix greats riding various of Sheene’s original race machines.
Favourite Bike: The Sammy Miller 1957 Gilera 4 or the gorgeous Vincent Black Shadow seen parked up beside my Duke in the bike park.
Favourite Car: Any of the howling pack of Ferrari GTOs or the exquisite Aston Martin DB4 Zagato. Or perhaps the Maserati. Or the Alfa. Or…
Best Spectacle: (to pick from many) a 1964 Ford Galaxy exiting Madgwick sideways, looking not unlike an out-of-control aircraft carrier, with an equally sideways Mini snapping at its heels like a demented terrier.
Only way to get there: Motorcycle, definitely — Steve turned up at mine for breakfast, having brought his Elise rather than bike, the fool. He left for Goodwood about twenty minutes before me. I arrived a good ninety minutes before him.
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