The Goodwood Revival is a simply incredible event that seems to get busier, more impressive and increasingly more competitive on track with every year. Held at Lord March’s historic racing circuit in the rolling Sussex countryside, the Goodwood Revival is a chance to adorn your best frock or tweeds and step through time to an era when racing drivers were death-defying heroes and sugar was still on rations.
The attention to detail is phenomenal, nothing post -1966 is allowed through the gates and even the media room housing the many motoring journalists and fashion correspondents is decorated out to resemble a world war two control room, sitting as it does, adjacent to the airfield and aircraft display.
Notable additions this year included a fabulous 1950s period recreating of a Shell petrol station, a celebration parade for Ecurie Ecosse, an Italian Piazza recreating to celebrate La Dolce Vita and the anniversary of the Fiat 500 plus a drive in cinema within the ‘Over the Road’ section. Speaking of which, Goodwood Revival must be the only event where you would willingly pay to simply wander around the Car Park. This year there were two areas for special parking, the pre-1968 area and the Tax-Free display area for slightly newer classics. Over the Road also included the Bonhams auction room, which had amongst many other examples of car exotica, the entire collection of Jack Sears up for sale.
The weather wasn’t exactly supportive for the 2017 event and by Friday afternoon the car parks resembled muddy swamps requiring Goodwood management to lay on tractors to tow hapless classics out of the quagmire. The rain barely relented all weekend but did nothing to dampen the spirits of those in attendance, despite having to pick their way in costumes and heels through the sloppy fields!
A highlight of the event this year was the launch of the new TVR on Friday morning. The car sees the return of the Griffith name and with its manual gearbox and radical Gordon Murray styling certainly represents a continuation of all we know and love of TVR. The engine though, should prove to be an impressive power plant – designed and built by none other than Cosworth. the car certainly drew the crowds throughout the weekend and was accompanied by a heritage display of TVR through the ages.
The challenging conditions made for some breathtakingly riveting racing with epic battles aplenty in all classes and races.
One of the headlining races during the weekend is the one-hour, two-driver Royal Automobile Club TT for GT cars of the 1960s. The focus has shifted to slightly younger cars in recent years leaving cars like the Aston Martin DB4 GT and Ferrari 250 GT SWB languishing in the lower positions.
This has however been solved by the Kinrara Trophy, which captures classic endurance racing atmosphere by running into Dusk on Friday evening. This year’s race attracted eight 250 GT SWBs and five DB4 GTs. In the wet, the Jaguar E-Types proved to be dominant and the winners in their example were Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw.
Saloons cars were not left out with Dickie Meaden and Mike Jordan in an flame spitting Alfa Romeo Giulietta and Austin A40 battled tooth and nail swapping positions on virtually every lap, with neck and neck racing that close it is a miracle that they got through it all without touching! The Will Hoy Memorial Trophy, for the greatest drive in a closed cockpit car, went to Richard Meaden,t he eventual winner of that race. He lost the St Mary’s Trophy lead in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti on the very last lap, only to regain it in time for the chequered flag.
On aggregate, Jason Plato and Nick Naismith won the St Mary’s Trophy in an A95 Westminster.
Chris Ward kept out of trouble with the JD Classics Ford GT40 in the Whitsun Trophy, which was run despite a deluge of rain, to take his only victory of the weekend. Rob Hall, meanwhile, used the same Aston Martin DB3 that had won the first of the Goodwood Nine-Hour races in period to end victorious in the Freddie March Memorial Trophy.
The TT race on Sunday was preceded with drama when the Ferrari 250 GTO of Andy Newall and Frank Stippler crashed out spectacularly in practice on Saturday. In the race, David Hart stormed to the head of the field with his Cobra. Ward had dropped down the order and used some less subtle tactics to fight his way back up the order and was penalised with 30 seconds as a result. Thanks to a late retirement and the penalty, the win went to Andy Wolfe and Michael Gans, who shared Jason Wright’s Cobra.
The absolutely sodden Glover and Sussex trophies demanded heroic skills to stay pointing in the correct direction. The Glover Trophy for 1960s Grand Prix cars was won by Martin Stretton in a Lotus 24. The Sussex Trophy Sam Hancock claim victory in the well-honed Ferrari 246 Dino of Harry Leventis.
The Spirit of Goodwood award went to Juan Manuel Fangio’s sons, Ruben and Cattio Fangio, who had bought tickets to this year’s Revival to call on the way to see the Pope… as you do! The Maserati 250F Fangio drove to his arguably most famous victory the Nürburgring in 1957 was on display all weekend.
The Rolex Drive of the Meeting went to 18-year-old Oliver Hart who, on his Goodwood debut, was fighting for the lead in the RAC Tourist Trophy when his grunty Cobra suffered engine failure that put him out of the race.
Whilst all the action was happening in and around the circuit, the Hamilton Classics teams were busy chatting to all who attended about our various products. This year, car covers proved ever popular, as did our jump starter packs, which sold out during the weekend. We’re already looking forward to the Goodwood Revival next year where hopefully we won’t be required to ‘bail out’ our trade tent as was necessary this year!
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