The Goodwood revival in September is a fantastic and somewhat bizarre experience. Essentially its a vintage and veteran car race at the Goodwood race circuit in East Sussex. You get to see the most extraordinary and priceless cars thrashing it out against each other around the racetrack; several crashing in the process and no doubt wiping out hundreds of thousands of pounds in historical motoring exotica.
You see every pinacle of motoring history tearing round the track: from 1930s Bentleys; to modern day Formula 1; to throaty American v8’s; every conceivable Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini.
What makes the event particularly remarkable is that huge numbers dress-up for the occassion in nostalgic yester-year clothing. Every where you look you see Elvis and Marilyn Monroe lookalikes as well as hoards of people dressed in 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s and sixties paraphenalia. GI Joes mix with British RAF fighter pilots and teddy boys and girls.
The real stars of the show are the historical fighter planes – Spitfires, Mustangs, Tomcats etc that perform incredible aerial displays and low flying swoops over the crowds.
Make sure you take a picnic and several bottles of champagne. Also if you can afford it I would recommend paying for one of the grandstands; vying for a place at the front can be a bit tough. The cost is fairly keen: £30 odd quid for a friday and more like £50 for a Saturday or Sunday. I actually preferred Friday as there seemed to be a broader range of racing heats to watch, so you get to see a more diverse collection of cars. Also the crowds are decidely thinner, so its far easier to get pole position alongside the race track.
Note the revival is very different to the Goodwood Festival of speed, which frankly is a very poor alternative. The festival of speed doesn’t have the racing nor the “occassion” of people dressing up and making a real experience of the day. Essentially you just stand beside a road and watch cars drive past one after one (granted they’re pretty amazing historical masterpieces).