Wednesday, September 21, 2011

GLORIOUS GOODWOOD

The Goodwood Revival is an event with no peers.  There are vintage clothing fairs, and vintage vehicle shows/races, and there are concours d'elegance, but Goodwood is the only place which combines all three, and manages to draw a shockingly high level of participation - ie, dressing for the event in the suggested 1948-66 garb - from over 150,000 people in the 3-day event.  Held on the massive estate of Lord March, the private race track becomes a scene of pitched battles on two and four wheels, while periodic 'buzzing' from historic aircraft has crowds halting and craning their necks to watch, and listen. Not only is it the largest historic motor race meeting in the world, Goodwood describes itself as "motor racing at its most theatrical..."
Outside the Spitfire Café, suitably named
As 2011 marks the 75th anniversary of the Supermarine Spitfire, ten of these glorious birds were lined up on the grass airfield, separated from the crowd only by a low picket fence, parked near one of the public 'mess tents'.  Grab lunch, sit outside on a bench, and hope to hear a few Rolls-Royce Merlin 12-cylinder engines fire up nearby.  When all 10 Spitfires took off on Sunday afternoon, flying in 2-4-4 formation, 50,000 people stopped what they were doing, and watched, and listened.  One could not tire of such moments.
Highly modified James 500cc v-twin, converted initially to a Dirt-track racer, then a road racer with the addition of the Norton gearbox and suitably modified rear subframe.  A unique machine, which the owner claims goes well...
This year Men's File magazine utilized an old army van as a mobile photo studio, and a team of judges (including myself - thanks to MF for my first visit to the Revival since 2005!) roamed the crowd, scanning for the Best Outfits of the day amongst men and women, with civilian, military, and sporting categories.  It was a fantastic excuse to people watch, and make conversation, and discuss our mutual appreciation for vintage vehicles and clothing.  An impromptu fashion show was held at 4pm each day, with those 'tagged' assembling for a bit of champagne and good fun.
Patricia Hammond and her aunt, who raced this Cooper in the 1960s
The 'expensive' half of the racing paddock requires a special badge for entry (plus a jacket and tie for men!), but the 'other half' bars no one, and fortunately includes the motorcycles and bike-engined racers (the Cooper-JAPs and -Manxes), plus a lot of very tasty roadster-based racing cars.  Plenty of eye candy for everyone, and the technically inclined have much to admire and explore.   I wonder if some ticket holders see the racing at all, such is the variety of other tempting venues at which to spend one's time; barber (and beauty) shops, vintage clothing/luggage/gear/bookshops, club displays, a Bonhams sale, vintage vignettes, taxis, exhibits, food stalls, etc.
The ever-green 1928 Indian 101 Scout...
Suffice to say, Lord March and his team have solidified the Revival into an extremely popular cult event, a fancy dress party in the open air, with a tang of burnt castor adding piquant perfume to the day.  If you have any sense of the fun in throwing on a tweed jacket or wrap dress and mixing it up with a cityscape of people dressed likewise, with the roar of racing machines as background music and plenty of ultra-cool vehicles to ogle, you owe it to yourself to go, man, go.
Ready for the off;  contact - spin prop - away!
Lining up for the grid; when all the cars light up for their race, its good and loud.
It could almost be 1941...but I'm glad it isn't.  Three Spitfires at rest.
Goodwood hires lots of lovely young ladies to roam the grounds, and pose, and be ogled
The McCandless brothers built more than the original Featherbed frame for Norton; they built this 4WD racer in 1953, using a Manx engine, and an ultralight alloy monococque chassis.  The central channel hides the driveshaft, the twin inboard rear brakes are between the driver's legs!
The long-stroke dohc Norton engine and 'lay down' gearbox of the McCandless special
Spitfires through the clouds, in 2-4-4 formation...
The 'Sally B'; the only airworthy B17 'Flying Fortress' in Europe, flown in from the Imperial War Museum
The barber shop was doing good business...
The Old Bicycle Company stand, selling Brooks saddles and cool bikes
Static (clearly) display at the Bavarian café...original paint BMW R42
A boy's first machine gun is an important moment...
Schneider trophy flyer George Stainforth gets a ride
Entertainment for the troops...
The long arm of the Law extends even into the past...
Esther in her grandmother's clothing; it fits!
A Jaguar twin-cam engine with three Weber sidedraught carbs...
A low-drag E-Type Jag coupé (replica of the Peter Lindner body type, designed by Malcolm Sayer for the LeMans 24hr race, but which crashed badly at Montlhéry beforehand)
The lads in their faux-military workshop; the Matchless G3L was rebuilt over the weekend
An immaculate Matchless G50
'Norton' George Cohen where he is most comfortable; at the helm of his own steed.
More lovelies vying for Best Dressed...
Welcome to Goodwood; a Matchless G12 graces the ticket line...
Dig the Ace cloverleaf steering damper knob...
'Oi, I know this geezer!'
An invasion of hippies into the proceedings.
JAP speedway engines were commonly used in Formula 500 racers; on alcohol, they're very quick
Saloon car racing; howling Minis vs bellowing V8s
Beautiful from every angle; a Lotus 11 back to back with a Spitfire...
Probably the only motorcycle engine stamped 'S.Moss'; Sir Stirling Moss raced this little Cooper...
Long-stroke DOHC Manx engines were popular for Formula 500 racing...hence the availability of Manx rolling chassis for Triumph engines, and the Triton was born...
Beautiful Matchless G11 600cc twin
Adding context; a 'Messerschmitt ME109' watches silently as the Spitfires fly past, all guns silent now. (Contrary to the markings, this is a Spanish HA 1109ML, built ca.1951 under license, with a Rolls Royce Merlin engine! Oh the irony...)
Festive mess tents, with reasonably fast service
The Men's File caravan/photo booth, here in use for magazine-ready portraits of the best outfits of the day
Mod in every aspect, from jacket to paint
Generals MacArthur and Montgomery, together again...
The motorcycle paddock; plenty of Norton Manxes and Matchless G50s
For the first time, a motocross segment was added to the bill, after many years' encouragement from Mike Jackson...try not to tear up the Earl's lawn, eh?
Men's File's Nick Clements addressing the hopefuls who had been 'tapped' during the day to join the competition for the Best Outfit.
Nick Clements discusses vintage clothing, Revivalists, and the Best Outfits of the day...(in this case, Saturday)
The young man was forgiven not standing for a while after this photo was taken...
Lots of bent metal at Goodwood; these machines aren't on show, they're here to race!  This little Manx-engined Cooper had a spin...
A deHavilland 'Puss Moth', evolved from the Tiger Moth
Fantastic German radial engine from 1924
Former World Champion Jim Redman and a Honda 4-cylinder racer of the type he rode in '62
Fabulous supercharged Riley
Rockers invade the Men's File caravan/photo booth
I remember waiting for Mom at the beauty parlor...
Saloon-car racers added color and brashness to the proceedings; that Ford Galaxy 500 could be heard in the next county!
The 1929 Supermarine S6A Schneider Trophy seaplane racer; almost impossibly gorgeous. This plane won the Trophy at Calshot, and was retained as a standby in the 1931 race (the race being held biennially)
Two generations of Supermarine planes; the S6 seaplane racer at front, which evolved into the Spitfire prototype at rear
The Schneider Trophy for the seaplane races which captivated the world for a time.  The curvaceous zephyr kisses the man-head sea foam; sexy and a little macabre.
This fellow built his Triton in 1972, with plenty of cool period correct parts, like the John Tickle 2ls front brake
1937 Spartan 7W Executive, super chic all-alloy personal luxury monoplane...
Everyone stops to watch when its air show time
The prototype Supermarine Spitfire, which punters could wriggle into, for a fee
Flying was delayed by a brief rain shower, but clearing skies meant Merlins aloft
Its Ferrari vs. Maserati all over again...
Every detail covered...
Commercial vendors all used period garb for their booths
Triumph T100 engine in a 1952 JBS-bodied racing car...the Norton engine was hors de combat, so a spare Triumph twin was slotted in - convenient!
"Well, someone has to clean up this mess!"
Demon Drome Wall of Death; the ubiquitous Indian 101 Scout, beloved for its utter stability
'Watch the unsprung weight', indeed...

12 comments:

Teddy said...

Fantastic post, but Paul where was your outfit???

Anonymous said...

Paul, Thank you for facilitating vicarious living once again. Great pictures of a great event. I hope to be fortunate enough to be in attendance next year with my pop as he's never been despite him living in the UK. I also see that there is a gaggle (or should that be google) of bloggers at the event, Occhio Lungo, Southsiders...Cheers, Jim "of few words"

AsphaltHeritage said...

Very nice set of pictures, that's definitely the vintage event to be.. thanks for sharing !

Matt Olsen said...

thanks for the great pictures paul. It looks like an amazing time

Anonymous said...

Your photography skills have excelled. Sweet stuff! Thanks.

JT

baowah said...

Paul, check this, click the pics:
http://sebessegoltara.blog.hu/2011/09/22/indianok_kergetik_az_olasz_motorokat
this event was at the weekend, the "small hungarian goodwood" at millenaris velodrom, budapest.

JCF said...

I was wondering why the latest issue was delayed - was hoping it was for something good - but this Goodwood edition is better than hoped for. One of the best yet.
Thank you.

George H-Cologne said...

Paul,
as usual a very good summary of the proceedings.
As a 'Revival' regular since the very first event I'm still totally overwhelmed by the sheer scale and enormous variety of this event.
It's such a pity that it only lasts 3 days as it's almost impossible to sample it all and still be able to watch at least some of the racing.

Adrian Manktelow said...

Great post as always Paul.

Best caption: The young man was forgiven not standing for a while after this photo was taken...

Most beautiful machine: Supermarine Seaplane

Teddy – Paul's outfit is reflected in the Matchless G11 600cc twin tank!

The Vintagent said...

Bowing to public pressure, I've added pix of my Saturday and Sunday outfits on the Goodwood Annex post...

Anonymous said...

Paul,
Although utterly jealous of your attendance at Goodwood, I am thrilled to look at the many fine photos you’ve taken there; you’ve surely captured the vintage spirit of the event. It’s a shame there wasn’t video, or at least sound, of the tenfold Merlin engined Spitfire flyby. I’m sure that was a heart pounder!

Thanks again!
Dave L

Anonymous said...

Teddy: Look at the reflecty chrome tank on the Matchless 500 photo; Paul's outfit is clear.

Paul, thanks for the amazing photos. In my next life, I wanna come back as you.