Ever since I went to the first Goodwood Revival meeting in 1998, those three days in September have been the highlight of my motoring year. Goodwood is a fantastic race circuit, fast and demanding of drivers but at the same time beautiful and accessible to the public. When the weather is good there is really nothing to match the place. Lord March does, of course, put on a good party. Racing heroes of the past and the top historic racers of today love to drive at Goodwood as much as the public loves to see them. And if you are a billionaire owner of a Ferrari 250 GTO then nothing underscores your wealth more than allowing your precious car to be raced at it’s limit around such an unforgiving track.

Much though I love the revival I do increasingly begin to question whether I enjoy it as much as I used to. This year there was a record attendance of over 160,000 people and boy, at times did it feel it. Maybe it would not have been so bad if all of those attending had been motoring enthusiasts but many were there on corporate hospitality jollies and clearly had little interest or knowledge of motor racing. When John Surtees was taking part in his laps of honour I overheard, all too frequently, people asking who he was.

Maybe I’m getting grouchy now, but am I the only one beginning to find having to dress in period attire boring? Certainly the whole dressing up thing has become a major industry and whilst it might interest otherwise bored spouses, is it really necessary for the enjoyment of the racing? I understand that there is a desire to create a period feel but in that case why all the adverts for contemporary and anonymous private banks and hedge funds? And why are motor manufacturers allowed to push their new models in the “period” Earls Court Motor Show?

The racing this year was as good as ever but quite often it was the same cars that race every year in the same races with the same drivers. Perhaps Goodwood’s embarrassment of riches gives rise to a certain ambivalence but I no longer get excited by the multi-million pound grid for the RAC TT celebration. As for the St Mary’s Trophy touring car race, the less said the better. A Race where a Ford A40 can lap faster than a Jaguar Mk 1 is certainly entertaining but it is not historic racing.

The highpoints of my weekend? One was watching Giedo Van de Garde sliding his AC Cobra around Lavant Corner on his way to winning the RAC TT celebration with his codriver David Hart. I have often heard elderly spectators say that young Formula One drivers would be incapable of racing sports cars from the 50s and 60s as their forebears used to, because young drivers are so used to massive downforce and slick tires. Giedo proved conclusively that even one of the least high profile young Formula One drivers of today is more than capable of driving the wheels off anything given half a chance.

Another highlight was the fantastic Whitsun Trophy race on Saturday evening. Chris Goodwin, McLaren’s charming test driver, triumphed in his own McLaren Chevy M1B. The racing was very close and the average lap speed the fastest of the whole weekend. Seeing these CanAm monsters hurtle down the Lavant straight at over 160 miles an hour was astonishing as was the noise from their huge V8 engines.

An finally of course, the air displays. This year we had the once in a lifetime opportunity to see two Lancasters flying in formation. A very moving sight.

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Goodwood in September..Goodwood Trophy Race

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V16 BRM – I had not realised the engine was offset.

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Derek Bell pushes his Jaguar D Type towards the grid

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Jay Esterer’s sinister Chinook Chevy Mk2 from the Whitsun Trophy race

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Chris Goodwin’s Whitsun Trophy winning McLaren Chevy M1B

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Lots of fine cars in the Classics Car Park, one of the highlights of the event in fact. This very fine Armstrong Siddley Star Sapphire had come all the way from Switzerland.

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A very neat Singer Le Mans, a very underrated pre war sports car.

 

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A rare aerial visitor, a Gloster Gladiator fighter.

 

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A rare MG Arnholt Coupe. Built on a TD chassis in the US in the fifties, these cars are rarely seen in Europe. This one had come from Germany.

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Sir Jackie Stewart explains the finer points of his Championship winning Tyrell

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Two Lancasters – the roar of eight Rolls Royce Merlin engines. The sound of freedom.

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I first attended Salon Prive last year and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Held in the beautiful grounds of the Duke of Northumberland’s London home, Syon House in West London,  the event is billed as an upscale concourse d’elegance and motoring lifestyle show. Running from Wednesday to Friday it is targeted at the well-heeled corporate hospitality market and the price of a daily ticket (including Lobster lunch..) reflects that. I attended last year on an afternoon ticket only which I was able to buy at a discount due to membership of a motoring club. At less than half the cost of a full day ticket it was good value for money as whilst I only had four hours at the show this turned out to be more than enough time to see what there was and the price included a good quality free afternoon tea and an unlimited bar! So this year I again opted for an afternoon ticket only and was not disappointed.

Being a top end event a number of prestige manufactures were present showing their latest cars including Ferrari and Lamborghini. Two La Ferraris were on show, one in red and the other, belonging to Jay Kay, in a lurid shade of green. There was also a stunning one off Ferrai F12 open top roadster. Ferrari would not reveal who the car was built for but it certainly seems to me that they made a better job of it than they did on the bespoke Ferrari 458 they built for Eric Clapton last year.

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Jay Kay’s lurid green La Ferrari. The interior is that colour too..

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Gorgeous bespoke Ferrari F12 Open Top Roadster for an anonymous client

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Contrast with Eric Clapton’s bespoke Ferrari 458 – actually less good looking than the standard car. Photo taken at St James Concours of Elegance 2013.

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The F12 looks stunning from all angles. I love the retro themed bubbles behind each seat.

Below are some other notable cars from the event.

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The concours included a whole class of D Type Jaguars (celebrating their 60th anniversary). One of them won overall and many made an appearance at Goodwood a week later for a spectacular all D Type race.

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Unusual Zagato Rover 2000. The only one and very striking.

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Senor Pagani attended the event which showcased his cars. Here he is admiring a very yellow Jaguar XJ220.

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Fantastic Art Deco front end of a Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A

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More interesting coachbuilding, this time Superleggera’s take on a future Mini roadster. A very nice design indeed.

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Another of Jay Kay’s cars, beautiful modern coach built body on a Bentley R Type chassis. Yours for £500k. He was trying to flog this car at Essen (see below). No takers yet which is a shame. Its stunning looking.

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Red La Ferrari. I think the McLaren P1 looks better.

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This is Jaguar designer Ian Callum’s take on the Mark 2 Jag. I’m afraid it did nothing for me. I do not see the point of taking an old car and making it modern.

Some interesting new iron (aluminium, carbon fibre …) at the FoS this year. Highlights below.

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The new Ford Mustang – finally available in right hand drive. Aggressive retro styling looks good – shame about the awful colour

 

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More “motor show” colours on the McLaren stand. Am I the only one who prefers the simple look of the MP4-12c nose to that on the new 650S nose? Must be as apparently there was so little continuing demand for the old car once the 650S was launched that they have now stopped making it.

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The Jaguar F Type Project 7 is an important car for Jaguar. Based on the slightly more extreme concept shown at last year’s FoS , the Project 7 is actually a production car – indeed the fastest production Jaguar ever. Its V8 is tuned up to 575 bhp – 25 more than the R Coupe. It also has bespoke aero, and trick suspension and diff with standard carbon ceramic brakes. The screen has a greater rake than the standard convertible and it has an D Type imitating faring behind the drivers role hoop. Inside it looks fairly standard and weather protection consists of a rather impractical clip on hood like the recent Boxster speedster. Its a striking car and they hope to sell 250, and only 60 in right hand drive. But what’s it for? Too comfortable and therefore heavy for a racer (and the rollover protection looks too scant) yet too uncomfortable for every day use. Is it therefore just for collectors and occasional track days?

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This stunning Jaguar SUV concept is far more likely to make JLR lots of money. Aimed at rivalling the Audi Q4, BMW X3 and especially the Porsche Macan it should perform well and in a different segment to current Land Rover products. I would certainly buy one. The bad news is that we are unlikely to see one for sale until 2018, with a hot version not to follow until 2019.

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VW ran their diminutive XL electric car up the hill. It looks like the future for urban transport but is very very small and very very expensive.

 

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The new Renault Twingo Sport looks like great fun. Based on the same platform as the new Smart 4-2 it has a rear mounted 1L turbocharged engine. Hot versions later this year should have 140 bhp making the car a mini 911!

There is always a fine selection of Le Mans sports cars at Goodwood ranging from those from the earliest days of racing to the very latest winning machines.

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Andy Wallace is reunited with his 1988 Le mans winning Jaguar XJR – 9

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This year’s Le man winning Audi e-Tron. Havings stumbled in the early rounds of this year’s World Sports Car championship they managed to win the race that really mattered. Sound familiar Peugeot?

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1970 Ferrari 512, just like in the film Le Mans..

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Mercedes high speed transporter carrying the fabulous Uhlenhaut Coupe (see previous posts from Stuttgart)

 

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This year’s Le Mans Toyota hybrid

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Gorgeous Jaguar D Type Le Mans winners – 55, 56, 57. This Ecurie Ecosse car won in 1957 and provided the design inspiration for the Project 7 Jaguar

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Vast V12 Sunbeam racer from 1920 and even bigger 1911 Fiat

Due to restrictions on testing (!) there were no contemporary Formula One cars tackling the hill at Goodwood this year. That did not stop some of the teams bringing cars for static display or bringing cars from previous seasons for their drivers and test drivers to run up the hill. Even then runs were restricted to demonstration performances with plenty of doughnuts and burnouts and very little speed. We had to look to the historic guys for real pace.

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Jenson Button in the McLaren MP4-26 he drove in 2012.

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Max Smith Hilliard in his 1972 Surtees TS9B. Seconds later he stuffed it into the bales at Molecombe corner. He was unhurt and at least he was trying!

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Legendary Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi driving the McLaren M23 with which he won McLaren’s first world title in 1974.

One of the best things about the Festival of speed is the close access to the drivers available for fans.

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British GP winner Johhny Herbert sharing a laugh at the Williams pit

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John Surtees was celebrating the 50th anniversary of his world championship with a class of cars and bikes associated with his career in action on the hill all weekend.

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An immaculately turned out Paddy Hopkirk reunited with his Monte winning Mini Cooper

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Twelve time World Motor Bike Trials champion Dougie Lampkin in action

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Felipe Massa reflecting on his good fortune to no longer be at Ferrari

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I had a good chat with Andy Wallace about Le Mans in 1988. The XJR made 250 mph down the pre chicane Mulsanne Straight. At night he could see so little as the lights were mounted so low that he had to pick out his braking points by calculating distances from land marks as they flashed by. To this day the XJR is the fastest car to have driven at Le mans. Andy has no desire to ever drive that fast again – he said it was something you could only do when young, fearless and lacking in imagination.