The Goodwood Motor Circuit, built around a World War II–era Royal Air Force base, hosted motorsports events from 1948 to 1968. Thirty years after competition ended, it began again, and it did so as if no time at all had passed. That was the result of a 10-year effort to restore the place back to its race-era heyday. Twenty-five years later, the Goodwood Revival has really perfected the time-traveling formula. All the cars on the track are those that could have competed in-period, and they include both racing legends (Ferrari 250GTO, an ex–Tazio Nuvolari Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza, an ex–Juan Manuel Fangio C-type Jaguar) and the delightfully obscure (Austin A40, Ford Zodiac, BMW 700). Despite the precious machinery, the racing action is surprisingly intense, with shunts and spins regularly claiming victims regardless of price or pedigree (we saw a Bizzarrini 5300GT stuffed into the wall and a Ferrari 250GTO catch fire).
This year's themes included 75 years of Lotus, Carroll Shelby, and a single-marque race of Porsche 911s all from 1965. Some famous names can find themselves in unlikely machinery: Jimmie Johnson in an Austin A40, Jenson Button in an Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Tom Kristensen in an Austin A90. Sweltering heat on Saturday set a record for September. Then, on Sunday, drivers had to contend with intermittent showers that kept things extra-spicy.
The 100,000-plus attendees embrace the ethos by dressing in '40s, '50s, or '60s garb, and the staff is similarly turned out. Some 600 employees work to make the event what it is, and the level of detail is amazing. And yet sponsorship director Mark Featherstone may have touched on the real secret of the Revival when he said, "We don't take ourselves too seriously."
Those lucky enough to arrive by air are transported to the entrance in vintage Jeeps and Land Rovers.
Arriving by bus isn't so bad, either.
Bentleys in the paddock.
A pair of Ferrari 250LMs.
This 1947 Pycroft-Jaguar SS100 won the first race at Goodwood in 1948.
A plethora of John Player Specials.
The legend: Ferrari 250GTO.
Among the Carroll Shelby cars was this MG, the first car in which he won a race.
Nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen drove something a little different at Goodwood: this Austin A90.
A Ferrari 250GT Lusso and a 250GT SWB/C draw admiring glances.
Among the cars gathered to celebrate 75 years of Lotus was Graham Hill's Lotus Elan +2.
Land Rover tow truck is ready if duty calls.
"Come fly with me," they seem to say.
Classic Minis pose in front of a period advert.
On-site shops allow you to snag a proper topper for your vintage getup.
Or maybe you'd rather pick up something for the garage. Shops sell real cars, toy cars, and all manner of related kit.
A 1959 Tojeiro-Jaguar and a 1958 Lotus-Climax line up on the starting grid for the Sussex Trophy.
This Porsche 911 single-marque race was exclusively for first-year cars.
A Jaguar E-type leads a Cheetah-Chevrolet and an AC Cobra.
Naturally, the press is on hand.
A 1958 Lotus-Climax 15 leads a 1960 Ferrari 246 S Dino in Sunday's Sussex Trophy race.
Their original mission long completed, these World War II–era planes provided some welcome shade.
The amusement-park rides also fit the retro theme.
A young Revival attendee checks out a World War II Jeep.
The Revival has a huge parking field exclusively for vintage cars.
A warren of Wolseleys (and one Austin).
Ford Zephyr Zodiac, the car so nice they named it twice.
If you correctly identified this as an Armstrong Siddeley Star Sapphire, you really know your English cars.
This 1956 MGA was converted into a fastback by its original owner, who also added a supercharger (and fabricated the air intake next to the hood).
This Vauxhall Cresta is just as chrome-laden as its American cousins.
It's not just British classics in the parking lot, as this fine Fiat Dino coupe attests.
This gloriously green Mercedes-Benz 280SE was another parking field find.
The Gordon GT (later Gordon-Keeble) was a Giugiaro-designed, British-built, Chevy-powered coupe. Only 100 were built.
Picnic in the parking field? Why not?
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