You Are There: Goodwood Revival 2016
by Simon Cudd
Around the beginning of September every year something stirs me up inside – and I know what it is: it’s the promise of amazement at the Goodwood Revival.
All that nostalgia; the smells, the sights . . . the promise of greatness!
The Goodwood Revival, a three-day festival of noise, grease, and engines, celebrates the motorsport and aviation worlds from the 1940s through to the end of the 1960s and is steeped in historic references of a bygone era of land, sea, aircraft, and motorcars.
The year 2016 saw the nineteenth edition of the Revival taking place; the first took place back in 1998. I have been very lucky to have had the pleasure of attending more than half of these.
The original Goodwood circuit opened in 1948 to honor Britain’s first post-war motor race meeting. It’s therefore traditional to dress in the period of the circuit’s first phase (1948 through 1966), whether you’re a biker, rocker, soldier, race car driver, or pilot. Some people manage to pull off a spectacular display, while others simply blend in.
Rolex again this year was the official timekeeper, so as expected I caught many obvious glimpses of Day-Dates, Submariners, and Daytonas fairly frequently.
However, two gentlemen really stood out for me as they had come all the way over from the U.S. to experience the Goodwood Revival for the first time and had really embraced the whole vibe.
One wore a stunning 1970 blue-dialed gold Day-Date, which he had taken further by matching his brown crocodile skin strap perfectly to the blue stitch.
The other, who was from Michigan, sported his 1970s “Steve McQueen” Explorer. We shared stories and mutual appreciation of our wristwear as well as their tailored three-piece tweed suits, which they had lovingly acquired in the United Kingdom.
One of the overriding themes of this year’s Goodwood Revival was the England vs. West Germany World Cup match of 1966 in celebration of the overall “Life in ’66” theme, which England obviously won [and which was one of the most controversial matches ever to be played in soccer–ED]. This manifested at the Revival with football supports and an appreciation of British and German cars dotted strategically about the entrance.
What to see
There is always a strong biker contingent at the Goodwood Revival, with Hornets – a recreated American biker gang from the 1940s – celebrating Harleys and Indians, while Mods dart about on Lambretta and Vespa scooters.
The Goodwood Revival, which takes place at Lord March’s estate just outside Chichester, West Sussex, has become a very famous event, and in my opinion it is possibly the best in the world of its kind.
The cars on show have come from all over the world via famous collectors, racing drivers, and enthusiasts, who race these sometimes priceless cars as they would have done in their heyday despite their worth.
If you watch the highlights from day 2 of the Goodwood Revival, in which the heavens opened all day in typical British manner, you’ll see that these fearless drivers raced wheel to wheel in treacherous conditions despite greasy and waterlogged tarmac, which would certainly raise one’s blood pressure.
Day 3, Sunday, famously included celebrity race car drivers from the worlds of British Touring Car (BTCC), Rally, Le Mans, and Formula 1 racing in collectors’ cars as they attempted to win the various races.
The main focus of the whole event ran under the theme of “Life in ‘66” – the year that Goodwood Motor Circuit closed its doors to racing the first time.
Rolex testimonial and three-time Formula One world champion Sir Jackie Stewart was also in attendance at this year’s Revival to commemorate both his contemporary, Sir Jack Brabham – who celebrated his third F1 world championship in 1966 – and Formula 1’s 1966 “Return to Power.”
“Goodwood Revival is very special. I have been attending for many years with Rolex – the brand always partners the best events, whatever it may be, and they always do it in such style,” Stewart explained what sets the Revival apart. “Goodwood, just like Rolex, has a unique and fantastic product – the best collection of cars in the world with some brilliant racing. This makes for the perfect and most natural partnership.”
The images below go a long way toward highlighting this visual spectacle, providing a feel for this very atmospheric and amazing display of motoring excellence.
You might also like The Goodwood Festival Of Speed 2015: A Celebration Of Cars, Watches, And Beauty.
For more information, see www.goodwood.com/flagship-events/goodwood-revival.