Goodwood Festival of Speed is like no other and the 2015 edition was no let down. A festival of all things motoring in the picturesque Goodwood estate – the event celebrates all generations and genres of motorsport from four wheel drive hoonigan drifting badness to the cream of F1.
In a spur of the moment trip to see the outlaws I ended up trudging around a field between Bedford and Rushden in Northampton like a Meerkat surrounding by a mix of ex service vehicles and classic machines. Rushden Calvacade is a celebration of all things vintage machinery from steam engines and tractors to ex-army land rovers and classic british cars.
When you get an invite to go to Goodwood, for me no matter what the event the iconic venue trumps anything already in the diary, especially when it’s The Goodwood 73rd Members Meeting and historic motor racing. I don’t know what it is about the place that makes it feel so special to me, maybe it’s the attention to detail and the preservation of the period look and feel that is everywhere around the place…anyway it’s my favourite motorsport venue in the UK by far.
The Classic Car Show 2014 was one of those events that has always been marked in the diary but I’ve never got up to see. Held at the NEC in Birmingham and with Wheeler Dealers – Mike Brewer and Ed China being ambassadors – recent years has seen the Classic Car show ramp up it’s publicity and marketing efforts.
Growing up in Britain I’m ashamed I don’t have as much of an affinity to British cars as I should. The association of bearded men in anoraks, meeting for tea and digestives on a miserable day in the midlands somewhere wasn’t something a young guy growing up in England could relate to, and quite frankly the whole classic scene was lacking “the cool”. Drinking tea, having a beard and owning an anorak are considered cool now, right? So owning a classic or more aptly put “vintage” car couldn’t be any cooler?
Josh Clasen and Hypebeast have knocked out some seriously good automotive films that capture the passion and unwavering love us car guys have for our four wheeled money pots. Roger Gisseman is certainly one of those, his collection of past British classics make me want to immediately get on eBay and track down an MG B GT or classic Austin. Like most car guys, his following of British cars comes from is youth when MGs and Austin’s in the U.S were considered kids cars, the Subaru’s and Honda’s of today, to own an affordable unique car in the states meant you bought a British car.
When you look at the British motor industry and the cars of the bygone era it’s sad to see the demise of some of the most iconic marques, despite this though I think we’re going to see a resurgence of “hipster” owners, a young gentrification of classic British motors, and why not, they make an badass noise, they’re still affordable and are part of our heritage after all. Jump on the bandwagon before you miss it.
Anyway, find a quiet corner, stick your ear phones in, turn it up loud and enjoy.
Wilton Classic and Supercars
Wilton Classic and Supercars is an event that is set in the back garden of one of the UK’s old world stately homes, when I say old world I mean, old money, when extreme extravagance and opulence were your defining factor in social society. Quite fitting really for the cars on display at Wilton Classic and Supercars.Where better to start than Ferrari, the OG of extravagance and beauty. Ferrari’s are always the star of the show at any event and especially classic Ferrari’s. The line up at Wilton Classic and Supercars was vast from 250 GTO’s to F40’s and 250 California’s to Daytona’s and definitely did not disappoint
Where ever it goes the 250 GTO is a show stopper and there has been a lot of hype around these cars recently, one went on the block at Monterey Car Week fetching an eye watering bid of $38million.
Some what of an unsung hero among the other Ferrari’s and cast to one side on the lawns away from the main humdrum of onlookers. The Ferrari Daytona is the king of GT cruisers and basking the sunhine in between showers allowed me to shoot it uninterrupted and really appreciate the stunning shape and engineering of this late 70’s beast.
From the 250 GTO to the Ferrari F40, Wilton Classic and Supercars delivered the Ferrari goodness. I love these things, the boxy late 80’s wedge design, an ass as wide as Kim Kardashian’s and those scuplted air flow ducts…everything about this car is kick you in the nuts cool.
I was totally drawn in by this Amilcar, a French maker from the 1920’s. This is an example of nuts and bolts functional engineering presented beautifully. A spotless example really captured the open wheel period, I just wanted to jump on in, grab my goggles and leather cap and go for a blast.
I’ve never seen the BMW 507 in the flesh, it’s so far removed from modern BMW’s or even the Neue Klasse, that you could be forgiven for thinking it’s of Italian decent.
I think patina and battle scars give a car it’s character, it’s soul and tells a story, which I why I was all over this Porsche 911 2.7 RS. It was obvious that it had seen a few adventures but when I was snapping away a well to do couple walked up to the car and simply said “the interior isn’t much better than the outside, that’s a state” – technically yes Mr and Mrs well to do you were right but the point was well and truly missed…
This was a car I’m sure of many tales and that is the point, it was occupying the lawn to conceive intrigue to anyone that took an interest, where had this car been, who had driven it, what had it seen…all of these things I would love to know. Looking past the beaten up exterior and simply appreciating this 911 RS for what it is, an out and out automotive legend.
BBS Turbo fans and tonnes of aero give the old Le Man slayer such an aggressive look. Feared by other racers on the track and by those who graced it’s steering wheel for being an unforgiving brute, it still has an air of beauty to it despite its reputation. Despite the format having already been done on paper, Wilton Classic and Supercars just feels different. A Spectacular setting and spectacular cars.
Jaguar Lightweight E-Type – The missing six
Jaguar Special Operations have just announced the development of remaining “missing six” Jaguar Lightweight E-Type’s that started to be developed in 1963. Specifically designed for racing, only 12 of the all aluminium bodied Lightweight E-Type were ever made out of the original target of 18. The remaining six designated chassis numbers were lain dormant, until now. The six new cars will carry those original, historic Jaguar Lightweight E-Type chassis numbers.
The Jaguar Lightweight E-Type will be handcrafted at the original home of the E-Type, Jaguar’s Browns Lane plant in Coventry, England.
In recreating the Lightweight, Jaguar has drawn on its unique engineering and design resources, including the company’s world-leading aluminum body technology. The specification includes an aluminum bodyshell with doors, boot lid, hardtop and bonnet also in aluminum, and is assembled to the same standards as those of the original Lightweight E-Types.
A prototype Lightweight, dubbed “Car Zero,” has been completed and, on August 14, will be revealed at the opening reception to the Pebble Beach Automotive weekend – the world’s most prestigious classic car event.
In my previous post I shared some of the out and out race cars that descended on the Silverstone Classic Internatinal paddock. I took so many pictures I thought it only right to share some more – this time from the National Paddock and various display cars on the club stands.
BMW sponsored the Silverstone Classic this year having a large presence including a stonking great big Ferris wheel, although that was cool in it’s own right what lay in the shadows was way cooler – the cream of crop from the BMW Car Club. The E9 CSL is a car I just can’t help drooling over, the lines are so clean yet the front end is one of the aggressive BMW have ever put on a car. This stunning example was the bell of the ball for me out of the heavy weight line up of classic Bavarian metal.
I got chatting with the owner, John – a really nice friendly retired engineer in the British military. Among the tales of how the E9 CSL came about in the early 70’s, he told me that he wasn’t to be seen to be picking up a spanner at work in order to maintain rank with his engineers. To sooth his engineering itch he restored this beautiful E9 back to it’s full glory in the evenings and at weekends, keeping it from his colleagues. You can never keep a car guy and an engineer away from his tools for too long. Hopefully more on this car in the near future…
Another mint CSL E9 finished in Baikal Blue Metallic basked in the glorious sunshine. The body work was so straight and true on this example it looked like it could have rolled off the assembly line that day. It’s clear that the BMW car club guys put some serious work into their cars.
There was a pretty wild BMW 2002 Tii wearing some big over fenders and smoothed to within an inch of it’s life, despite me not getting any pics of the actual car this thing had a pretty special party piece though, an Alpina E10. An engine which to the un trained eye just looks like another engine but to anyone that knows would stop you in your tracks and prompt a “what the f…. that’s rare and cool”…which is exactly what I did.
The E9 isn’t to everyones taste in Golf Yellow but it looked the buts against the bright blue sky over Silverstone.
This early 7 series had a deep south America style vibe to it which I really dig’d. I could picture this cruising the streets of Nola with it’s white wall tyres, chrome arches and vinyl details.
I’m a sucker for a clean E21, they have become a popular platform for modifying with some sweet examples doing the rounds on the scene, it’s rare to see one in such original form.
Away from the BMW Car Club stand and into the National Paddock – Off to the side in a little corner was this oh so clean and painfully beautiful Alfa Romeo GTV. The Bertone designer Giorgetto Giugiaro penned such a stunning and timeless design with this series of sports coupe, bello.
The Alfa 1750 GTV was introduced in 1968. Designed to be the most sporting in the Alfa range, the Gran Turismo Veloce – Veloce meaning Fast in Italian, did not disappoint. A peppy 4 cylinder light weight alloy block engine produced over 120 horsepower. Coupled with improved braking and suspension compared to earlier ‘fast’ Alfa models meant the Gran Turismo Veloce formed a great tuning base for motorsport.
Competing at the famous Targa Florio in 1923, Alfa Romeo driver Ugo Sivocci added a four-leafed clover symbol, known as Quadrifoglio Verde in Italian, for luck on the deep red bodywork of his Alfa Romeo RL. Ever since, the Cloverleaf has symbolised the sporting heart of Alfa Romeo, recognised and celebrated by Alfisti throughout the world.
The sculpted design of the dash and instrument clusters that channels the drivers eye are still used to this day in a lot of modern Alfa’s. I particularly liked the after market fan, and to me sums up the discerning Alfa driver – sacrificing functionality over style and performance.
Despite the connotations around Alfa Romeo..the oil leaks and relaiability issues, it’s said you’re not a true car guy until you’ve owned an Alfa. This is definitely on the bucket list and hopefully another car that will grace these very pages in the near future.
These two Ford Escort MK1’s couldn’t be any different if they tried, apart from the lairy canary yellow paint work of course. It was a stunning before and after example of how much work and design goes into building a race car.
As previously mentioned the Silverstone Classic allowed you to get up close and personal with the cars and after sweet talking a Marshall the racing and pitstops too…it was very nostalgic looking on from the pit garage as this Porsche 356 screeched to a stop before it’s driver jumped out, did a lap of the car before jumping back in and peeling out again. I think I even turned round and gave my girlfriend a hi-five…super cool.
The Silverstone Classic is an event that any car guy,old or young, big or small must visit. It’s on par with the Goodwood Festival of Speed allowing you to get your mechanical fix whilst watching some of the very best frantic Motorsport from the packed frantic grids.
Silverstone Classic 2014 – Historic Motorsport Icons
When you think of a British Motorsport venue your thoughts jumps straight to Silverstone in leafy Buckinghamshire – so there’s nowhere better in my opinion to hold a Classic and Vintage Motorsport event. The Silverstone Classic 2014 was a last minute deal for me, I’d heard about the event but never attended and after seeing all the Classic LeMans coverage, I was itching to get my yearly dose of Classic Motorsport.
It all came about one evening surfing the internet when suddenly the memory of a conversation with a colleague about the show popped into my head, a quick investigation later and two tickets were winging their way to me in the post. The lucky recipient of the second ticket…my very patient girlfriend, boy was she in for a treat.
With the promise of historic F1, classic LeMans and early naughties ‘money no object’ British Touring Cars – the alarm was set for 5:45am…the early bird always catches the worm and man what a worm.
The first stop on arrival (after coffee) was the International Paddock, the early start was made better (for me anyway) by what greeted us. Empty pit garages with unprecedented access to some of the most iconic race cars in the business, WIN. It had the feel of a museum before opening, to the point that my girlfriend kept asking “if we were meant to be there”, it all seemed too good to be true. The sheer openness to roam around the garages whilst last minute prep was being done by race mechanics was simply amazing. I was like a giddy fat kid in a sweet shop.
It’s not often you can get this up close to some Motorsport greats, often we as spectators are kept at arms length to the cars and drivers but not at the Silverstone Classic. Drivers, mechanics, marshalls all mixed with visitors in pure petrol head harmony…I likened the atmosphere to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Whilst FoS is a special event in itself you’re still not able to get too close to the cars or drivers.
1000 cars competed over the weekend in over 20 frantic races, the grids were huge and provided for some non-stop trading of paint throughout the weekend. I couldn’t keep up with the wealth of cars on show and on the track but I’m not going to lie, whilst the racing was fantastic and thrilling to watch, I was more concerned about getting up close to the machines.
Because the Silverstone Classic 2014 was such a late call I didn’t have many expectations. I was literally left brain numb (in a good way) from the whole experience – the atmosphere was great, everyone I came across in the car clubs were so passionate about their cars and wow the cars…
The images here are a small sample of what was on show in and around the International Paddock set in the stunning new start finish straight pit building. I have lots more coverage from the Silverstone Classic planned, including some of the cars from the National Paddock, some of the many club cars on show as well as a selection of the best Porsche’s at the show. Stay tuned…
The sound of screaming engines, tyre smoke, hi-octane fuel and fighter jets replaced the tranquil sound of chirping birds at the Goodwood House this last weekend in West Sussex, England. The Goodwood Festival of Speed is the event for any petrol head since it’s creation in 1993 and for 4 days is home to some of the most historic race cars of all time.
No where on the planet can you watch vintage Cafe Racer Norton race bikes, F1 cars at full chat from every era, mad drift cars going sideways up the hill and NASCAR’s burning tyres as if they grow on the trees (that’s just a very small sample) and all in a stunning setting…there is simply nothing like it in the world.
It was always going to be a mixed show for me as I was working all weekend (doing the day job) so couldn’t explore it like a visitor, but every opportunity I got I took the chance to take in the atmosphere, wander around the paddocks and hill climb and get up close and personal to some of the most famous and amazing machines and people on show.
The Audi 90 Quattro IMSA GTO was one of the stars of the show for me making a triumphant return to the hill in serious style, 720bhp from a turbo charged 5 cylinder…epic
BBS Turbo fans work so well…
Goodwood Festival of Speed is unique in the respect that it is the only motorsport event outside of the Forumula 1 calendar that attracts the majority of current F1 teams…although there was a lot on show the bygone era cars were simply amazing. Ayrton Senna’s John Player Special F1 Turbo era car attracted a lot of attention and carries so much history and pedigree.
Another epic Ayrton racer was his championship Honda powered Mclaren…where else do you see a line up like this?
Mercedes were celebrating 120 years of motor racing at Goodwood FoS, aside from the stunning sculpture arching over the house, also on show were a fleet of Silver Arrows, including this beauty. A huge highlight for me was watching Sterling Moss drive past me on a golf buggy wearing his light blue racing suit and leather loafers on his way to piloting a silver arrow up the Goodwood hillclimb. Again where else!
The collection of Surtees cars was again something to behold and beautifully presented…
More from the paddock…
Aside from all of the Motorsport metal on show in the paddocks there were some seriously cool and well built rat rods that made it into the festival with their own beach. The Model A big block rat rods got a lot of attention and didn’t look out of place at all among the historic racers.
There’s nothing like a priceless Shelby Mustang race car.
Despite all of the cars shredding up the track there were some seriously cool motorbikes on show and man did they sound incredible…they gave the turbo era F1 cars a run for their money!
The Porsche car club had a seriously clean Porsche 356 on show, the history if the car read that it was swapped in 1980 for a VW Golf…I bet the previous owner is kicking himself.
The 356 is the Grandfather of the Porsche 911 and is Ferdinand Porsche’s first creation. The 356 is simply stunning and this is an exceptional example.
Finally the Players crew were out in force and had some of the UK’s premier modified metal on show…it’s quite an honour for them to be invited to Goodwood FoS and is a testament to the quality and craftmanship that goes into their builds. The Playdat Datsun 610 pickup dropped on airride air bags with a custom fabricated frame held it’s own on the Goodwood estate.
A Volvo brick on air? Rollhard’s brickie baffled the motorsport crowd and got some serious attention
Last but by no means least is Milestone71‘s Porsche 964 finished in a stunning pink and dropped on over sized Fuch’s built by Rotiform. The rear form of the 964 just gets me everytime, the shape that fades away progressively into the rear bumper flowing around over the rear wheels give the car such stance when it’s lowered on the deck.