Goodwood Revival: The Lord and his BMW R51

It’s more than obvious that cars have played a significant part in the March family history. Few, though, are aware of the Revival hosts’ rather special relationship with the motorcycle…

Each year, a small section of the Revival infield is transformed into ‘March Motorworks’ – a retro Rolls-Royce and BMW dealership. In addition, ‘March Motorworks’ also displays historic Bavarian motorcycles.

Turning the clock back to 1936

Like most things at the Revival, the dealership is constructed with an almost obsessive attention to detail. The building harks back to a BMW garage from which Freddie March (the grandfather of Lord March) bought a blue R51 motorcycle. He liked the bike so much after test-riding it that he decided to ride it home straight from the showroom, sending his chauffeur back later to complete the sale. It is this exact motorcycle that was on display in the window of the Revival’s BMW dealership over the Goodwood weekend.

In addition to his Lordship’s R51, there were many other classic Bavarian vehicles to marvel at. Celebrating 90 years of BMW motorcycles, the factory brought along some rare two-wheeled classics from its own collection. These included the first R5 and 'Schorsch' Meier’s 1939 Tourist Trophy-winning bike, the first non-British machine to win the prestigious senior TT race.

Bavaria's best in the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy

The celebrations were crowned in the thoroughly exciting Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy, with impressive performances from two BMW Kaczor R50s, a RS500 Zeller and a RS54.