Goodwood Revival 2013: Days of thunder

Some say the Goodwood Revival resembles a living film-set with tens of thousands of participating extras. But although the countless actors and spectators – most in character, donning their best vintage outfits – add to the unique Revival atmosphere, the cars are the real stars of the show…

The lure of Goodwood is always enough to entice some of the world’s rarest and most tantalising vehicles, and 2013’s event was certainly no different.

To celebrate 50 years since Jim Clark’s first Formula One drivers’ title, a collection of the legendary Scot’s racing cars was cavalcaded around the track, driven by some of Clark’s contemporaries, friends and younger admirers.  The delights included his 1963 F1 title-winning Lotus 25, several of his much-loved Lotus Cortinas (including the car in which he won the 1964 British Saloon Car Championship) and the Lotus 38 – the actual car with which Clark won the 1965 Indy 500. Rather fittingly, fellow Indy-winning Scot Dario Franchitti was given the chance to drive the distinctive car. Needless to say, there were ear-to-ear smiles all round. 

A world-class line-up of grids

Elsewhere in the world-class line-up of grids, several cars stood out for us. A beautiful Cisitalia 202 SMM (thought to be the first at a Revival meeting) contested the fiercely competitive Madgwick Cup among other sub-2-litre sportscars, albeit at a more leisurely pace. In the Glover Trophy for early Sixties 1.5-litre F1 cars, the screaming V12 of the unique Ferrari 1512 was music to our ears (and several thousand others). Then driven by John Surtees – now driven by US ace Joe Colasacco, the 1965 1512 is a real gem in the Scuderia’s illustrious history. 

More Modenese beauties

There were, as ever, many other delightful Ferraris present, including hallowed 250 GTOs in the RAC TT Celebration, joined this year by their overshadowed replacement, the 250LM, which is itself celebrating its half-century. Another real Modenese beauty was a rare 860 Monza (an ex-Fangio car, no less), driven in the Sussex Trophy by RM auctioneer, Max Girardo. 

The St. Mary’s Trophy is always a firm Classic Driver favourite (where else can you see dinky Minis tussle with huge Ford Galaxies?) and 2013’s star-studded grid hosted some wonderful cars. Our pick was either a delectable Alfa Romeo 1600 GTA, in which Frank Stippler drove heroically from 14th to 2nd in a hard-fought charge in Saturday afternoon’s race, or Jackie Oliver’s gorgeous BMW 1800 TiSA. 

50 years since the origin of the GT40 programme

And how could we forget the abundance of Ford GT40s (27 of them, in fact) assembled to celebrate 50 years since the origin of the GT40 programme. The Whitsun Trophy played host to a diverse range of GT40 models, resplendent in a multitude of body/stripe colour combinations. Our favourite was the petite and pretty 1965 Roadster, though we may be slightly biased as Classic Driver had the fortunate opportunity to drive this ultra-rare car back in 2011. 

From pre-War voiturettes to big-brute Sixties GT cars

The diverse spread of cars at the Revival is truly astonishing. From pre-War voiturettes to big-brute Sixties GTs – there are few places that offer such a varying display of classic vehicles, all being put through their paces out on the unforgiving Goodwood race track. If you’ve an inkling of automotive interest, and have not been before, we urge you to head along to next year’s Revival. 

Photos: Steve Hall for Classic Driver © 2013