The phrase ‘only at Goodwood’ has become something of a cliché, but even before entering the confines of the historic circuit, it’s easy to see why. Revival-fever was rife as soon as you got to the car parks, with the pre-66 area a spectacle in itself – a beyond-patinated Porsche 356 and the famous Bentley R-Type 6½-Litre Petersen Special our personal favourites.
Gateway to a timewarp
But it was the ticket gate that acted as an entry point to the timewarp. Revival staples such as the old Tesco store (unfortunately void of era-correct pricing) and Earls Court Motor Show were present as always – the latter including ‘debuts’ for the Maserati Medici II and Aston Martin DBS from The Persuaders!. March Motor Works was largely taken over by BMW Classic, with scenes replicating a 1950s BMW showroom, a mid-60s BMC Mini rally workshop and the Hooper coachworks circa mid-1950s, where current Rolls-Royce craftsmen used a Silver Wraith to explain the intricacies of the bespoke bodywork of the collaborative era. Elsewhere, a faithful recreation of the Monza pits was built to house the 16 Maserati 250Fs brought in to celebrate their 60th anniversary, with no fewer than 30 Jaguar D-types assembled for the very same reason nearby.
One could quite easily spend the whole weekend fully absorbing the static sights – but with dream grids lining up on the circuit all weekend, not embracing the Revival’s core attraction would be criminal. The seminal 60-year-olds were out in force – the Lavant Cup boasting 23 D-types/XKSSs and the Richmond Trophy largely made up of Maserati 250Fs, with both displays thought to be the largest gathering of each model ever. Other highlight races included the crowd-favourite RAC TT celebration, one of many to see ‘Old Guard’ heroes pitted against the next generation of handy historic racers – all of whom received a blessing from the ‘Stonehenge Druids’ as they left the Drivers’ Club on their way to the paddocks.
Return of the Revival charm
Despite the terrific racing line-up and continual year-on-year self-upmanship, it’s those little moments that make attending the Revival so addictive... such as the conversation with an 85-year-old visitor overwhelmed by the memories flooding back. Or the vision of a wartime nurse embracing her RAF Commander beau in a petrol station on your drive home. Replace the latter’s backdrop, imagine him climbing down from one of the two remaining airworthy Lancasters that flew their final tandem flight just hours before, and you have a memory that will stay with you – until next year, at least.
Photos: Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver © 2014