We’ll never forget these 5 magical Goodwood Revival moments

What’s there to say about the Goodwood Revival that hasn’t been said before? Simply put, it’s the best show on earth. And if you don’t believe us, perhaps these unforgettable moments from the event will bring you round…

The Goodwood Revival is so much more than just motor racing. It’s the Tazio Nuvolari lookalike smoking a cigar he bought from a vintage pram; the dull drone of the Spitfire and P51 Mustang circling overhead on their ‘Dawn Patrol’; the rockabillies swinging down ‘Gasoline Alley’; and the heady smell of Castrol that laces the fresh late summer air. 

Though it’s grown exponentially, the event retains its core essence – its magic, if you will – and never fails to pluck you from reality and into a fantasy world filled with intricate details, authentic ‘sets’, and in-character actors – if only for a day or two. 

With the 20th edition kicking off today, hopefully beneath clear blue skies, we’re getting in the spirit of things and looking back at some of our personal favourite Revival moments – no mean feat, let us tell you. Your period outfit’s been months in the planning, the fever’s pitched, and it’s time to round out the reason in style! 

“Ferrari’s ass is mine!” 

Only someone with as much power of persuasion as the Duke of Richmond could pull this one off. Back in 2015, 50 years after Carroll Shelby knocked Ferrari off its perch and won the World Sports Car Championship, all six Cobra Daytona ‘Coops’ were assembled for the first – and probably only – time in history. In a typically ‘Goodwood’ moment, ol Shel’s grandson Aaron was first in line for an autograph from the car’s designer Pete Brock and period team drivers Jack Sears and Allen Grant. We had to page the real world when Aaron, dressed and acting as his grandfather, closed a speech with “Ferrari’s ass is mine”.  

In the heat of the night 

A new addition to the entry list for 2016 was the Kinrara Trophy, a one-hour, two-driver race for pre-1962 closed-cockpit GT cars, held at dusk on Friday evening. And what a spectacular race it turned out to be. With headlights ablaze, the braying pack of Ferrari 250 GT ‘Short Wheelbases’, Jaguar E-types, and Aston Martin DB4s fought tooth and nail throughout, the ultimate victory going to Classic Driver dealer Joe Macari and nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen. The latter’s late charge to snatch the winner’s cigar was a sheer privilege to watch.

Pearls of racing wisdom 

Racing drivers never lose their steely determination, daring skill, and competitive flair – or do they? One of our favourite moments at last year’s Revival was spent sat down with three certified racing legends: Alain de Cadenet, Derek Bell, and Jochen Mass. Aside from the banter and tales too risqué to tell here, they spoke of how they have nothing to prove when they climb back behind the wheel today. Oh, and how the Ferraro 250 GTO is the best car to drive around Goodwood. “I’ve driven three here at Goodwood,” recalled Bell. “And while you’re never going to feature much, it’s just the most beautiful car to drive, in the wet or the dry.” 

Magical Monza 

With a heady dose of hydrocarbons in the air and the glorious sunshine beating down, you really could have confused the Goodwood Revival paddock in 2014 for Monza in 1954. Built to house a stunning display of Maserati 250Fs in the beautiful monoposto’s 60thyear, the magical set was the brainchild of Peter Russell and was an entire year in the making. “It’s really just a backdrop,” Russell told us modestly. “The cars are the stars so this puts them in some theatrical context, as opposed to just an anonymous garage.” If only we could have sat on top beneath the parasols, sipping a Chianti and watching the Revival unfold… 

Riding shotgun with the Scots 

Last year, we had the unrepeatable opportunity to ride shotgun in the sole surviving Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar XK120 in a cavalcade of the legendary Scottish privateer team’s cars. With a quintet of D-types ahead and a selection of C-types behind, all resplendent in Flag Metallic Blue, the experience was a sensory overload. As ‘pinch me’ moments go, roaming the grid full of Ecosse cars, brushing shoulders with the likes of Jacky Stewart and Dario Franchitti as the bagpipes sounded, was one we don’t expect to be bettered any time soon. 

Photos: Peter Aylward / Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver © 2018 

Classic Driver will be reporting live from the 2018 Goodwood Revival all weekend. You can keep up with all the action, both on the track and off it, by following our Instagram account