Revival-wear: Mechanics, nurses, and a surprise for 2014…
Being at Goodwood is akin to landing on a highly elaborate film set, as spectators and competitors alike wear period costume dating from the 1940s, '50s or '60s
You'll find sharp-suited '40s spivs alongside Brylcreemed '60s rockers; tweed-clad gentlemen chatting to cinch-waisted '50s pin-up girls; handlebar-moustached RAF pilots eyeing up Hollywood starlets. The drivers look the part, too, sporting immaculate white overalls decorated with period logos - and with shirts and ties underneath (though they slip quietly into FIA-approved race gear before heading out on track). Motorcycle racers, meanwhile, generally eschew modern, brightly coloured leathers in favour of yesterday's more muted outfits. And the reason it all works so well is that almost everyone plays the game. So if you've yet to decide on your Goodwood gear, here are a few suggestions:
1950s race technician
Adopt the classic Wilkie Wilkinson look in a pair of pristine white overalls with a suitable period patch over the breast pocket (a BRM logo always does the trick). You should also have at least one Whitworth spanner and an electrical tester about your person. Dangle an oily rag from a rear pocket - sewn on to prevent loss - and be sure to wear a shirt, tie and possibly a tank top underneath. Top and tail with a tweed cap and safety boots with visible steel toe caps.
If you can secure an authentic blue serge uniform, this can be a winning look which women still find swoon-worthy. Sharp tailoring is essential to achieve the full effect of off-duty debonair charm combined with the appearance of being thoroughly 'ready for action' should bandits appear at four o'clock - or a pretty girl at any time. Even more vital is the presence of a correctly trained moustache. If you haven't already grown one, it's now too late.
Although the Goodwood circuit didn't open until 1948, there were still plenty of post-War spivs about. Emulate their oily appearance with a pencil moustache, Brylcreemed hair and an ill-fitting, preferably double-breasted suit in a taupe colour. Co-respondent shoes are also appropriate, and be sure to carry plenty of contraband about your person in order to make a quick buck. Add a well-sucked roll-up cigarette, a pork pie hat and moth-eaten camel coat in cold weather.
No heterosexual man fails to go weak at the knees at the thought of a delicious little caped crusader coming to his rescue as he staggers heroically from the crumpled cockpit of his crashed Maserati 250F - or even when he's just collapsed on the grass outside the beer tent. Don't worry about period correctness, girls. Anything blue or white with a red cross on it will do. Add a wool cape, black seamed stockings and a fob watch above the left breast and pulses will go haywire.
Think carefully about this one - if you look too authentic, people might avoid you. The essential requirements are a crossover leather jacket, studded and heavy with badges (Aviakit or Lewis Leathers ideally, but a cheaper replica will do); heavy-duty, straight-cut (but wide-legged) denim jeans bearing a sheen of 20/50 oil; high-top buckle boots with cream-coloured seaboot socks; roll-neck sweater. Set hair with chain grease and maintain a fierce expression - and don't forget to carry an open-faced crash helmet and goggles at all times. Otherwise you'll just look silly.....
The, er... druid?
This is a special option, appropriate for the 2014 Revival only, as Lord March has arranged for the construction of a larger-than-life-sized replica of Stonehenge to be built at the entrance to the Rolex Drivers' Club. What constitutes an actual druid 'uniform' is unclear, but a white gown/cassock arrangement with a loosely tied braided belt and, perhaps, a dark, hooded cape should prove effective. Sandals and a thumb stick seem appropriate, too. Just avoid straying towards the pilgrim look or, more dangerously, that of a prehistoric human sacrifice.