Mario, brother Regie the 4cv Renault, Kato the Subaru 360 and humans ‘work’ the Goodwood Revival as part of the Goodwood Revival Transport Corps, otherwise known as the GRTC. This band of merry volunteers turn up every year with their pre 66 vehicles and help to keep the event running smoothly and the public entertained.
The group includes stationery display vehicles, mods & rockers and the police, who do the track opening, the jeeps, who operate from the gate and get equipment for the race teams from the competitors parking to the circuit and the period taxi fleet of which we are a part. The taxi rank is home to an assortment of cars, original London taxi’s, vehicles from the Vauxhall Historic Collection, AC’s, Humber Super Snipe, Triumphs and so forth. Most of the drivers have been doing it for a number of years and so it has the atmosphere of a ‘school reunion’ with everyone catching up on what’s happened since last year.
Being a Revival taxi driver is not for the faint hearted, long days, having your picture taken a ‘million’ times, telling the cars story and driving around/between the circuit, house, hotel and the Kennels, this year we completed over 200kms each!
We also have to keep ‘working’ no matter what the conditions and this year on Friday evening and Sunday after about 3.30pm the weather was disgusting! It’s not easy driving the old cars in these conditions, certainly on Mario the lights and wipers aren’t good and he gets all steamed up especially when filled with soggy passengers! We’d used RainEx on the outside which does help but in the future an application of Anti-Fog would be worth doing. We do have an advantage though when the weather is inclement as at least we have somewhere dry to sit. The roads especially at the entrances to the car parks were very muddy and slippery and visitors just ‘wanting to get home’ became a bit of a hazard. A lot of the visitors are very considerate to the ‘working’ vehicles but some are very unhelpful and don’t let us into queuing traffic etc, if only they realised that we might be trying to get a driver to a race on time!
The best thing about being in the GRTC is all the interesting people you get to meet from celebrities, drivers, ViP guests, staff and members, they are all enjoying themselves and so are keen to chat about they and we have been doing. They are often surprised that the cars are our own and that we are volunteers but we always point out that Goodwood look after us well.
As always we had our share of ‘celebs’, our regular passenger Adrian Newey, F1 designer for Red Bull managed to get a lift in each of the three ‘little’ cars, as always he was most charming and for once wasn’t our last passenger of the day!
Ex Works Mini Rally driver Rauno Altonen had a ride in Mario and the Renault. Rauno who had driven a Mini in the St Mary’s and a Jaguar E-Type in the RAC TT Celebration wasn’t interested in talking about what he’d been doing, he just wanted to talk about our cars! When James dropped him back at the hotel he spent an enjoyable time discussing the engine and the modifications and maintenance that James had done. We also both took Stuart Graham who raced bikes (winning the TT in the 60’s) and Saloon cars in the 70’s, he also didn’t talk about his experiences in a Galaxie in the St Mary’s and a Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray in the TT but was fascinated about the cars. All the drivers celebrity and gentlemen alike are absolutely charming and very appreciative of the service we provide for them.
James picked up Sir Stirling and Susie Moss, he has rallied with them in the past so always likes the opportunity for a natter and David Richards, ex driver, runner of Pro-drive and now owner of Aston Martin. Cheeky driver Rae Davis even managed to ‘sweet talk’ us into running him into Chichester on Sunday evening when he couldn’t get a ‘real’ taxi!
All in all we had another brilliant weekend, the ‘little’ cars performed really well and hopefully did their bit to support the event and they certainly brought a smile to the face of many Revival goers. Fingers crossed we get an invite back for next year.