A fun filled weekend at 73MM

This weekend was the 73rd Goodwood Members meeting, the second in the modern day format, a continuation of the 71 club meetings run in the 50’s and 60’s for BARC members and it was another triumph for the Goodwood team. Poor Mario was left at home as unlike last year we hadn’t been able to secure parking within the circuit and it didn’t seem worth getting him out of hibernation to sit in a field, plus the lights are useless and it would be dark for both journeys home.

Yet again the Goodwood magic worked and for a March weekend the weather stayed dry and fairly bright although the wind was perishing on Saturday, forward planning and lots of layers meant we managed to stay reasonably comfortable. The circuit looked amazing with an ever increasing number of daffodills surrounding the track.

This year we had the added interest of our friend Adam having an entry in the Bruce McLaren Trophy in his 1964 Huffier-Chevrolet Genie Mk10. This class for the real beasts of motorsport were the fastest on the track with the front runners breaking the lap record. The big benefit of being part of his ‘team’ was that we had access to the pit wall.IMG_5874Saturday was mainly practice/qualifying interspersed with some high speed demos and the first three races. It was great to see the high airbox Formula One cars from the early 70’s on the track.DSC09225 DSC09226 DSC09257 DSC09268 There was also a shoot out between  a 1971 Mercedes Benz W109 300 SEL 6.8 AMG, the brand new Mercedes-AMG GT S and the 2013 Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 WD4. There was a handicapped start with the idea that they would all cross the finishing line together but it all went a bit wrong. However it was great to see the modern F1 car on the track the first time a ‘current’ F1 car has been on the track in a generation – it was amazing how many people had to be involved to get it going though!DSC09289 DSC09291 DSC09295Emanuele Pirro our team captain for Torbolton watching the grid line up for the Gerry Marshall Trophy.DSC09333DSC09324 It wasn’t long before we were in the holding paddock with Adam waiting for his qualifying session. Ex Marussia F1 driver Max Chilton wandered through, he also raced at the Revival last year.DSC09353 Adam’s car is pretty unique and a bit of a beast – a very noisy one! He only got it quite recently and has only driven it a couple of times at slower circuits. The car is also a 1964 in a class open to 1966, development was so quick in that era that the Huffaker is quite slow in relation to a lot of the field. Adam managed to have an uneventful session while several of his competitors pulled out.DSC09355DSC09316 DSC09381 DSC09397 DSC09419While we were waiting for Ad to change, Mario’s mate Jochen Mass came along and posed for a quick pic, he was out qualifying in the Salvador cup in a Mercedes 300SLS Porter special – unfortunately he was involved in a very large smash with a Lister Jaguar. We didn’t see the incident, at the entrance to the pits but luckily both drivers were uninjured, although it was the end of their racing for the weekend and I certainly wouldn’t want the repair bill!FullSizeRender 2 crashThe accident delayed proceedings and being March, the light started to fade quite early, so the last race of the day, the Graham Hill Trophy took place as it was getting dark. I love Goodwood in the dark, the paddocks are very atmospheric and the Gulf McLaren F1’s looked fantastic illuminated with LED’s.DSC09427 DSC09451 DSC09456 DSC09459 The big difference with the Members Meeting is that on the Saturday evening there is a party open to all, held on the edge of the airfield and utilising the ‘Great Hall’ and other hangers it it a colourful noisy burst of fun with rides, wacky entertainers, music, food and bars. This year you entered through an ‘enchanted forest’ of light trees which was quite magical. Although still very cold the wind had dropped a little and there were fire pits to sit round. The evening finished with a most spectacular fireworks display.DSC09467 DSC09470 DSC09476 DSC09478DSC09421IMG_5924DSC09519 DSC09521 DSC09540 DSC09556 DSC09559 DSC09561 DSC09582 DSC09595 DSC09603 Sunday morning dawned with bright skies and less wind, making it much more comfortable for everyone. We watched the Sopwith Cup for 50’s saloons, a great battle between the Jaguar Mk1 of Andy Wallace and the Austin A40.DSC09637 DSC09661 DSC09668 DSC09683Followed by a group C demo and another wander round the paddocks.DSC09696 DSC09703 DSC09713 DSC09734 DSC09737 DSC09743 DSC09746As the High-box F1’s came out for their second demo there was a public grid-walk, a great opportunity to get close to these magnificent 70’s cars that we followed in our childhood. Particularly poignant were the Hesketh’s, one of which was driven by James Hunt’s son Freddie, who looks so much like the F1 Hero.
DSC09759 DSC09761 DSC09763 DSC09765 DSC09767 DSC09775 DSC09785 DSC09788 DSC09793 DSC09810 DSC09818 DSC09851 DSC09860 We spotted Salvage Hunter TV presenter Drew Pritchard who had been driving in his beetle, wonder if Lord March has let him have a rummage around Goodwood House!DSC09868 Next up was the Earl Howe Trophy for pre 1935 Formula Libre cars, we watched from the infield towards Madgwick, an area you can’t view from at the Revival, these beautiful cars looked amazing emerging from behind the daffodils.DSC09871 DSC09875 DSC09917 DSC09924 DSC09927 Then it was back to the paddock to prepare for Adam’s race. We spotted this board at one of the Porsche pits, continuous racing history since the car was new in 1966.DSC09939 DSC09951 DSC09967 While Ad went to the holding paddock, I went down to the Chicane to get a good spot to watch and photograph the race. I saw the end of the Gerry Marshall trophy and the McLaren F1 demo while I was waiting.DSC09979 DSC09991 DSC09994DSC00006The shadows were just starting to lengthen as the Bruce McLaren field came out on track but the sun was still shining, much to Ad’s astonishment as he said it always rains when he goes on track! This group were the fasted cars on track with the leaders reaching speeds of 175mph down the straight. Starting from near the back Adam had a good race, kept out of trouble and brought the car safely home having had a good weekend, there’s not much more one can ask for.DSC00012DSC00018DSC00020DSC00093DSC00097By now the circuit was getting quiet and as the sun started to set many people had left. I had a birthday to celebrate so it was a bottle of champagne and then the prize giving in the Great Hall where we were served Bull Shot (Vodka and Bovril) which was lovely and warming.DSC00184So the end of another great Goodwood weekend, it was a shame Mario wasn’t there and it still seems a little strange being a pedestrian rather than driving but it’s a brilliant start to the season, blew the cobwebs away and next week Mario will be making an appearance at Wheels Day on Good Friday, 2015 motoring is well underway…



Vintage day in the big city…

Yesterday we decided to have a day out in the ‘big city’. Having worked (and commuted) for twenty years I now work from home so it’s quite a shock to the system to go back. After a remarkably easy drive up which only took just over an hour we parked within walking distance of our destination with no problem, I find it amazing that on a Sunday parking is so easy and free! We strolled over to the Southbank where the Classic Car Boot Sale was being held.10685550_713635338719648_2329346387515021717_n-630x225

At the entrance we saw this lovely VW bus and bumped into an old acquaintance who had previously purchased our old Citroen H Van. He had his lovely Renault Estafette on Display, although it is currently in disguise as an Italian! Having been a fire engine in France for nearly thirty years it was purchased by a film production company in 2012 and transformed into a Ferrari Team Vehicle for the movie Rush. Now ‘probably the most famous Estafette in the world’ it has had it’s interior converted into a camper while retaining it’s film role livery.DSC09122 DSC09123 DSC09125

The Classic Car Boot Sale is put on by Wayne Hemingway’s ‘Vintage’ team who put on ‘Vintage at Goodwood’ several years ago. I was a little disappointed in the number of cars although there was possibly more than you realised as they were tucked away and often covered in goods for sale. A lot of the merchandise was in gazebos rather than with the cars but it was interesting to poke around for a couple of hours.

Unfortunately we didn’t find any vintage ‘must haves’ (well only a fabulous fur coat but that was over £400!), generally the prices I saw seemed quite reasonable, I was quite surprised as I thought the location would have ‘upped’ the prices. It does annoy me though when traders don’t have their goods priced, I’m sure it looses them lots of sales. It was a fun morning and we chatted to some nice people, especially the team who run Eroica Britannia – a vintage cycling event we were hoping to go to but which unfortunately clashes with James’ rally.

There was quite a varied but slightly uninspiring collection of cars, rather worryingly we were both rather drawn to the Austin Allegro, I think in my case mainly down to the rather fabulous ‘Marioesque’ colour! One area had been set aside for food traders, most of these were also cooking and serving out of period vehicles, there were so many Citroen H-Vans that I shouldn’t think there can be many left in France, it’s a shame we got rid of ours as there must now be a good market in supplying them to the catering industry. At least they were all selling interesting food rather than burgers. One lovely example had distressed wood paneling which looked really good.

Unfortunately the day was also very cold and it started to rain just after one so we didn’t want to hang around for too long. The show was on for two days and I think Saturday would possibly have been the better day as the weather was much nicer and I would guess that any real star buys would have been snapped up early on.

Following is a photo record of the morning…DSC09128 DSC09129 DSC09131 DSC09133 DSC09135 DSC09136 DSC09138 DSC09139 DSC09143 DSC09144 DSC09147 DSC09149 DSC09150 DSC09152 DSC09154 DSC09155 DSC09156 DSC09159 DSC09160 DSC09162 DSC09163 DSC09164 DSC09165 DSC09166 DSC09167 DSC09168Once it turned to rain we left the Southbank and walked back to the Imperial War Museum, where we spent an interesting couple of hours wandering around the displays. As this is predominantly a car blog I’ve included a picture of the rather superb Humber Staff Car. I was hopping to see the new exhibition on wartime fashion but as we’d been walking around for several hours I didn’t think I could do it justice to the entrance fee and so left that for another time.IMG_0794 DSC09187

Hoping that the weather will improve for next weekend which is the Goodwood 73 Members Meeting, so look out for a full report early next week.

Ahoy me hearties…

I’ve been spending some time researching a blog but I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for it a while longer as I stumbled across this and had to post it here. I’m amazed we’ve never seen it before as it’s quite well documented on the web but I guess I’ve never searched for a…

Fiat 1100 Boat Car
This extraordinary vehicle was made in 1953 by Carrozzeria Coriasco, the famous Turin company which was known for making commercial vehicle bodies based on standard Italian models (clue to the next blog!). It was produced as a promotional vehicle for the Scarani Scuola Nautica, a sailing school in Bologna and as such is just a car and was never designed as an amphibious vehicle. fiat-boatcar-nosefiat-boatcar-rearfiat-boatcar-sidefiat-boatcar-back

Built on a Fiat 1100 it had many nautical design features such as portholes, lifebelts and teak decking. The shape of the wheel arches and the wavy blue paintwork was supposed to represent the sea.

The boat car has had about 4 owners and underwent a complete restoration before 2006 when it was sold at auction in Monaco by Bonhams for just under £35,000. Today the Boat Car is on display in the Louwman Collection at Den Haag, Netherlands.

I’d love to know more about it’s early life and it’s condition before restoration but despite searching extensively I have been unable to find any more information or images prior to it reappearing in 2006, please let us know if you have any more information. Maybe Mario would like a little continental trip to visit it!
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