Goodwood Revival back on the taxi rank…

Finally a month late here is the story of Mario’s weekend at the Goodwood Revival…

Getting ready was all a bit of a panic as we had been really busy, this years new outfit was only finished on the morning of departure but by early afternoon a beautifully clean and shiny Mario was packed up and ready to leave. After all the repairs and work that has been done since last years Revival he was raring to go and we had a lovely sunny trip to Goodwood. We got there in time to see a bit of the drivers cricket match and watch the traditional Spitfire flypast before our sign on and briefing.


DSC04427 DSC04439 DSC04446 DSC04454 DSC04459 DSC04461 Readers will know that last year we had a few issues with the GRTC (Goodwood Racing Transport Corps) with the cars being overworked but this year a new shift system was introduced, which greatly improved our enjoyment of the weekend. The cars still did in excess of 200km each over the weekend but in a shorter period of time, so we had more off time and were able to see the event and socialise, it worked really well and we had one of the best Revivals in years.

Our first shift didn’t start until Friday lunchtime and it seemed very strange not rushing around to start at 7.30am, in fact we all felt rather lost to start with. Our relaxing morning was interrupted though by the sad news that Kato the Subaru 360 had a terminal breakdown right at the beginning of the weekend, when the gear linkage sheered from the engine. This was totally unexpected and very disappointing for Craig. He ended up having the car recovered home and then he helped run the taxi rank for the weekend but it didn’t seem right missing one of the gang. Mario and Regie the 4cv Renault were parked up for the rest of the morning and we set off to explore. Imagine our excitement when one of the first things we came across, was a General Motors Futurliner bus, having found these fabulous vehicles researching an earlier blog it was amazing to see one in the ‘flesh’.DSC04464 DSC04465 DSC04472DSC04521 There were also some other Fiats around… A lovely 500 in the Shell display, where we also bumped into John Surtess. There was also a cute 500 van running around as a service vehicle.DSC04481 DSC04483DSC04573 At lunchtime we reported to the taxi rank for our first shift. The new system works much better with a dedicated taxi rank with a turning circle and is well organised although it’s still a bit of a shame that the public don’t get a chance to interact with the cars much anymore. We got straight into it with lots of passengers wanting to go to the Kennels and Hotel for lunch. We were kept very busy all afternoon and into the evening not finishing until after 8.30 as there was a dusk race. Mario was very excited to pick up his ‘old mate’ Le Mans superstar Tom Kristensen. We’ve given Tom a lift before and he really is the nicest gentleman, we had great fun with Tom taking ‘selfies’ in the car and then posing with us back at the hotel.DSC04528DSC04503 DSC04511 Saturday morning dawned early with the morning shift, we were mainly doing pick ups at the hotel and Mario was very honoured to take Sir Stirling Moss and wife Suzie to the circuit. I think he enjoyed his ride even though Mario isn’t the easiest car to get in and out of. It was lovely to see Sir Stirling back on good form after the nasty accident he suffered at home a few years ago.DSC04516 DSC04518
DSC04523 DSC04530 People often ask me ‘why to you drive the taxi’s rather than just enjoy the racing’ well driving through the estate on beautiful sunny day with spitfires flying over head is the answer! Mario loves being useful and the whole event just brings a smile to our faces. Ok we don’t get to see all the racing but you can catch up with that on the TV later.DSC04535 DSC04540 DSC04541 DSC04553 DSC04554 The last two years I have had ‘Mario’ fabric printed and made 50 style dresses. This year we decided to go a bit more ‘up to date’ and designed some ‘Mario’ 1960’s style fabric and made a coat – you can’t really see in the picture but I ensure you there are little Mario’s travelling in the swirls of the fabric.DSC04557 These are our friends Walter and Jolie and their gorgeous children who are travelling round the event in style – in James’ old pram, his Dad brought it in 1964 and it was used for the whole family.DSC04572
DSC04577 DSC04582We popped over to the Bonham’s auction as there was a Multipla up for sale, unfortunately we didn’t see it, as it was a ‘drive thru’ auction and we missed it’s lot number. According to the catalogue it was fitted with a Fiat Panda engine and wasn’t in immaculate condition but it still made £22,137 including commission. (look out for a future blog post on values soon)
image This year celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Birds Eye Fish finger and Captain Birdseye was present with his trawler and lots of fish fingers. They ended up in an awful lot of our photographs!DSC04585 DSC04587 DSC04608 One of the big draws of this years Revival was the coming together of all six of the original Shelby Daytona Cobras, the first time they have all been in the same place, in a recreation of the Sebring pits. Their designer Peter Brock was also in attendance.DSC04631 DSC04632Our good friends from Derbyshire, who for many years have attended the Revival dressed as James Bond and Villains, this year turned up very cleverly attired as ‘Cluedo’ – Reverend Green, Professor Plum, Doctor Black and Colonel Mustard. It was great to have the time to be able to socialise.
DSC04669 On Saturday evening we had a lovely wander around as the sun went down, we looked round the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation which in 2015 was celebrating the Battle of Britain and there were Spitfires and Hurricanes as far as you could see. The roof of the new Aero Club gave a fantastic view over the proceedings as a couple of planes took off to do the party flypast. All the planes stayed until the Tuesday when they took part in the main BoB celebrationsDSC04674 DSC04689 DSC04695DSC04755 This year the entrance to the Drivers Club had been turned into an archaeological dig with dinosaur skeletons being unearthed.DSC04710For the first time the track opening was completed by ‘Gassers’ – stock vehicles turned hot rodders who burn petrol. 20 of these american beasts were on parade and parked around this garage.DSC04735 For a few months now James and I have been involved with a new product called GaugePilot an in-vehicle information system that looks just like a period ‘Speed Pilot’ with functions for rallying, racing or just classics. It was launched at this years Revival and James had a demo model fitted in the 4cv. Rally legend Rauno Aaltonen was very interested when Regie gave him a ride. James also demonstrated the system to some of his driver mates on the GaugePilot stand.IMG_6681DSC04737This year we actually managed to see some cars! On and off the track. We were especially interested in the St Mary’s where our friend Desmond Smail was driving a Mini. Unfortunately on the Saturday – the celebrity part of the two car race – the rotor arm failed on driver Emanuele Pirro which blew their chances.
DSC04654DSC04759 DSC04770DSC04834DSC04855 The 60’s was celebrated across the Revival with the anniversary of the Mini Skirt, James didn’t enjoy it at all! The new ‘Mario’ outfit fitted in really well. We tried on some wonderful Repro 60’s sunglasses, think I will have some made with my prescription for next year.DSC04788 DSC04811 DSC04814IMG_6688So all in all we had a fantastic weekend, Mario worked very hard but still managed to meet and great some of his fans and most importantly came home in one piece. The whole weekend went so quickly – bring on Revival 2016.


Perfect holiday car…

Mario has been having a well deserved rest after the Revival (the Goodwood blog will be here soon promise!), the humans needed a break too and so they set off in ‘Regie’ the Renault 4cv for a week in Cornwall. While it would be fun to take Mario away, Regie is far more practical as a holiday car, the Dauphine Gordini engine and 4 speed box means that we can keep up safely with everyday traffic, get from A to B in pretty good time, especially if taking the most direct route, it’s comfortable and of course if the weather is good the roof comes down!

We managed to get from home to Polperro a journey of over 200 miles in pretty good time with a stop-off for a ‘cuppa’ part way with the roof down the whole way. Polperro is a very old fishing village with very tiny lanes and you have to park in the main carpark 1km away and get a quad bike and trailer to take your luggage to our cottage – Jane got a lift on the back which brought a smile to her face. We soon settled in to the lovely Pier Inn Studio which was right on the harbour with a balcony over the water.

IMG_0974DSC05108 We spent the week driving around, in St Mawes we found this lovely old garage, loved the AA signpost with london at 263 and a quarter miles to London.DSC05143 DSC05145 In Charlestown they were filming the second season of Poldark – the lovely old harbour was set dressed and looked period perfect but they didn’t want a 1958 car in shot!DSC05160 DSC05165DSC05451 The Cornish lanes are a maze of tiny unmarked roads, we kept seeing these lovely old mile posts… we weren’t lost – honest.DSC05189 We met a supermarket delivery man just up here, he was persuaded that as we hadn’t seen a passing place for over a mile that he should reverse!DSC05191 DSC05201 This is on the main bus route… at least you get a good view.DSC05209 DSC05211 We took several ferries as they can save miles of driving round the inlets, this is the biggest (and cheapest) from Torpoint to Plymouth. One of the others gave us a free trip as we were in such a nice car.DSC05232 Many of the small lanes have grass and vegetation up the middle.DSC05388

DSC05492 DSC05503 This was one of the smallest with a 6 foot width restrictor at the start.DSC05505In Fowey we saw a lovely old sailing ship and a little steam boat – it was just setting off on it’s last journey after 40 years of trips up the river.DSC05662 DSC05666 DSC05687 DSC05688 DSC05696 Two huge tractors are not what you want to meet in a Cornish Lane.DSC05700 regime loved parking by the sea – here on the harbour wall in Mevigessy – and he caused great interest wherever we went.DSC05763 It was unfortunately soon time to leave and James had decided that Regie was small enough to drive down to the cottage to pack up.DSC05810 DSC05818 DSC05822 We went home via some friends in North Devon/Somerset and came across a small Steam festival.DSC05884 DSC05890 The drive over Exmoor along the North Coast was spectacular and the weather was fantastic, beautiful roads around Porlock where the famous Hillclimb is situated, several roads had inclines of 25% some of the steepest in the country but Regie managed pretty well, we were very glad we weren’t in Mario who doesn’t like hills!DSC05904 We finished the holiday with a trip to Banksy’s Dismaland at Weston-Super-Mare, a bemusement park.DSC05940 And we had a good trip back with the roof off in the sunshine.DSC06079