Goodwood Revival through the eyes of the GRTC…

DSC02693Mario, 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.DSC02696 DSC02719 DSC02724 DSC02806 DSC02818DSC02875 DSC02879

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!DSC02713DSC02714DSC02969

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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! DSC02861 DSC02860 DSC02858 DSC02855 DSC02853 DSC02848

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!IMG_3541

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. IMG_3540

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!IMG_3558

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.

A day at McLaren F1…

Last saturday Mario (along with his friend Kato the Subaru 360) was invited to take part in the McLaren Employees Motorshow. The day at the spectacular McLaren Technology Centre near Woking was held during the F1 season summer break and was an excuse for staff to show off their interesting cars and specially invited others, to their family and friends and raise some money for Help for Heroes.

There was quite an interesting collection of cars including hotrods and americana, race machinery, including one guys collection of Lola’s, bikes and classics plus some modern sports cars, a smattering of McLarens road cars and even a couple of powerboats. The Bloodhound Land Speed Record team were also their with their mock up of the vehicle due to attempt the 1000mph on land challenge. Mario’s humans were especially keen on a couple of lovely Opals, the Manta would be a lovely everyday practical classic.

We were allowed in the Technology Centre to see the collection of McLaren race cars and the very impressive display of trophies although you wouldn’t want a lot of them on your mantlepiece, for something that is given as a prize for winning a significant world event some of them are very tacky looking and the use of sponsors logo’s as awards should definitely be banned – the Santander ‘flame’ trophies look especially poor!

We thought that we should keep quiet about Mario’s ‘relationship’ with Adrian Newey – ex McLaren designer and now at arch enemy Red Bull, funnily enough there didn’t seem to be any sign of the energy drink as refreshments! drain who we often see at the Goodwood Revival has always expressed his appreciation of the Multipla’s innovative design for it’s time.

Unfortunately there was no photography allowed inside the centre. You could see some of the workshop areas behind glass walls and they were completely pristine as was the whole of the building, McLaren are renowned for their precision and attention to detail which was certainly apparent wherever you looked down to the pens in the meeting room all being placed at exactly the same angle at every place. The actual building is very beautiful being long and low, constructed of glass and situated on the edge of an infinity lake, the surroundings are very natural with lots of wild planting.

Mario and Kato as always attracted a lot of attention. However it was the hottest day of the year and was rather a long and tiering day as we had to be there by 8.30 am and couldn’t leave until after 5pm. Mario went rather well and seemed to enjoy his ‘blast’ up and down the A3 having to be reined in at times from going too fast, he even overtook at one point but it was a Austin 7!

A bit more posing!

Mario doesn’t like to ‘show off’ but he does get to meet so many interesting people in the course of his ‘job’, so here are a few more you might recognise…

Sir Jackie Stewart was delighted to pose by Mario although he got a lift in the AC

Amanda Stretton was filming in the hair salon – we thought she matched Mario rather well.

Adrian Newey was lucky to catch us just as we were leaving the circuit during a Monsoon on Saturday evening, we ran him back to the hotel. Adrian is a big fan of Mario and has been for a ride on several occasions, he likes to chat about the design features and how advanced they were for the time – maybe he’ll take some inspiration for the Red Bull although I don’t think they need anymore help this year, they could clinch the drivers title as early as this weekend in Singapore.

Last but not least some of Mario’s old friends – 007 with the ‘Bond Villians’. These great guys from Derbyshire do the Revival every year complete with pussy, golf clubs and an awesome picnic hamper designed by ‘Q’ – amazingly they can all fit in the Multipla!