Perfect day for a picnic and cars…

Last Sunday was the Goodwood Road Racing Club Open Day at Goodwood House. A perfect summer day. We took Regie the 4cv Renault for two reasons, firstly we could have the roof down and secondly Regie needed a pre-revival (and holiday) test drive, as he has lovely newly restored cream wheels which look good and have solved a wobble a certain speeds. We spent a lovely relaxing day with friends, looking at the displayed cars and enjoying a picnic.

The selected cars to exhibit in front of the house, were the usual mixture of old and new, exotic and everyday. DSC01198 DSC01199DSC01201The Saab was lovely and beautifully restored.DSC01204 DSC01205 I really fancy having one of these Volvo P1800’s.DSC01207 Our friend Richard’s 1999 Dare Ginetta G4 and is a modern recreation of the 60’s Ginetta G4 sports. Dare is run by the designer of the original G4.DSC01208 Personally my favourite of the day, this lovely 1967 Autobianchi Biachina Panoramica. Have always wanted the convertible version as driven by Audrey Hepburn in ‘How to steal a million’ but loved this estate version which I hadn’t seen before.DSC01211 DSC01213 DSC01216Cleo and Robyn from The GRRC had fun trying to sort the votes for the car of the day.DSC01200The winner was this rather impressive Alfa 6C but I wish we had got everybody to vote for the 3 wheel Reliant Robin, as the winner is going to be displayed in the RAC club in Pall Mall London for a week and I’d love to have seen their faces when the Robin turned up!DSC01227There were free funfair rides for the kids, including this wonderful Austin J40 car ride. James was especially interested as he’s in the middle of restoring a J40 pedal car for the Setterington Cup at the Revival – he could have done with acquiring a few parts!DSC01217 DSC01218 DSC01219 DSC01220 DSC01221 DSC01222At Wheels Day earlier in the year James had bought me a lovely vintage individual picnic set to use as a ‘Gin Box’, this was it’s first outing, using the flask for ice and there was enough room for a couple of doubles with garnish. Think this will get well used.DSC01230 DSC01236

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Incredible Installations…

Since our latest visit to the Goodwood Festival of Speed I’ve been meaning to do a post on the central installation. Now eagerly awaited each year a giant sculpture outside the house pays homage to a marque celebrating an anniversary. The first one appeared in 1997 and over the years they have become more and more elaborate. A merging of art and the automobile, each one is unveiled to great acclaim and has become a key focal point and signature of each year’s Festival.

While flicking through my photo library looking for images for this blog I could tell instantly which years I preferred – by the number of pictures I had taken! The ones that appealed most I had been drawn back to throughout the festival weekend, taking pictures as the light and weather changed and from different angles. My personal favourite was the Lotus display from 2012 but more of that later.

1997
The first central feature was put together for Ferrari to celebrate their 50th anniversary, they displayed their F1 F310B car hanging from a triumphant arch sitting in an ‘Italian garden’. While at the time it was impressive and very different who knew what it would lead to in the next 17 years.1997-2 1997

1998
Porsche followed Ferrari the following year also celebrating fifty years of car manufacture. This was designed by Gerry Judah a British artist and designer, who has gone on to create the central feature every year after. Judah mesmerised festival visitors with his inaugural installation featuring five iconic racing Porsche impaled on Giant spikes, including the ‘Pink Pig’.1998-2 1998

1999
The first Audi display was jaw dropping, depicting the banking of the Avus racing track with a Avus Quattro concept car, an Auto Union Type C and a replica Streamliner representing the future as well as the past of the company. It had a real feeling of movement.1999-1 Festival of Speed 1999 - Audi Central Display

2000
Jaguar’s ‘Cats Craddle’ displayed six of the companies cars to celebrate their F1 debut.2000-day 2000

2001
Mercedes Benz make their first appearance to celebrate their100th anniversary. Supposed to resemble a gush of liquid, falling and spreading as it hits the ground the installation only featured one car right at the top of the structure – a 300SL I believe belonged to auctioneer  Robert Brooks who was supposedly only told it was going to be ‘on display’ at Goodwood but not actually told where! This was the first of the installations to come into it’s own when it was illuminated at night.2001-day 2001-day2 2001-night2 2001

2002
The FoS was becoming renowned for it’s F1 displays and Renault’s comeback was honoured as the feature in 2002, a huge ‘feather’ in front of the house displayed Renault and Renault powered F1 cars.2002-1 2002-day 2002

2003
One of the most spectacular installations of the lot. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Ford, it depicted the 1966, 24 Hours of Le Mans and the famous 1, 2, 3 finish for the Ford GT40. The biggest sculpture constructed for the Festival up to that point, it featured three Ford GT40s racing along a breathtaking silver ‘racetrack’ seemingly materialising from the blue skies above. At various times the ‘track’ was sprayed with water to represent the rain in the race. This made it the first installation that you could ‘feel’!2003-1 2003-2 2003-3 2003

2004
Rolls-Royce who had opened their factory at Goodwood the year before were celebrating their 100th anniversary. This feature celebrated the Rolls-Royce heritage in record breaking vehicles on land (Campbell-Railton Bluebird), sea (Bluebird K4) and air (Supermarine).2004 2004-6 2004-5 2004-3

2005
Honda celebrated 40 years of grand prix success with its installation inspired by the Japanese tradition of kinetic sculpture. Consisting of six racing cars seemingly swaying in the wind on giant pivots, way above festival-goers’ heads.2005-1 2005-2 2005-3 2005-night 2005

2006
Personally the least impressive feature, well at least visually – commonly known as the ‘Pringle’ – featuring Renault again this time celebrating 100 years of their involvement in Grand Prix racing the installation didn’t show any cars but was an acoustic covering for a display of Formula One cars underneath. Designed to channel sound, Renault had produced software so they could make the cars play God Save the Queen in engine notes.2006-1 2006

2007
Toyota was honouring its 50 years in international motorsport and celebrating the companies 75th anniversary. The 40-metre high sculpture was inspired by Japan’s traditional torii gates, it was so tall that a warning light had to be installed on top so that the Red Arrows air display team knew not to fly too low during their display.2007-1 2007-2 2007

2008
We never saw this one in the flesh as we were on the Liege-Brescia-Liege Microcar rally but it certainly looked impressive and very different in the photographs. Celebrating the 60th anniversary of Land Rover it resembling a giant, man-made “rock”, showing off the marque’s rugged off-road ability to the full – 40 feet above the ground.2008-night 2008

2009
Audi were back again with a tall elegant structure to celebrate their 100th anniversary. Depicting the ‘road’ from the the 1937 Auto Union Streamliner to the new Audi R8 V10 forming a loop in front of the house. Standing 135-feet tall and weighing 40 tonnes the piece was made entirely in steel and supported itself without braces or cables.2009-1 2009-2 2009

2010
The 100th anniversary of Alfa Romeo. Forming a ‘Four Leaf Clover’ in the red livery of the Italian car firm, it holds an 1925 Alfa Romeo P2 and a 2003 8C Competizione. Standing at 18.5 m high and 25 m across, the sculpture is made from 12 tonnes of steel and features 32 steel sections. For the first time the installation minus the cars was moved to the nearby CASS sculpture park on the estate after the FoS.2010-1 2010-2 2010-3 2010-4

2011
The only other FoS we have missed (a special party in France), but it certainly looked impressive. The sculpture is a homage to the Jaguar E-type, 50 years after the famous sports car was unveiled. The dramatic 28 metre-highcar weighed 150 tonnes – equivalent to 122 regular E-types! Jaguar’s parent company, Tata, supplied the 450km of steel that was required to make the giant model. This was the first and so far the only installation that didn’t feature a ‘real’ car.2011

2012
In my view the best ever, the 2012 feature celebrated Lotus Cars, past present and future. The sculpture itself is a 150m ‘winding road’ that has been tied into a trefoil. With four classic Formula 1 cars. The construction resulted in a sculpture that is 98% empty space. In automobile terms this would be a monocoque body, a tribute to the legendary designer and Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s introduction of monocoque chassis construction to automobile racing. I just couldn’t keep away from this installation, whenever you looked at it the light made it look different.DSCN7808 DSCN7840 DSCN7843 DSCN7894 DSCN7905 DSCN7923 DSCN8059 DSCN8069 DSCN8071 DSCN8078 DSCN8085 DSCN8091 DSCN8283 DSCN8284 DSCN8285 DSCN8316 DSCN8323

2013
Porsche celebrating 50 years of the 911 with three different model 911’s on the top of three structures, at 34 metres this was the highest installation ever.2013-1 2013-2 2013-3 2013-4 2013-5 2013-6 2013-night

2014
The most complex and ambitious installation yet conceived and it was a fitting celebration of 120 years of motorsport heritage by Mercedes-Benz. Swooping over Goodwood House, the 45 metre curve tested the artistic and engineering ingenuity of a team of specialists. Two cars spanning 80 years of Mercedes-Benz cross in front of the house, a replica of the 1934 Mercedes-Benz W 25 Silver Arrow and a Mercedes F1 W04, the same chassis raced by Lewis Hamilton in 15 Grands Prix in 2013.2014-1 2014-2 2014-3 2014-4 2014-6 2014-7 2014-8 2014-9 2014-11 2014-night

So there we have it 17 unique and beautiful installations, I’m sure we all have our favourites, my top three would be 3rd – 1999 Audi, 2nd – 2003 Ford GT40, 1st – 2012 Lotus. We will have to wait and see if 2015 changes that. Maybe one year, Mario will get asked to perch on a pedestal high above Goodwood House!

Italian Sunday at Goodwood Breakfast Club

Last Sunday was the final Breakfast Club of the year at the Goodwood Circuit. Mario was pre-registered and had the required circuit access pass so we set off on a beautiful if initially slightly chilly autumn morning. We had a good run over the downs, past the queuing public traffic and were waved into the circuit and onto the pit straight to park up. Immediately there was a crowd around the ever popular Mario. We stopped and chatted to some old friends and followers and then left Mario to bask in the glory while we had a wander round the rest of the grid and the paddocks.

There was a good turnout and obviously a ‘sea of red’, not only the large Ferrari contingent but a lot of the Fiats and Alfa’s also appeared to be in various shades of crimson. Under the paddock garages you could actually see a reflected ‘red glow’.DSC03590

DSC03581 DSC03583Mario wasn’t the only Multipla there, this smart red over cream version comes from Southsea and is often at Goodwood events.

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Rather laid back and unassuming, this Ferrari 250 was one of the most valuable cars on display.

DSC03588This rather cute and tiny moped was attraction a lot of attention parked alongside the Ferrari’s, from the 60’s it was really neat and compact and in beautiful condition.

DSC03592 DSC03595 Another of Mario’s friends – the Topolino, comes from Fernhurst and has been to the Haslemere Car Show several times and also appeared at Salon Privé with Mario in the ‘oddball’ class.

The car we would most liked to have taken home was this lovely special bodied Fiat Abarth 750. Basically ‘Mario in disguise’ with a few more performance parts, it was beautiful and must be great fun to drive. Again presented in great condition with some lovely points of detail.DSC03603 DSC03604 DSC03605 DSC03607 DSC03608 DSC03609 DSC03610 DSC03612 This lovely Lancia Aurelia B20 series 6 has been recently purchased by one of James’ clients and he has been working on it quite a bit ironing out some of those ‘new car’ issues and starting to restore some areas such as the braking system. It is a lovely looking car with great lines and a real sense of luxury.DSC03615 The crowds were still gathering around Mario and we saw one small boy running down the track towards him shouting out ‘Mummy, Mario’s here’ – it’s always good to have the fans come to visit, Mario is particularly popular with children it must be the colour and quirky appearance makes them relate him to cartoon films like Pixar’s Cars.DSC03620 DSC03624 DSC03628 DSC03632 There weren’t as many Fiat 500’s as I was expecting in fact there was probably more of the new version about, this little Abarth was sweet and the 500 conversion was a lot of fun, at least on a sunny day!DSC03633 DSC03635 DSC03644 When it came time to leave we saw a sight not often viewed through Mario’s windscreen, another Multipla – as we were going on for an afternoon at the seaside we followed the other one down the A27 and through Southsea, people certainly looked twice, it’s rare enough to see  one on the road, yet alone two!DSC03645 DSC03647