The Goodwood 77MM

We said we were back and we’d try to catch up on what has happened over this year… After Mario’s problems on A photographic day out was off the road for a few of months while James did some work on improving the brakes, repairing the seat that got damaged at the Revival and some general tidying up – it’s been nearly 20 years since we finished the restoration and he’s done pretty well but had some wear and tear that need dealing with.

The first major event of the year was the Goodwood Members Meeting The 77MM, held in early April. This year James was away navigating on the Flying Scotsman so I decided that I would leave Mario at home rather than risk being on my own with him in the dark and bad weather. As it was, the weather was kind this year, no snow, dry and sunny and I didn’t need as many layers as previously. Sadly the later date and better weather meant that the daffodils were nearly over.

First a tenuous link to Mario with a few Fiats – I loved the gorgeous 1958 Fiat Abarth 750GT ‘Double Bubble’ Zagato Coupé in the Bonhams auction. Unfortunately the £86,250 the winning bidder paid, put it rather out of my budget! Another all time favourite is the ‘Beast of Turin’, this Fiat S76, land speed record car is a crowd pleaser and is just awesome to see racing, other cars have to overtake to the right to avoid being scorched by the flames – real Wacky Races stuff.

David Coulthard was racing the iconic Gullwing Mercedes and helped to launch the ‘Silver Spitfire’ flying round the World project.

Other ‘celebrities’ included Nick Heidfeld and Mario’s mate ‘Mr LeMans’ Tom Kristensen.

As we work at the Revival, the 77MM weekend gives the opportunity to enjoy an event at leisure and actually see some racing. I had a good time meeting up with friends and being able to wander around with the camera. It was interesting to be out at Madgwick Corner on Saturday as the light faded and the Le Mans Cars took to the track, although it must be the coldest spot on the circuit! The following ‘party’ was great but the later date and hence clock change meant it all happened a bit later and I left before the fireworks.

My favourite race of the meeting is the SF Edge Trophy for Edwardian cars. Fantastic beasts with their drivers rather precariously balanced on their machines are a great spectacle.

Always loads to see and a real variety of cars.

Back soon with more of our year…

Festival of Speed 2016 – our highlights…

Sorry for the delay, sometimes life just takes over but in the last month we did manage to get a couple of days at the Festival of Speed. Local to us, we have been attending the FoS since the first event back in 1993 and boy has it changed… in the early years it was a glorified fete with fabulous cars! You’d sit by the side of the track with your picnic and enjoy the spectacular sight as the history of motorsport blasted past. These days it is all a little different, more corporate, more sales orientated, more modern. With the Revival and Members Meeting taking over the historical aspects, the Festival concentrates more on modern motorsport and supercars. As such it has become much less appealing to us but still worth a couple of days looking for the gems and socialising with our car loving friends.

This year we went on the Thursday to the Moving Motorsport day as we get free tickets with our GRRC membership and then on the Sunday. Although the weather wasn’t perfect we managed to avoid too much rain and with local knowledge made the trip without too many delays.

In more recent times the Cartier Style et Luxe concours d’elegance has been one of our favourite displays and although this year it seemed to be lacking in that totally ‘Wow’ display, there was still a lot to entertain us. Of most interest was the Alpine ‘Pass and Present’ class showcasing a selection of the Renault derivative Alpine Sportcars. This 1954 Prototype was based on the 4cv with a coach built body by Giovani Michelotti and had many similarities to our own ‘Regie’ the 4cv. This is the first of three prototypes built and is still owned by Jean-Charles Rédélé founder of Alpine.DSC09749 DSC09754DSC09743DSC09742 One of only 30 this lovely 1965 Alpine A110 Cabriolet is based on a Renault 8. Regie would love to have a set of the wheel spinners!DSC09946DSC09738DSC09729 DSC09945Without the money to develop the export market in the 60’s, Alpines were developed with partners abroad, this version with Willys Overland who built Dauphines in Brazil. Called the Willys Interlargos after the Brazilian GP Circuit. This one was restored for Retromobile in 2015.DSC09741DSC09750 A 1977 A110 SX Berlinetta, the last of the 7579 Dieppe Built A110’sDSC09739 Wasn’t that keen on the 1977 Mérignac, too wedge shaped for me.DSC09761For somebody who isn’t very fond of new cars this was fantastic, a prototype for a new Alpine going into production next year… I need one! The Alpine Vision was wonderful with some great details which unfortunately will probably never make it to the production model. Check out the wonderful logo shaped red key.DSC09734DSC09737
DSC09733 DSC09732 DSC09731 DSC09730Other classes included Pioneering Lancias which were lovely, especially the 1959 Lancia Flaminia 2500 Sport Zagato and the 1933 Lancia Pininfarina Cabriolet ‘Bocca’ both below; The Dawn of Motoring; and Legendary Lamborghini’s which are too angular for my liking although I liked the Green 1971 Miura SV which won the overall prize.DSC09765 DSC09764 DSC09763 DSC09762 DSC09758 DSC09756DSC09757While we are talking retro style new cars… I also loved this new Fiat Abarth 124 Spyder. Here at the Moving Motor Show you can see the original Fiat 124 Rally car and the new 300bhp rally version which will be built to customer order for competition in FIA’s R-GT class in 2017. Being test driven up the hill was the road going version of the small roadster. Based on a Mazda MX5 it was a seriously cute modern sportscar.DSC09842DSC09840DSC09843The defining feature of each years Festival is the central display, this year it was celebrating 100 years of BMW. As usual it was designed by Gerry Judah and this year’s was the biggest yet. The huge sweeping structure displayed the legendary BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster, the 1999 Le Mans-winning BMW V12 LMR, and the Gordon Murray-designed Brabham-BMW BT52 Formula One car which finished third in the 1983 championship.

While impressive it was almost too big and quite difficult to see the whole thing, especially when the event is so busy. The effect wasn’t helped by the inclement weather, I’m sure it would have looked better against a beautiful blue sky!
DSC09973 DSC09972 DSC09965 DSC09964 DSC09962 DSC09768 DSC09766Also from BMW were a couple of examples of their ‘Art Cars’. I must confess to not knowing much about these before but they were great. Introduced by French driver and auctioneer Hervé Poulin, the first one was commissioned in 1975 when American artist Alexander Calder painted the BMW 3.0 CSL that Poulain would race at Le Mans. Many famous artists have been involved including David Hockney, Frank Stella (below), Roy Lichtenstein (below) and Andy Warhol.

DSC09936 DSC09934DSC09937 Out and about in the paddocks and on the hill were a few gems. Perennial favourite the 1991 rotary engined Le Mans Mazda 787B, affectionately known as the Argyll Sock due to it’s distinctive paintwork.DSC09993Some amazing 1930’s Mercedes Streamliners, very difficult to photograph.DSC09808 DSC09806 DSC09794 We popped into the Preview on the Bonhams Auction. This 1948 Aston Martin DB Team Car was one of the star lots. After a distinguished racing career the car was waiting for restoration when it was stolen from a garden in 2002. It was ‘found’ and returned to the original owner’s descendants recently and fetched £679,100 at the auction.DSC09774A charity auction was held for this unique British Pop Art Bentley, this unique Continental GT V8 S Convertible was a collaboration between Bentley Motors and the godfather of British Pop Art, Sir Peter Blake. It raised £250,000
DSC09790Advertising a future sale this amazing 1929 Megola 640cc Touring Bike has a front wheel mounted engine. The bike is part of an extraordinary collection owned by the late Robert White which are being auctioned to raise money to create a new cancer treatment centre.DSC09772 As you will know we are not awfully fond of Supercars but I did quite like the look of the new Bugatti Chiron, the successor to the Veyron. Loved the way the chrome door surrounds reflected the ‘C’ in the logo, although I suspect the car was designed first and the name and logo came second!  The Aston Martin Vulcan also created quite a lot of interest.DSC09759DSC00239 This year the bikes were quite interesting. The totally mad Puma Gulf drag bike can go from 0 to 235mph in 5.8 seconds but couldn’t show that performance on the winding hill climb course. Filmstar Keanu Reeves created quite a stir riding the rather strange looking Arch KRGT-1 bike made by his own company. Unfortunately we never got to see the Yamaha ‘Triple’ on the track – a drag racer powered by three twin-cylinder engines.DSC00015DSC00008DSC09818Once again a star of the weekend was the magnificent ‘Beast of Turin’. The fiat S76 is huge and it’s massive engine spits flames. Even better the owner drives it to Goodwood from his home.DSC00181 DSC00179 DSC00162 DSC00156 DSC00154 One of the best stands at the Festival was Honda which was a ‘perfect’ full size reproduction of the classic 1970’s Fisher Price Toy garage.DSC09827 The Mercedes F1 car made a great ‘picture’ on the wall. We also had the rather surreal experience of seeing Nico Rosberg being interviewed – he’s the tiny figure on the right of the huge on-screen image.DSC09837DSC00104
DSC00019It wouldn’t be the Festival of Speed without an impressive firework display and they didn’t disappoint.DSC09911DSC09908DSC09868

Maybe FoS 2016 wasn’t a classic but we still had an enjoyable couple of days and saw some interesting stuff. So roll on September and the Revival – Mario is all signed up for taxi duties and is looking forward to meeting up with friends old and new.

Goodwood FoS, the best bits…

June brings the Goodwood Festival of Speed, although this event is our least favourite of the Goodwood spectaculars, we do still like to visit. We decided to only go on the Thursday (moving Motor Show) and Friday due to time, money and friends plans.

Over the years since the first FoS in 1993 and as the Goodwood Revival and the New Members Meeting have developed, the FoS has definitely made a move towards the modern end of the Motoring spectrum and as such our interest has wained, in an event that back in the day was jaw-droopingly impressive and a must do on the calendar. Today it is a homage to the modern F1 and supercars, totally awesome to 8 year old boys but not quite so appealing to ‘sad old gits’.

However we are lucky enough to live within 25 minutes away – well make that an hour in Goodwood traffic with local knowledge – and so make the effort to attend, as there are still some elements of the show that we enjoy and it’s a great excuse to be sociable!

The Thursday was pleasantly spacious with a much smaller crowd and as the track is being used to demonstrate modern road cars gives an opportunity to look round the rest of the displays in relative peace and quiet. On Friday we had the opportunity to pop into the auction and go to the top of the hill to the rally stage, although our timing was rather off, as we arrived in the lunch break and during a long stop on the hill action after a big crash which damaged the hay bale ‘armco’.

Two days was enough to see what we wanted, although it would have been nice to have seen the huge welcome that the crowds gave, to FoS virgin Valentino Rossi, on the Sunday. Following is a pictorial diary of the bits we liked…

The Central Feature
A huge part of each years festival is the central feature, this year celebrating Mazda. We loved the curving structure as always designed by renowned sculptor Gerry Judah. The cars on the top were the 1991 Le Mans winning 787B Mazda and for the first time ever a concept car, previously only seen in a computer game, there is a great video of how it was made.DSC02267DSC02188 DSC02190 DSC02191 DSC02194 DSC02201 DSC02203 DSC02318

60 years of the Citroen DS
My personal favourites of the weekend was the Citroen DS class in the Cartier Style and Luxe, stunning cars especially loved the 1973 Familiale, a version of the Safari but with 9 seats would make a perfect stable mate for Mario and a great taxi for the Revival. Unfortunately most of the models in this class were very rare and hence very valuable.DSC02138 DSC02139 DSC02141 DSC02142 DSC02143 DSC02144 DSC02145 DSC02147 DSC02148 DSC02152 DSC02153 DSC02156 DSC02285 DSC02311 DSC02314Cartier Style et Luxe
The Cartier is always our favourite area of the event and as well as the Citroens it didn’t disappoint with  a fantastic Figoni et Falaschi class with the most beautifully designed cars including the magnificent Talbot-Lago which won the overall award.DSC02269DSC02171DSC02169DSC02172 DSC02161 DSC02162 DSC02164 DSC02177 DSC02178 DSC02179 DSC02181 DSC02183 DSC02271 DSC02280DSC02158The Auction
The Bonhams auction always contains a few gems, the ‘star’ cars were Stirling Moss’s 1961 Porsche RS61 Spyder Sports Racing which sold for £1,905,500 and a 1935 Aston Martin Works Ulster which had competed in the Mille Miglia, French GP and Le Mans and sold for £2,913,500. Personally we loved the two 1959 Fiat Abarth 750 Bialbero Coupe’s with Zagato bodywork, even better the engine would fit in Mario! We saw Jean Todd having a wander around.DSC02353 DSC02355 DSC02356 DSC02359 DSC02377The Fiat S76
With just a bit more power than Mario this flame-spitting 300bhp Fiat broke the 1911 Flying Mile Land Speed Record. it has recently been restored and it was the first time it ran in public for more than a century.DSC02217 DSC02221 DSC02288Peugeot 404 Diesel
Another record breaker, in June 1965 at Monthéry this diesel 404 broke 40 records including a 100mph average for 72 hours, it has a production 1.9l engine.DSC02302 DSC02303

DSC02641Concept Citroen DS Divine
As you have guessed we don’t like modern cars but we did rather like this Citroen Concept car which was made up with a wonderful mix of diamonds.DSC02225 DSC02226 DSC02228 DSC02229 DSC02234 DSC02236The Jaguar Stand
Most of the major manufactures are at FoS and all seem to be outdoing themselves to have the biggest and most lavish stand. Even though we didn’t get ‘pies’ in the drivers hospitality this year Jaguar Landrover did have a fantastic stand with a tarmac ‘race’ track on one side and an articulated off road experience on the other.DSC02250 DSC02254 DSC02255 Rest of the event…
Don’t like Supercars but this Singer Porsche 911, a modern engineered take on an original classic, was pretty special, there was a Targa version in the Cartier too.DSC02290 DSC02291 It wouldn’t be FoS without an appearance of the Red Arrows, I got to see then on Saturday too when they flew over the house twice!DSC02443 DSC02456 It also wouldn’t be Goodwood with Sir Stirling Moss, here reunited with his Mille Miglia winning Mercedes, got a huge cheer as he went up the hill.DSC02529The 24 hour record breaking Renault 40cv Montlhéry Coupé in1926 with an average speed of 107.5mph.DSC02524 Even some of the food stalls were cute!DSC02583 DSC02585 DSC02609 The Bentley Speed-Six ‘Blue Train’ Coupé – in the 1920’s Woolf Barnato raced the night express train from Cannes to Calais, he was in his club in London before the train made Calais!DSC02645 We finished the weekend with a trip down on Saturday Night to our club house to watch the FoS Ball fireworks, and listen to the Kaiser Chefs across the field , another great Goodwood weekend.DSC02734 IMG_0920 IMG_0922You can see more pics of the weekend in our FoS15 gallery

 

 

A quick sprint round the Goodwood Revival…

Believe it or not we were so busy at the taxi rank this year that I didn’t get to see a single car on track! Hopefully that will be remedied for future years but for 2014 we just managed to get away for an hour or so each day, just enough time to have a quick look round the paddocks and infield.

We arrive at Goodwood on Thursday and try to get there in time to see a bit of the Revival cricket match, it took us longer to pack up then expected but we managed to catch the last few overs. The cricket is a nice relaxed afternoon and heralds a good weekend with many of the drivers competing and with the audience already in their period clothes, it really sets the scene. The car park is normally pretty awesome too, the drivers briefing happens after the match so there is a pretty varied selection of vehicles on display, including Mario of course!DSC06018 DSC06019 DSC06020 DSC06021 DSC06025 DSC06027 Amanda Stretton caused quite a stir playing in a rather short white dress. After the match there is a fly past by the Spitfire, it’s always dramatic but this year the passes were so low the wings seemed to be skimming the pitch. The crowd were suitably appreciative including this chap in a rather splendid ERA knitted tank top.

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Friday was very busy in the new taxi rank and it wasn’t until the afternoon that I threw a bit of a girly ‘hissy fit’ and popped to the ‘shops’ for a quick break. The Canberra and Hunter flew over and the Spitfire, Mustang, Hurricane and ME109 Messerschmitt, a beautiful sight against the blue sky. Sir Stirling Moss was signing copies of a new book, it was good to see him looking well. I couldn’t miss a trip to Tesco’s, the 60’s repro store selling Double Diamond amongst other things and a glamorous trio of ‘checkout girls’ were singing to the crowd. This years theme around the entrance was Brighton Pier to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the mod/rocker altercations that took place in many British seaside towns during the summer of 1964. British actor Phil Daniels, who starred in the film Quadrophenia led a procession of about 100 period scooters around the track to mark the start of the Meeting on Friday morning. There were lots of seaside attractions dotted about to set the scene including my new friend Dermot (and Fynn) the Donkeys who seemed totally immune to all the noise going on around them.

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Saturday morning saw a collection of vintage cars outside the hotel. We had been particularly keen to see the two Lancasters – the British and Canadian – flying and so arranged a short break to get over to the airfield and the Freddy March Spirit of Aviation to get a good view. They were due at 11.30 and it was very atmospheric as the band started playing the Dam Busters theme but nothing happened, unknown to us there had been a technical issue with one of the planes and they weren’t coming. It was very disappointing as we had a good view and had to make do with the other ‘warbirds’ doing an extra demonstration.DSC06141DSC06144DSC06167DSC06175DSC06179DSC06187We had a quick walk through the outer paddocks on the way back and spotted James Martin, had a chat with Rae Davis who had his traditional bar set up in the paddock, making them one of the most popular teams, and had a quick photo call with President Obama at Stonehenge!DSC06198DSC06199DSC06212DSC06217In the early evening while on Taxi duty, driving through the park, I heard a roar in the sky and managed to stop and watch the Lancasters which had been repaired and made a late appearance, they were a fabulous sight and at least I did get to see them.DSC06239DSC06242DSC06243DSC06250DSC06251Sunday and the last day came round so quickly, with another short break we popped over to the GRRC enclosure to find out about the 73rd Members Meeting and actually saw a car on track – on the TV!DSC06359Having just restored Cynthia we were very interested in the ‘Bike Shop’ and managed to buy Cynthia a present of some new hand grips. The garage set was also impressive and we managed to pop into Earls Court to see the Facel Vega which James works on which was one of the display cars. The four door Maserati had to be the ugliest car of the weekend.DSC06362DSC06365DSC06369DSC06370DSC06379DSC06380We walked through the main paddock and bumped into James’ pram… bought by his father second hand from a Mayfair nanny in 1964, it was used by James, his brother and sister and is now on loan to friends of ours. James also got to relive his childhood by sitting in a Maserati 250F, he had one – well a smaller version – when he was three!DSC06381DSC06384DSC06391DSC06393IMG_4891DSC06394DSC06398 - Version 2So that was our quick pictorial view of the Revival, the rest of the weekend was spent in the taxi’s driving around the estate. There were lots of other things I would have liked to have seen but that is the pay off for being part of the GRTC. It’s fun but there does need to be a bit more of a balance so we get a bit more time to see the event and hopefully that will be addressed before next year.

 

‘Brother’ Regie has a day out at Brooklands

Today Mario’s ‘brother’ Regie, a 1958 Renault 4cv Convertible was invited for a day out as part of the Brooklands Double Twelve Press Day. Regular readers will remember that Mario had a great day at the Double Twelve event last June. The event is one of Brooklands biggest weekends of the year and a good selection of cars was invited to be on display around the club house and take journalists on a couple of sample tests and to have a go at judging a concours to give them a taster of what was going to be happening in June.

The weather was fairly kind to us, quite bright and not quite as cold as it has been and really rather pleasant as long as one was wrapped up warmly, Regie isn’t really the best car for this time of year being convertible and having no heater, the engine’s in the back so you don’t even get any engine heat.

DSC06905 A couple of lovely Bentleys – a unique R type fastback special and a 1930 4 1/2.DSC06907

This row were used for journalists to play at being a concours judge – they were given tips for what to look for. The Mini Cooper S won, it was immaculate but has only driven 150 miles since it’s restoration.DSC06909A beautiful Aston Martin and our friends Vauxhall 30/98, both marques are celebrating centenaries this year and will be represented at the Double Twelve.DSC06910A Lagonda and the Bentley Pacey Hassan Special which has just returned to the UK and will be competing in the Double Twelve event.DSC06916 Two AC’s, Brooklands is home to AC Heritage and the original AC’s were built locally and raced at the circuit.DSC06917 A special Mini de Ville, this period mod was done by Radford and was a very rare ‘hatchback’ version with lots of extras.DSC06920 Mike getting ready for his test on the hill climb.DSC06929 DSC06937 This is a ‘recreation’ of the famous Mercedes 300 SLR as driven by Sir Stirling Moss on the 1955 Mille Miglia and had been built using original Mercedes parts.DSC06942 DSC06945 DSC06950 James taking Mario on the second test, a mixture of the speed and agility of the car (very good) and the ability of the driver to remember the route!DSC06967 The Barbara Cartland room in the museum.DSC06976 A beautiful Hare mascot on an Alvis.DSC06984 This wonderful 1920’s Rolls Royce had a hidden ‘toy cupboard’ in the running board. All the ‘little’ boys were fascinated and wanted a play.DSC06997 Your author wrapped up against the cold watching James do the Hill Climb test in Regie, picture by our friend Guy Loveridge.IMG_5359 Regie outside the clubhouse.DSC07011

We had a great day and hope we can take some of the cars back to compete in the Double Twelve Event in June, just need to find a class that they are eligible for. Hopefully Mario isn’t too jealous of Regie’s day out, he’ll get his first outing of the year on Sunday at the first Goodwood Breakfast Club of the year.

A few more pics online.