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.
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. Cartier 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. The 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. The 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. Peugeot 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.
Concept 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. The 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. 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. 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! 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.The 24 hour record breaking Renault 40cv Montlhéry Coupé in1926 with an average speed of 107.5mph. Even some of the food stalls were cute! 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! 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. You can see more pics of the weekend in our FoS15 gallery