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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Blowing away the cobwebs…

Mario finally got an outing on New Years Day and an opportunity to blow away the cobwebs with a run in the countryside. Regular readers will know that he was rather poorly after the strains of the Revival taxi rank and since then James has been rather tied up with major restorations projects which pay for us to eat and so hasn’t had time to investigate the problem. On New Years eve he managed to have a quick look but with no obvious problems brought Mario home, the extended rest must have done him good as he ran well.

So after the festivities of the night before we got up on New Years Day and set off for our regular haunt, the beautiful, unspoilt The Stag at Balls Cross near Petworth for the VSCC local NYD car meet. It was a shame it was a rather overcast and damp day as the rest of the week had been glorious, crisp, cold with bright blue skies, but there was still a good selection of vehicles and they were still arriving as we left. Again Mario ran smoothly so the earlier problems remain a mystery, although James has a few things he wants to investigate further when he has some time. We got a good spot outside the pub and met up with other car enthusiast friends. This was predominately a VSCC meet so Mario did rather stick out as one of the youngest and the brightest there!

DSC08113There were a few later cars there including the fantastic Facel Vega which James works on and which is the car he trapped his finger in the door of, a few weeks before Christmas! We had a lovely surprise when we popped to the bar as James had won a voucher for a meal at the pub in their Christmas Draw so that’s something to look forward to. We’ll leave you with some pictures of the day and wish all our followers a very happy 2015.

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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.