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.

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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

 

 

Memories of vehicles from our past…

It’s been a while since we blogged but it’s a bit of a quiet time car wise, Mario is safely tucked away from the inclement weather and the new season’s events still seem a while away (although it is less 5 weeks to the Goodwood 73rd Members Meeting). Plus we have had most of our spare time taken up with organising the Haslemere Classic Car Show & Tour!

However while looking through some old photo’s I got to thinking about the cars from our past…

As a child my father was car-mad following formula one and rallying but with his own transport had rather dubious taste. He has been a ‘Ford’ man for his entire driving life (and while we’re about it always used Michelin Tyres and Shell Fuel) starting with a Ford Prefect before I was born. After I arrived he moved on to a Ford Anglia, this was crashed into and rolled when I was a baby – asleep in the back, I was handed out through the broken rear window into the arms of a passing woman who nearly dropped me as she thought I was dead! In fact I slept through the whole experience and have just a fleeting memory of a Doctor telling my Mother to keep me awake in the hospital. The Anglia was brought back from the insurance company and repaired but my Mum never liked it again and so it was passed on to my paternal Grandparents who kept it for years and I enjoyed many happy days out in the back.

My Dad progressed through a series of Fords – White Cortinas which I remember on holidays in Cornwall and the endless telling-off’s for filling them with sand and wildlife! He progressed to an Escort Ghia, pictured here in Wales in 1978 with a ‘glamorous’ 15 year old model. In a very 70’s bronze with a black vinyl roof, the personal numberplate came from the previous owner believed to be the actor Terence Rattigan.scan101Dad went on to have a Mid-life Crisis and owned a bright red Ford Capri before settling down to more mundane Orion (which was Stolen) and a Focus. With this rather restricted experience of cars one could wonder how my own love of cars developed but my Mother and maternal Grandfather, who lived with us, more than made up for Dad.

Grandad, who I adored had a very varied selection of what now would be considered ‘desirable’ everyday classics, a Wolsley, Morris Minor, Triumph Dolomite, a gorgeous primrose Yellow Triumph Herald, an Allegro, a Peugeot 104 and a Triumph 1300, which the steering wheel came off while driving down the A3!

My mother who, while I was small, transported me around on the back of her bicycle upgraded to an A30 when I started school, I have very fond memories of piling in the back with, what was probably an illegal number of friends and setting off for days at the seaside, having to park on the flat as the handbrake wasn’t very good. I also recall waking up one morning to find the A30 up on bricks as the wheels had been stolen, and no my parents lived in a ‘good area’. The A30 was upgraded to a white Mini Countryman ‘Snow White’ – room for more kids in the back and then an Anglia Estate, as we got bigger.

By the time I reached 17 I was desperate to learn to drive, I’d already been taught the basics on the old army camp up the road and on the morning of my 17th birthday proudly set off with my Mum in our Fiat 850 – called Tetley as it had 1000 little perforations, if you are old enough you will understand!old-scans085Poor Tetley’s perforations got the better of her and she didn’t last long and I took my test in a Ford Escort 1300GT, the shame of a two Ford family. By this time James and I were an item, he’d been car obsessed since he was born, amazing as his family only saw cars as transport and had to buy a Ladybird book to keep up with his interest. He started big with a Maserati 250F..IMG_4891…but by the time we were dating has ‘progressed to a Gilera Motorbike, this was incredibly noisy and I could hear him arriving from a mile away!IMG_1389

We both had a love of cars and used to visit shows and events. James’ first car was a Mini, this was followed up by an Avenger which he wrote off and a Ford Cortina with a Webasto sunroof and a brown fur interior – you would have thought this would have put me off but it was the early 80’s!

The roll call continued with a Fiesta and then a Renault 5 Gordini, this was a lovely car, fast – I drove at over 100mph for the first time! We took it on holiday to Europe.

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The Gordini was sold to fund the purchase of his first real classic, a 1961 3.8 Mark 2 Jaguar. Again we took it all over the place to lots of shows and it was a lovely car, although it did catch fire once on Hindhead Hill! Pre-mobile by the time somebody had driven to call the fire brigade James had put it out with a blanket, I of course was paranoid that it would blow up like all the cars in the Movies. The Jag was used as a wedding car for our oldest friends wedding in 1988, James as Best Man had to be at the church so he had to intrust the job of driving the bride to church to my Dad, I don’t know who was most relieved to see the car show up James or the groom!scan099

James continued with more Mini’s, some for the road and some for Racing and Sprinting and a 1275GT, rolled by his cousin on one memorable boxing day when they popped out for a ‘quick spin’ returning about three hours later on a tow truck. Plus of course he had numerous cars for rallying which I wrote about in the last post and another bike – a Triumph Bonneville.scan095Scan 13 Scan 19

When I was at college James brought me my first classic a 1950’s Austin A35 in Speedwell Blue, I loved it and we went all over the place on A35 club events. On the way back from Longleat we had severe overheating problems and the head gasket had failed, this resulted in us taking the car to Kent to use a friends garage and completely overhauling the engine. This was my introduction to being ‘Mechanics Mate’, being given all the dirty jobs and I still wasn’t put off.old-scans038old-scans190 scan090 scan091 scan092 scan093old-scans047-mid80s scan094I loved the A35 and it was great fun, however I eventually was given a company car and had a new shiny Peugeot 205. This was the first of a series of small Peugeots and I still have a, now rather old, 206GTI as an everyday car today.scan096The convenience of a new car and with our time taken up with houses and jobs the poor A35 was left at my parents and needed rather a lot of work to get it back up to scratch. So in 1994 when we decided to buy Regie a Renault 4CV convertible from the South of France we popped the A35 on the trailer and gave it to some friends in St Paul de Vence, it’s probably still in the garage we popped it into 20 years ago.scan097 scan098We took Regie home and restored him as per our previous post, then around 1996 James popped off mysteriously to France and came home with a Citroen H-van or ‘Grumpy’ truck. I’d been coveting one of these for years but it was a complete surprise when he turned up with one off the ferry at 6am. We had great fun with the truck putting upholstered bench seats in the back so large groups of us could go out and picnic at events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed. We also took the truck on one of the Footman James Retro Runs to Silverstone where we got to do a lap of the track – dressed as french farmers with a Pantomime cow in the back Silverstone had seen nothing like it and we won the C&SC Spirit of the Event award, I believe that the historic lap was captured on video, I’d love to see it if anyone has a copy.retrorun059Unfortunately the Grumpy Truck really needed too much work doing to it and we had neither the time or money so it was used as a ‘shed’ for a number of years until it was eventually sold for spares.

The next classic was  of course Mario followed by Nippy the Subaru 360, both of which are still in the family and have of course Regie and are all here to stay. So who knows what the future will bring, you’ll have to keep reading the blog…
mario011 mario032DSCN9431

 

 

 

My big brother Regie…

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have a ‘Big Brother’, ‘Regie’, the Renault 4cv convertible, I thought it was time he got a bit of the glory and thought we’d tell you his story…

Regie wasn’t the families first classic, the human’s first car, when she was at college, was an A35 but we’ll keep that for another post. However with the A35 off the road a visit to a car show had introduced us to a Renault 4cv – the french equivalent of the A30/A35, Morris Minor etc and a love affair was born.

Now 4cv’s or 750’s as they were known in the UK were pretty few and far between over here so while on holiday in the South of France in 1993 we went to look at one for sale in the village near our friends house, where we were staying. It was OK but the owner wanted too much money so we left it. A few months later, just before Christmas our friends phoned and said they had found us a convertible model for sale, did we want it? So without knowing anything about it we said yes and sent a jiffy bag, with if I remember rightly about 8000 francs, in the post. We received back in the post these polaroid pics.scan017

The car apparently ran but had been used by the wife of the local Citroen dealer as a beach car and as such had no roof at all! When we started researching the convertible – not as easy in those pre-google times – we discovered that the convertible or Découvrable as it was known in France was very rare, the factory only made 9518 convertibles compared to over a million salons. As Regie was built in Sept 1958 and factory convertibles were only made up until 1956 we believe that our car is an ex-factory conversion, done when the car was new, an option which was available at the time.

So in February 1994 we set off for the South of France with a borrowed estate car and trailer to collect the 4cv. We took along the now rather sad A35 to give to another friend of ours who had always wanted one, they are as rare in France as the 4cv is here. When we first saw the 4cv at our friends house we were very pleased that it was running and had fun driving it around the grounds and even popped down to the village for some fuel. It was very cold for the South of France and there was snow in the hills and mountains when we went to watch the Monte Carlo Classic Rally come through, no need to say that we didn’t travel in a roofless 4cv! We took the opportunity to use our friends pit to have a good look underneath and were pleased to find it was pretty solid. The Cotes d’Azure climate had been kind to it.scan018 scan019We stopped off in Paris on the way back to go to the Retromobile show and pick up some bits and pieces for the restoration. We purchased a new badge for the front – the Renault diamond shape but in the 50’s the company was ‘Regie National Union Renault’ or RNUR which appears on the badge and has confused lots of people ever since! It is also of course where the name ‘Regie’ came from.

Once home we cracked on with the plans for Regie, this was ten years before James started his restoration business and so this was going to be a ‘hobby’ project. Initial work included the re-bushing of the suspension and completely overhauling the brakes. On my birthday on 23rd March, James surprised me by picking me up from the train in Regie, he’d secretly got an MoT and attracted lots of looks driving into the Station to collect me. By April we’d managed to sort all the paperwork and the car was registered in the UK… MFF 448 was born.

As James was working out of a small lock-up at home and he had no facilities in those days for body/paintwork, we set off on our first adventure driving round the M25 to Stevenage to our friend Mike’s who had a paint shop.scan020To save money we spent a weekend striping everything off the car, removing all the glass etc ready for Mike to start on the bodywork. Mike soon discovered why the bonnet didn’t fit too well – the front was about 2 inches shorter than it should have been, having obviously had a front end impact at some time which had been bodged rather than repaired properly. Mike, a real expert, soon put that right, fabricated and fitted new foot wells and repaired other minor damage.scan021 scan022Our initial idea for the colour had been French Racing or Gordini Blue, that lovely sort of mid toned colour, however Mike had other ideas and when we went back to Stevenage to put the car back together we were confronted by something much brighter! Mike had thought that the original choice was too dark and so mixed by eye some ‘Bugatti blue’ and sprayed the car. Once we’d got over the initial shock, put our sunglasses on and put all the brightwork back on the car we knew he was right and the colour was and still is to this day just perfect for Regie.scan023 scan024The car had been missing it’s distinctive ‘Moustache’ bars from the front (6 on early cars, 3 on later) but we’d been able to retrieve some from a car that was used for filming ‘Good Morning Vietnam’. The original ‘old stock’ RNUR badge we had picked up from Neo Retro at Retromobile completed the look. The chrome wing piping was also a nice finishing touch. The dashboard, inner window frames and steering wheel were sprayed back to their original contrast colour. James and Mike had constructed the missing roof frame from some publicity pictures but they turned out to be from a pre-production car so a mark2 version had to be constructed later.scan025

We took Regie home in his ‘half finished state’ and took a couple of weeks out to drive him around and have fun, this was perfect as long as the weather stayed fine as we still had no hood.

June 19th 1994 was our first big outing, James was away at Le Mans but I had a ticket for the enthusiasts car park at the 94 Goodwood Revival, this was inside the park on what is now part of the display area and I was determined that Regie would be on show. We still had no roof and the seats were held together with gaffer tape and then wrapped in tartan blankets but the bodywork looked cool and so with my parents and a picnic on board we set off for Goodwood. My Dad was convinced that the tiny engine wouldn’t make it up Goodwood Hill but it did, just! The car attracted a lot of attention even in it’s half finished condition.scan026The most important thing was to make the car waterproof. The mark2 frame was correct and our Trimmer Jeff did a brilliant job working out the right lines for the hood. We had the hood made in some lovely BMW material which is dark blue on the outside but beige on the inside so the car interior didn’t seem too dark, this was possible thanks to a small inheritance I had received from my Grandfather, he was always very enthusiastic about old cars and taught me to drive, he would have loved to have seen the Renault but unfortunately died just before we got it so it seemed a very fitting thing to do to remember him by.scan028scan032

The trimmer also rebuilt the seats and covered them with some lovely authentic cloth and trimmed all the inside, door panels etc. The french cars only ever had rubber mats on the floor, so luckily we were able to get a repro set from France at great expense but they fitted perfectly.

Now the car was protected from the elements, the last thing was to sort the engine. Originally a 750cc, 3 speed it was rather low on horsepower and we had been given an 850cc Dauphine Gordini engine and four speed box by our french friend in return for the A35. James picked it up when he went to Le Mans and we were pleased to find it was pretty complete and so James rebuilt the Gordini head, inserted new pistons and liners and replaced the bearings. Then one weekend in August, with the help of yours truly and a crane we changed the engine in the car park at home. The old engine was out in under two hours, the whole thing comes out on the axle, you just lift the car body up over it and pull the wheels and engine out! The new engine went in as easily and it started first time!scan027 scan029 scan030 scan031On the 7th September 1994, 7 months after collecting Regie he was back on French Soil. After an overnight ferry to Le Harve, breakfast in Honfleur and then an easy journey to Paris to get the MotorRail down to Fréjus in the South of France for the short drive to our friends in Grasse. We had a great time, Regie is the perfect car for cruising the Cotes d’Azure, we met up with many car orientated french friends and some english ones who loved a trip out in the glorious sunshine.scan033 scan034 scan035In the 20 years we have had Regie we have been to Europe on many occasions, taking him to France, Germany, Italy, Spain, over the Alps and the Pyrenees, to the Monza Grand Prix twice and to some fabulous car shows. We have had ups and downs, broken 2 crankshafts and been recovered home, had overheating problems, a broken windscreen and had the engine out in a square in a small village and then had a blacksmith weld bits up. But it’s all been tremendous fun and we have many very happy memories. Over the years James has fettled and developed the car so it is reliable, with the Gordini engine it runs at a sensible speed and keeps up with modern traffic meaning it is safe and practical to take on long journeys across Europe. We have added a few bits of French ‘bling’ – chrome sills and shiny Robri end plates to the wings – in period there were hundreds of accessories available for the 4cv. Other than the mentioned crankshafts and the cooling system we haven’t had to do much to the car, in fact many of the parts are the same as when it was restored. After an incident at one Goodwood Revival when a wing got damaged, we did have the outer repainted as the paint had always suffered a strange reaction and used to form small blisters in the heat which disappeared in cooler weather.

Reggie attracts attention wherever he goes and many times in France we have had to ‘park and run’ to avoid the French mob who want to tell us that that they ‘learnt to drive in one’, their Grandmother owned one, they were ‘born in one’ etc. We’ve even been chased  and stopped by the police on several occasions, who just wanted to take a look. Back at home, Regie was one of the first taxi’s at the Goodwood Revival, on it’s second running in 1999 when Renault organised the taxi rank and we were invited to take part, as regular readers know was the start of another story.

Regie is our ‘first born’ and is a very important member of our family who will be with us forever.

 

 

Our favourite cars… The Phantom Corsair

Phantom CorsairOver the years we’ve been lucky enough to see some very unique and special cars, either in museums or at the Goodwood Events. One of the vehicles to hold our attention the most, that has been displayed twice at the Festival of Speed in the Cartier Style et Luxe, originally in 2006 and then in 2012 for the 20th anniversary, was the absolutely fabulous 1938 Phantom Corsair.DSC01234 DSC01240 DSC01244 DSC01245 DSCN1872 DSCN1910 DSCN1915 DSCN1916 DSCN1947

Rust Heinz

Rust Heinz

Designed by Rust Heinz, Grandson of HJ Heinz, founder of the ’57 varieties’ food empire and Maurice Schwartz from the Bohman and Schwartz coach building company of Pasadena. The car was totally futuristic but had many features which were later taken up by the major manufacturers, although the Phantom never went beyond the concept car stage and remained a one-off prototype. When not being seen at car shows around the world the Phantom is kept in the Harrah Collection now the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nadava.1938-phantom-corsair2 1938-phantom-corvair-engine

Rust Heinz had got involved with designing and racing speedboats while studying Naval Architecture at University, but he dropped out with plans to build his dream car. Bank-rolled by a wealthy Aunt, after the disapproval of his project by the family, he designed the body with a series of clay models and it is even rumoured that he did some wind tunnel testing. The result was a steel and aluminium body only 1.4m tall but 6m long giving it an aerodynamic shape that had fully skirted wheels, flush wings and no door handles. It was built on a Cord 810 chassis with a 4.7 litre Lycoming engine, one of the most advanced available at the time, with front wheel drive, an automatic gearbox and independent suspension. The prototype was capable of a top speed of 115mph.

The Phantom was a six seater vehicle, with 4 people in the front, one to the drivers left and two behind with large drinks cabinets taking up most of the rear space!  The flush electric push button door operation was very futuristic and the dozen or so instruments on the dashboard included a compass and altimeter. The design also included a radio and air-conditioning.DSC01241

Young ones

Douglas Fairbanks Jr

Heinz tried hard to promote the car, producing a glossy brochure and using his Hollywood and Media contacts. With no orders coming in the car appeared in a 1938 film ‘Young at Heart’ starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr, it was rather inelegantly renamed the ‘Flying Wombat’ and the film used a series of mirrors so the one car was made to look like a showroom full of them.wombat-showroom

In July 1939 Heinz died after a car crash and his plans to put the Phantom Corsair into small-scale production at a cost of $14,700 each – three times that of a Cadillac – died with him. The family allowed it to be displayed at the 1939 New York World’s Fair as planned, in their sons honour.

The Heinz family suffered many tragedies and it has been said that the car was cursed. I do happen to know that on one occasion when it appeared at Goodwood it was said to have mysteriously moved on it’s own over night!

The car went on to have many owners over the years and in 1951 it ended up with comedian and early TV game show host Herb Shriner, who had the car customised partly to try and solve overheating problems. Strangely, he too ended up dying in a car crash. It was then owned by Nevada casino owner Bill Harrah who restored the car to it’s original conditions and put it in his car collection in Reno.

Customised version

Customised version

custom-2So there we have it a fabulous car with an intriguing story. It’s popularity is worldwide and for a one-off prototype, models are available and it has turned up in racing computer games and as Hot-Wheels toys. It’s certainly in list of favourite cars we’ve seen.game-1 game-2 hot-wheels

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!

Festival Fun… part 2

Continuing our musings and observations from this weekends Goodwood Festival of Speed…

Festival Ball Fireworks
On Saturday evening we popped down to Goodwood for a drink and to watch the Festival ball entertainment from a distance. The entertainment seemed to be a laser show with light lit dancers ‘fighting’ laser battles, this was followed by an awesome fireworks display which lit up the sky. We could just hear the sound of the Beach Boys playing in the distance but the wind was blowing the wrong way so it was very quiet.
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Cartier Style et Luxe
One of my favourite bits of FoS every year is the Cartier Style et Luxe, Concours d’elegance. Judged on design and style by a panel of guru’s from many disciplines, the event always brings together a collection of unique and fascinating vehicles. There were 7 classes ranging from Junior Sportscar of the 1920’s, Pre-war Supercharged Mercedes, Coach Built Maseratis of the 50’s to the Development of the Modern Super Car.

This amazing 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet was captured by the Russians during the war and driven back to Moscow where it was seen driving around for many years.
DSC02869 The 1971 Mazda RX500, seen in the UK for the first time was developed as a mobile test bed for high speed safety. Powered by a 491cc single rotor Wankel engine it had a top speed of 125 mph – is this the faster ever ‘micro’ car? The rear lights were intended to turn green under acceleration, orange when cruising at a constant speed and red when braking.DSC02930 DSC02935 I loved this 1964 ATS 3000 GTS. Automobili Turismo e Sport was founded by Ferrari defectors Giotto Bizzarrini and Carlo Chiti with the aim of beating Enzo Ferrari at his own game. The company folded in 1964 and only a handful of cars were made. I don’t know where the Dragon on the bonnet badge comes from?DSC03320DSC02942The 2004 Peugeot 907 concept car had an incredible leather interior which smelt devine!DSC02876 The 1971 De Tomaso Mangusta has a wonderful name which I had know idea about. Mangusta is italian for Mongoose, an animal capable of killing Cobras – a subtile swipe at the famous AC/Shelby Cobra of the time.DSC03317A 1969 McLaren M12 GTDSC02873The Best in Show was won by a rather unassuming Maserati A6 CGS Berlinetta, which I didn’t even take a picture of!

Displays
McLaren were very much in evidence this year not only with the F1 team but the Road cars had a big presence and for the first time, unveiled a new model at the Festival – this McLaren GT, their latest competition race car.
DSC03178The McLaren 650S was making its Festival of Speed debut having been revealed at the Geneva Motor show in March. There was a great display of F1 and road McLarens lining the walkway  to the Drivers Club.DSC02830 Maserati celebrating their 100th anniversary, were another company making a splash with the UK public debut of the Alfieri Concept, named after one of the Maserati brothers who founded the company. The Alfieri received the Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes at the upmarket Villa d’Este concours in northern Italy. The style of the moment seems to be for highlights of bright colours, this does look pretty good.DSC02921 DSC02920 Maserati had some great older cars in their display, the first generation Ghibli model from the 60’s, an original super car which now looks very small and simple compared with the modern versions. I never used to like this sort of car but I’m beginning to find them rather attractive.DSC02919 This 60’s first generation Quattroporte was probably one of the rarest cars at the event and one receiving the least attention.DSC02915 DSC02912Paddocks
The paddocks are of course the place to see the cars close up but it is quite difficult to get pictures of them, barriers and people in the way plus they are often half in shadow, half in sunshine. This 1911 Fiat S76 was absolutely huge, built to capture the Land Speed record it achieved over 180mph in 1912 and hasn’t been used since 1914 until this weekend! Another fantastic huge beast was the Renault 40cv Montlhery Coupe built in 1926 which averaged 107.5mph over 24 hours at Montlhery. The 1935 Monte Carlo winning Renault Nervasport was beautiful and very very shiny. On the Monte the car had faced extremely harsh winter conditions, with icy roads and temperatures down to -20°C. It followed up with a win on the 1935 Liège-Rome-Liège race (4500 km in a single leg) and took second place in the Morocco Rally, behind Bugatti.

DSC03493DSC03438 DSC03427DSC02794 In my opinion the Martini branding is one of the most attractive ever seen in motorsport, seen here on the Jaguar XJ220GT once the fasted car in the world. It’s great to see the livery back this year on the Williams F1.DSC02883 The Audi Type C Alpine was glorious, particularly the lovely oil/fuel can on the running boards. Audi won the Austrian Alpine Rally three times in this model 1912-1914.DSC02826 DSC02823 DSC02819For many years it has been traditional for cars to come straight from the Le Mans 24hr to Goodwood complete with dirt and damage. This year was no exception with several teams making an appearance including the winning Audi. Looking at how cramped the cockpit is I wouldn’t want to spend 10 minutes let alone a share of 24 hours inside.DSC02694DSC02696DSC03518The Mercedes-Benz transporter is pretty awesome and love the fact that it was built to go fast; 105mph and sign written on the side in order to intimidate their competitors!DSC02767Rally Stage
The forest rally stage cut into the chalk and woodland at the top of the hill is a great if dusty attraction. The rally paddock at the top is much quieter and more relaxed, much more like the earlier festivals. This year for the first time the rally stage was timed making it more competitive – possibly the reason it was red flagged so often! Nine times World Champion Sebastien Loeb was very quick in the Citroen DS3 WRC but I don’t know the final results. Also seen on the course the iconic Subaru Impreza WRC from 1997, a 1972 Lotus Esprit with ski’s on the roof, right up to modern cars.
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In the air
The skies above Goodwood are also full of action with regular air displays including a Hunter & Canberra, Typhoon and the Red Arrows in their 50th anniversary year livery with Union Flag painted tails.
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People
Of course it is the stars old and current that the people come to see, as the event has become bigger it is harder to meet your hero’s, rather than just mooching around the paddocks they are ensconced in the privacy of the drivers club and make timed appearances on sponsors stands. In the old days I always came away from the festival clutching a full autograph book and with ‘selfies’ in the camera, these days I can’t be bothered to try and run from stand to stand to try and catch a glimpse of a driver or push and shove in a scrum near the F1 paddocks to get my book signed. I was in the right place and the right place to see a few and at least amongst them a couple of my personal favourites Jochen and Emanuele …
Jochen Mass – F1 and SportscarsDSC03442Ex Red Bull F1 and now Porsche Sportscar driver Mark WebberDSC03356 1970’s Ferrari, Williams and March F1 driver Arturo Merzario, he was one of the drivers who saved Niki Lauda from his burning car in the 1976 German Grand Prix.

DSC03315Emanuele Pirro, F1, Touring car and Sportscar driver, winning Le Mans 5 times.DSC03192Current Red Bull F1 test driver Sébastien Buemi takes a new Infiniti up the hill during the Moving MotorshowDSC03084

 Shoot out
The weekend ended with the timed shoot out, the aim to try to beat Nick Heidfeld’s fifteen year hill record of 41.6 seconds in a McLaren MP4-13 Formula One car. Since then the F1 cars haven’t been timed as they were thought to be too dangerous, the current cars cannot be run as it is deemed by the FIA to be ‘testing’.

The main contender was Sebastien Loeb in the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak car. Unfortunately as the hill was running very late and Loeb had to leave he ran first. He made a good time but it was still three seconds off the record. No one else could come close and this made a bit of an anti-climax to the day.

Sebastien LOEB Peugeot 208 T16 ‘Pikes Peak’ 44.60
Michael BARTELS Maserati MC12 ‘Goodwood Cent 100’ 45.82
Kenny BRACK McLaren F1 GTR ‘Long Tail’ 47.52

We’d had a great weekend and decided for once not to stay for the prize giving as the afternoon was still running late. It had been another good year, we have never really watched the actual hill climb preferring to just wander around, chat to friends and generally soak up the atmosphere. My father had a brilliant day on Thursday and is still talking about it. It is through him that I got into cars and motorsport at a very early age spending much of my childhood standing in forests watching rally cars tear past or at Thruxton enjoying the destruction of Caravan racing. I suppose it wasn’t surprising that I ended up with a partner who has been car obsessed since he could talk. At least having a shared passion means we get to have great weekends together at events such as FoS, now we start looking forward to the best weekend of the year and one that Mario can join in… The Revival.

Festival fun… Part one

This weekend was our annual trip to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. We are lucky enough to live quite close to Goodwood so it is easy for us to get there without the cost of having to stay. This year I took my 81 year old Father, a lifelong motorsport fan, on Thursday to the Moving Motor Show as part of his birthday present. On Friday James and I went to the Bonham’s auction as James (a classic car restorer and broker) was looking at a car for a client. Saturday we had a day at home but popped down in the evening to see the Festival Ball fireworks and on Sunday we had another day at the event with a friend.

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Regie the 4cv Renault in the enthusiasts car park, looks like we are at a country fete! Today this would be just off the cricket pitch right in the middle of the event.

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The F1 paddock 1994

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Stripy tape hold the crowds back in 1994

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Many of the cars were parked outside the house.

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Just a single row of short bales line the track

The event has changed a lot since the first one in 1993, in the early days it was very relaxed and a great opportunity to get close to famous drivers and see extraordinary cars never seen before in the UK. Unfortunately over the years the event has been a bit of a victim of it’s own success and the daily crowd of around 50,000 means it is very busy and good old ‘health and safety’ has meant more barriers and less access.

There used to be more older vehicles but since the addition of the Revival meeting in 1998 the Festival had gradually become more modern and technically based. While I enjoy being able to see the F1 and rally cars I’m really not interested in super cars and the crowds of excited ‘boys’ gathered round them. In the ‘old days’ one could actually meet and chat to the great drivers of yesteryear but now the modern F1 ‘stars’ are kept hidden away in hospitality and protected by minders, unfortunately rather necessary with the gaggle of team-wear clad fans clambering for autographs.

We are probably rather spoilt as we have been able to go to all but one of the 22 Festivals and hence there isn’t much new to see these days but don’t get me wrong, we do have a good time and it’s a great social event and an opportunity to catch up with our motoring friends far and wide. Despite the forecast the weather was good and sunny most of the time, I’d love to know what Lord March does to ensure such favourable conditions for the event, although it’s most likely just down to a micro-climate at the base of the South Downs.

Central Feature
Every year a manufacturer is celebrated with the sculpture outside the house, this year was Mercedes and it went right over the house. Not one of my favourites but it did grow on me over the weekend.DSC03188 DSC03191 DSC03212 Goodwood-Festival-of-Speed-2014-Roof-Shots-Friday-16055

Bonhams Auction
The Bonhams auction is very prestigious and attracts a large number of very valuable cars and automobilia. The sale achieved £22.6 million including a World Auction Record for a Ferrari Sports racing car when the 1954 Ferrari 375-Plus sold for £10.7 million. A 1902 De Dietrich sold for astounding £998,300 and one of the most iconic sports cars of the 20th Century – a 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400 ‘Periscopio’ Coupé – sold for a new world record £953,500.

I thought that this Bonnet Mascot by Antoire Bofill from 1910 must have been seen by the creators of Shrek’s Puss in Boots.DSC02996PussbootsVettel’s Helmet as worn at the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix and uniquely painted for the event was sold for charity and went for £20,000.
DSC02991 Mario loved this Golf cart moulded from a original Fiat Jolly. It was made in 2008 and used by Lord March at the 2008 Revival. Fiat looked into manufacturing a limited number but changed their mindDSC02987 1935 Aston Martin UlsterDSC02855 My personal favourite was this 1939-40 Aston Martin Atom factory prototype concept car.DSC02858In the middle of the auction marquee we saw this box in the floor protecting a rare orchid growing underneath.DSC03010Manufacturers
Since the demise of the London Motor Show, Thursday’s Moving Motorshow has taken it’s place and perspective buyers can test drive new cars up the hill climb. Most of the major manufacturers attend and all vie with each other to attract the publics attention. Many new models are launched at the show and various concept cars are on display. The manufacturers stands have become very luxurious with multi stories and interactive features to entertain the family. Several of them have exclusive areas for owners on presentation of your keys. We had great hospitality from Jaguar including lovely little pies.DSC03110 Not so sure about a concept crossover Jaguar. Look at the size of those wheels!DSC03105 This Nissan concept was the result of a competition run around the world for young designers. Nissan were so impressed with the London teams designs that they had this concept built in three weeks.DSC03099 Another Nissan concept produced from the top results from a project where people around the world were asked to interactively design a car by making selections while wearing an virtual reality headset. Quite an interesting result with a retro feel but why in ‘hearing aid’ beige?DSC03097 Great lengths were taken to hide new cars to the moment of their unveiling but driving a covered car blind seemed to be taking it to new extremes.DSC03087Formula 1
One of the big things about the FoS is that most of the F1 teams come along and run their ‘almost’ current cars. This year a bigger ‘pit lane’ had been added with more space which made it easier to see the cars although we didn’t venture anywhere near when the drivers were around. McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams and Renault were on all display. It is very interesting to see how the cars have developed and until you see them together what you consider being a modern formula 1 car such as this 1994 Benetton Ford, that Schumacher drove, now looks very old fashioned and many of them look incredibly wide.

DSC02769 Even at the festival, lots of kit was required.DSC02765 Current F1 cars are extremely complicated.DSC02756DSC02713 DSC02730 It was nice to see that Williams have a tribute to Ayrton Senna on the nose.DSC02729 While the Mercedes has a rather cute little grill.DSC02715
The ‘garages’ are very slick.DSC02711 The F1 cars attract the most attention, the worlds journalists and photographers gathered around the Ferrari awaiting festival newcomer Kimi Räikkönen!DSC03431Part two to follow tomorrow (hopefully)…

 

Hot hot hot…

…the weather and the cars at the 20th anniversary Goodwood Festival of Speed.DSC00723

We had several days at the wonderful Goodwood Festival of Speed. Unfortunately there isn’t much point leaving ‘Mario’ parked in a dusty field so he stays at home. Starting on the Thursday which is the ‘Moving Motorshow’ day, this is much quieter and a good opportunity to have a look around without so many people, most of the displays seemed to be in position but it was only modern manufacturers using the hill for test drives.

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This years central sculpture was celebrating 50 years of the Porsche 911, taller than ever the minimalist structure soared into the air over the house displaying three 911’s at the top.

Our favourite areas as usual were the Cathedral Paddock and the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe Lawn’ where some absolutely beautiful cars were on display. The fifty years of McLaren feature was also well designed and layed out using quotes and footage of the companies history and the late Bruce McLarens own experiences, the new road cars looked impressive.DSC00771DSC01201DSC01202

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DSC00553DSC00562 DSC01043 DSC01044The Bonham’s auction on Friday attracted a great deal of attention, especially when the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula 1 Single-Seater became the most valuable motor car ever sold at auction. The car that took five-time champion Juan Manuel Fangio to the second of his Formula 1 world titles achieved a record-breaking figure of £19,601,500 (US$29,650,095, €22,701,864). Although a very famous car with lots of history and the only one not owned by Mercedes it didn’t really look that impressive, it would be difficult to know what to do with it as if it was restored to be raced it would lose all the knocks and scrapes which are it’s history and value.DSC00599 DSC00616

The F1 teams were in attendance as usual with a good smattering of regular and test drivers, the F1 paddock is always so busy and nowhere near as open as in the early days of the FoS when you could chat (and cuddle!) current drivers of the time such as Eddie Irving, these days the drivers have their own minders and are whisked away from the crowds, still it’s closer than you’ll get to them anywhere else. On Thursday I took my Dad for his 80th birthday, he has been a lifelong McLaren fan and the team very kindly let him into their area to take some pictures with the cars, this is what makes Goodwood special.DSC00632 DSC00654 DSC00657 DSC00697

The cricket pitch had been transformed to a strip of desert with some of the greatest land speed cars, the great scene setting was helped by the blazing sun.DSC01425On Friday afternoon we made it up to the top of the hill to the rally stage, although rather dusty it was brilliant to see old and new rally cars being driven in anger.DSC00897 DSC00898 DSC00926 DSC00944

We had a day at home on Saturday but popped down in the evening to see the Ball Fireworks. Always spectacular, they fill the sky and following an amazing show with acrobats, water fountains, motorbikes and this year a McLaren car to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the event. DSC01099 DSC01130 DSC01140 DSC01145 DSC01155 DSC01183

There are loads of stalls, food and major car manufacturers there but I have to praise Ford for a fantastic stand. A ‘scaffold’ tower displaying their new cars with a roof complete with deckchairs for viewing and complimentary photographs and most welcome in the heat, an endless supply of orange lollies, we managed to be at the top for both the Red Arrows Display on Friday and the Eurofighter Typhoon on Sunday as well as watching the twenty years parade go up the hill.DSC00711DSC00822 DSC00832 DSC00858 DSC00863 DSC00876DSC01475DSC01480DSC01363DSC01367 DSC01368 DSC01370 DSC01385 DSC01400 DSC01401 DSC01406 - Version 2In all it was a relaxed and social weekend, meeting up with lots of friends while being surrounded by some of the world’s most extraordinary vehicles. The weekend finished with the prize giving when Lord March was joined on stage by some of motorsports greats – Sir Stirling Moss, Jochen Mass, Derek Bell, Jackie Ickx, Damon Hill, John Surtees, Emerson Fittipaldi, Kevin Schwantz, Emanuele Pirro, Dougie Lampkin and Peter Fonda. Afterwards we were treated to a set played by the Eagles lead guitarist Don Felder who had performed at the ball the previous night, a great end to a fabulous weekend – sipping champagne in the evening sunshine listening to Hotel California! DSC01513 DSC01523 DSC01540 DSC01547 DSC01570

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking forward to Goodwood 2013…

Good News, Mario has been invited back to the period transport team at the Goodwood Revival in September, contracts are signed and returned and we can plan and look forward to our favourite weekend of the year.

In the meantime the ‘humans’ had the opportunity  to attend the press events at Goodwood last week to launch the Festival of Speed and the Revival for 2013. On the Tuesday evening we helped to recreate a scene from the Great Train Robbery for the Press Dinner at the House. It’s been 50 years since the hijack of the train and the haul of £2.6m (over £40m today) and Goodwood told the ‘story’ that get-away driver Roy John James – “the Weasel” who was a racing driver before and after the event, had been driving at the circuit the week before the robbery and hence the use of Goodwood House as a hideout.

The lucky guests who had earlier been passengers in rally cars on the hillclimb course and rally stage were drinking champagne when the robbers arrived with bags of swag to store in their hideout in the Egyptian Dinning Room, before the police tore up to the house in period police cars rushing in to arrest the ‘baddies’. James had great fun as a member of the constabulary.

You can see a film of the activity  

DSC07145 DSC07213 DSC07266The following day was the actual press day, once again Goodwood were lucky with the weather and the assembled cars and sideshows  formed a spectacular site in front of the house. The day takes the format of a ‘mini’ Festival of Speed, although there are currently more cars at Press Day then there were at the first four festivals!

Lord March opened the preceedings with a run down of what’s happening later in the year, then the journalists get the chance to ride in the cars on the Hill Climb course. A wonderful collection of catering H-Vans provided the refreshments and there was entertainment from the Goodwood actors and period singers.

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DSC07322 The press room still decked out as the robbers hideaway and ankle deep in ‘Goodwood notes’DSC07421The Chariot racing will be back at the Festival
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This year is the 20th anniversary of the Festival of Speed and lots of favourites from the last twenty years will be assembled. The central feature will celebrate 50 years of the Porsche 911. Other celebrations include 90 years of Le Mans, 60 years of World Sportscars and 50 years of McLaren and the Mini Cooper S.

A good selection of Celebrity drivers were in attendance – one of Mario’s favourite passengers Jochen Mass, Dougie Lampkin, Sammy Miller, Derek Bell, Emanuele Perro, Barrie Williams, Andy Wallace, Chris Evans and Nick Mason to name a few.

DSC07686 DSC07654 DSC07592Looking forward to the Revival the things to look forward to include, racing into the evening on the Friday (means a long busy day for Mario!), a GT40 exclusive race, the J40 pedal cars will be back and one of the parades will include a peleton of Tour de France Bikes with period support vehicles.DSC07617 DSC07607 DSC07471 DSC07372DSC07596 A beautiful BugattiDSC07547 The fabulous Napier RailtonDSC07447 DSC07427

All in all a great day and lots to look forward to for the rest of the year – lets just hope it gets a little warmer!