Sunny Sunday… at Goodwood of course!

The sun generally seems to shine at Goodwood and after a few rather horrible weeks weather wise, last Sunday proved to be no exception. We set off fairly early for us but not for most Breakfast Club participants – Brunch Club would be much more our thing! It was a lovely morning and the great thing about driving Mario is the open road in front, just don’t look behind, especially when going up Goodwood Hill…We had a pass for circuit access and were soon parked up with the usual crowd gathered around. The theme was Classic Sunday and is our favourite Breakfast Club of the year. It was very busy with a good and varied collection of vehicles.This Opel had been opened since new. James was pleased to see this what appeared to be an Original Jaguar C-type, he was pleasantly surprised about the lack of ‘Kit Cars’ in attendance, far less than other breakfast clubs.Mario found a distant cousin in this rather lovely Fiat 500 Giardiniera, hopefully we’ll be seeing it again in the Fiat 500 Parade at the Revival. Having restored a Mini Moke for a client a few years ago, James was very interested in this prototype Moke, very rare and unusual in makes the production More look positively luxurious!We loved this cute Fiat 850 Coupe which brought back ‘happy’ memories of the standard 850 that Jane learnt to drive in – called ‘Tetley’ as it had 1000 little perforations, you need to be a certain age to understand that or a connoisseur of TV adverts! The picture is on the morning of Jane’s 17th birthday and the start of her first driving lesson. A rather colourful section of the displayAfter Breakfast Club we drove up to Goodwood House for the GRRC Open Day. This great ‘action’ shot of Mario was taken by fellow member Helen Sanders.
The open day consists of a friendly, public judged Concours. It was won, slightly surprisingly by a 2017 Aston Martin which to be honest I didn’t pay much attention to and didn’t take any photos off. My choice of the day was between two entries…

A 1955 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint, a very early example from a pre-series production. It ws originally sold to Swedish GP Driver Joakim Bonnier. A ten year restoration has led to the beautiful car on display.
My other choice was a close relation of Mario – a gorgeous 1959 Fiat Abarth 750GT. Using a 600 floorpan and with Zagato’s lightweight aluminium Coachwork and Abarths’s modified engine and exhaust. The type won its class at Le Mans and the last Mille Miglia in 1957.
James was nostalgic, seeing an Austin Westminster Rally Car – he rallied many times in his (Police) Westminster many years ago, until he overtook a snowplough and crashed into a gate post. The awards were made by Lord March.

So a lovely relaxing day in the sunshine, chatting to old friends and looking at old cars – couldn’t ask for much else, other than a great drive home in Mario.

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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.

The busiest day of the year…

May is always a very busy time for us as we organise the Haslemere Classic Car Show and tour in our town. 2016 was the eighth year we have run the show although it has grown considerably over the years. We launch the event in late Jan/early Feb depending how good we have been about getting our annual business accounts done! Luckily as the day is so popular we don’t have to do too much to promote it. We are limited in space by the size of the Green and this year for the first time we were full with advance bookings and even had a waiting list for the morning tour.

There is a lot of organising to do in 4 months, booking in all the cars, sorting the stalls and food, producing a lucky programme, advertising, posters etc plus a FaceBook campaign and local press to let the public know about the event. People come from all around the area and this year we had several entries from further afield.

After a busy week of final preparations we spent the Saturday morning, marking out the Green with a cricket pitch marker to a very detailed plan we had drawn to scale. This was important as we had limited space and we needed to use it effectively. A friend of ours used a drone before and after the show so we could see how well our plan worked. It would have been very successful apart from the St. Johns Ambulance parking in the wrong place and blocking the carefully planned access road, which we didn’t notice until it was too late!IMG_1181DCIM100MEDIADJI_0073.JPGHomemade bunting using previous years rally platesK_100218After years of going to car shows ourselves, we have tried to make the HCCS the show we would like to go to. We like to drive our cars and so in the morning we organise a ‘tour’. Nearly 100 cars met on the Green for breakfast before departing on a 60 mile round trip through the beautiful local countryside of the South Downs National Park with a refreshment stop at the Goodwood Motor Circuit. We still managed to find some new roads that even the ‘locals’ hadn’t been down before.

DSC09189DSC09198IMG_0696IMG_0739K_100140K_100092K_100072K_100067IMG_0817IMG_0750The cars arrived back to meet up with the show cars and all parked up on the green to make a great display. The show is just an afternoon rather than an whole day and so people don’t get bored and the majority of the entrants stay for the duration.

Around the Green we have 50 or so quality stalls, selling crafts, local produce, vintage and classic car related products, together with a varied selection of hot and cold food, bar, cream teas, charities and local organisations. The Georges Regis Jazz Band entertains the crowds and there are amusements for the kids.

We hold a couple of competitions, the People’s Choice where the public vote for the car they would most like to take home and the Best Dressed Car and Driver, judged by James and show supporter Adrian from Keats Estate Agents. We also organise a ‘Bake-off’ competition for cakes that look good and taste good for adults and kids.

Yet again we were lucky and it was a glorious sunny day, the Green was bursting with fabulous cars, both the immaculate and the well loved. Mario was obviously on display. The whole day seemed to go very well with everybody enjoying themselves and we had lots of lovely comments. It’s just a shame that the day goes so quickly and we don’t really have the time to see everything and talk to everybody properly.

Organising the day just take a lot of hard work and effort which is all done voluntarily and in our ‘spare’ time but it is nice to give something back to your community and although we always go through a few moments of ‘I’m never doing this again’ we are already talking about how to improve things on 2017!

Mario chills in the sunshine with his friend BellaDSC_0005Three stunning cars from a local private collection caused great excitement. Lamborghini Miura, Lagonda Le Mans and Gullwing Mercedes.DSC_0007 Best dressed Car and Driver Winner Lisa Costello. Lisa only finished restoring this lovely Isetta 2 weeks before the show and a day before she used it to drive to her wedding!DSC_0012DSC09336DSC09340 Runner-up, Best Dressed – Richard Bourne from London in his immaculate 1965 Jaguar E-type Series 1 RoadsterDSC09393 This immaculate 1972 Ford Capri (my Dad had one just like it) owned by Gary Bartlett from Winchester won the People’s ChoiceDSC09426 Runners-up – Dean Lucas from Haslemere in his 1965 MGB and Bob Marchant from Brighton in his 1967 Austin A35 Police Van DSC09325 DSC09423IMG_3922 Busy stallsDSC09223 DSC09229 DSC09239 Town Crier Christian Ashdown was a Bake-off JudgeDSC09244 DSC09284 DSC09212DSC09288 Winners of the Bake-off, Mother and Daughter effort from Debbie and Kate ValentineDSC09298 Best dressed car and driver entrantsDSC09317 DSC09322DSC09344 DSC09348DSC09354 DSC09359 DSC09365 DSC09368 DSC09370 DSC09374 DSC09381 DSC09384DSC09406 Bright and colourful showDSC09351 DSC09195 IMG_3917 IMG_3919IMG_3938Time to go home…DSC09429

 

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

 

 

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.

Scan 6

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.

Scan 7

The F1 paddock 1994

Scan 8

Stripy tape hold the crowds back in 1994

Scan 9

Many of the cars were parked outside the house.

Scan 10

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)…

 

A Micro Marathon… part 2

Continuing our adventures in ‘Nippy’ the Subaru 360 on the Micro Marathon in 2009. It had all been going so well but that was all about to change…DSCN3024

Day 5 – Wednesday 9 September Alcañiz to Tarragona
Straight back to Motorland first thing in the morning, where we had a Spanish breakfast of coffee and wonderful little cakes. Another three lap test but on a shortened course from the night before. This time there was no ‘squealing’ brake in Nippy and we went clear, so did Craig and Victor. Mark and Jane in the Messerschmitt were too fast again, had to seriously slow for the line and ended up over the bogey time again, so the competition was now on with ‘Kato’ and the Messerschmitt equal on points.

Target 2:00:4
2 Isetta 2:18.8
4 Subaru 2:00:1
5 Subaru 2:00:1
6 Messerschmitt 2:01:4
7 Fiat 500 2:07:4
8 Fiat 500 1:58:3
10 Trabant 2:10:1
11 Morgan 2:05:5DSCN3627 DSCN3632 DSCN3657 DSCN3692

It was another beautiful but hot morning with a good route including a section on a ‘Camino Rural’ which wasn’t on the map. We had a good run but following the stop at the kart circuit, time was tight to make the lunchtime stop at Morella and we had to average more than 50km an hour to make the stop, quite a feat in a 360cc car. At Morella, a spectacular mediaeval walled town, which is normally pedestrianised, we had special permission to drive through the main gates and through the town, where we had a civic reception and were officially welcomed to the area. We parked up and had a wander around the town and grabbed a spot of lunch.DSCN3725 DSCN3739 DSCN3764 DSCN3798

The afternoon was initially uneventful, apart from some roadworks, a few miles was just dirt. We got all the photo controls but then shortly after leaving Miravet and joining a main road to Tarragona, the Subaru suddenly became noisy and after a metal on metal squeal James immediately pulled over and discovered the bad news that the engine had seized. James took part of the engine apart on the side of the road and managed to free it off but the diagnosis wasn’t good, it appeared that a bearing had failed in the bottom of the engine – Nippy’s rally was over.DSCN3808 DSCN3810 DSCN3814 DSCN3816

We decided the best thing was to use the rally support to get Nippy to the hotel in Tarragona which was only about 40km away, where we could access the situation and organise recovery. Several of the competitors stopped to check we were OK and shortly after, Roy and Clive the rally support crew arrived. We all put on florescent tabards and put out two triangles as per Spanish law which was just as well as the Police turned up just after we had turned Nippy round and were pushing him onto the trailer. Initially they helped but them got quite angry and appeared to be telling us that we must use a lorry for the car not a trailer. They spoke no English and just shouted more, I eventually remembered some letters that the organiser had given us from the authorities giving permissions to run the event, when we showed them these, they decided to let us continue but made a real fuss of directing the traffic. We thought they were the local bobbies but afterwards discovered that they were the Civil Guard who generally shoot first and ask questions later!

Roy towed us into Tarragona, he is a professional heavy truck driver but I have to say I prefered the kart track to that drive down the hills to the coast! After several days of unexpectedly beautiful scenery, hitting the Mediterranean coast was the Spain we had been expecting, very industrial and developed, building sites, oil refineries and the roller coasters of Port Adventura in the background. Nippy was unloaded into the hotels parking and I rushed to sign in seconds before the deadline just in case a miracle happened and he could be fixed. After a quick shower we phoned the assistance, they were insisting that the car had to be taken to a Subaru dealer for assessment and possible repair so we tried our contacts at Subaru to see if they could help. We made the dinner in the hotel where the rest of the crews were all very sympathetic and everybody was offering help and more importantly very large Spanish Brandies.

Day 6 – Thursday 10 September Tarragona to Andorra
A day of two parts – heaven and hell. Heaven for the rest of the rally crews, they set off heading towards the Pyrenees. A lunch stop at the Classic Motor Club de Bages allowed a good viewing of a private collection including lots of unusual microcars. Climbing back into the mountains, the final control of the day was at the National Automobile Museum of Andorra. The competitors made their way to Soldeu and the nights halt at the Sport Hotel – a great ski resort high in the mountains.

For us though the day was hell. We awoke to a beautiful sunrise over Tarragona bay. We unloaded everything from Nippy and put it and our luggage in the baggage van, we felt very sad to see everybody heading off on the days adventure but we were hopeful we’d be catching up with them soon in a hire car. It all appeared to be going well so I had a wander around the town until James called to say there had been a problem with Subaru helping us and we had to call our own assistance. This started a catalogue of problems lasting over eight hours and involving two taxis, two hotels, a station, two hire cars, two airport terminals and loads of phone calls to an incompetent office which lied all day. It was all very complicated as the assistance wanted to fly us home and collect the car but A. I don’t fly, B. Our car and trailer was in Toulouse plus all our luggage was headed for Andorra with the rally and C. We wanted to complete the last bit of the route and go to the final dinner in Carcassonne. This caused lots of problems as we needed a hire car that we could collect in Spain and deliver back in France. At 7.30pm we finally got into a hired French Registered Smart car at Barcelona Airport and set off for Andorra, at least it was an ideal car to follow a microcar rally. DSCN3848 DSCN3879 DSCN3880

The traffic was very heavy as the Spainish were travelling to the mountains for the following Catalunia National Day holiday. The Smart car was brilliant but by 9.30 we were still a long way from the hotel and so stopped in the last small town before the high mountains for a quick steak and chips. Back in the car and several impressive roads and long tunnels later we made it to Soldeu in Andorra at 11.30pm, to be met by the hardy members of the rally in the bar to a round of applause. The Sport resort was a lovely hotel which we didn’t get a chance to appreciate but we had a couple of drinks and caught up with the days happenings, Bernie and Dan in the Giardiniera were back on the road and finally enjoying some rallying but the Berkley was back on the trailer.

Day 7 Friday 11 September – Andorra to Carcassonne
Up early for the best breakfast of the trip, an amazing spread being cooked in front of us. Everybody checked out, shivering in the early mountain air, the microcars looked great parked outside the flower decked hotel. After waving the cars off we followed in the Smart car – Mike the photographer well wrapped up against the cold winds got a massive surprise when we appeared at the top of a mountain! The first Col, Port d’Envalira was the highest of the trip at 2408m although the roads weren’t as impressive as those earlier in the week and they were busy with locals as one of the tunnels was closed. We continued via Port de Pailhéres 2001m, (where we had to stop for a wolf in the road), Col de Moulis 1099m and Col du Garavel 1256m we left the mountains and crossed back into France, entering the rugged Cather area of bare cliff faces with impressive ruined castles clinging on to the ridges. The rally wound through the incredibly narrow Gorges de Galamus, a popular tourist attraction with a traffic jam, as there was very few places for oncoming traffic to pass unless you were in a microcar!DSCN3905 DSCN3926 DSCN3938 DSCN3942 DSCN3955 DSCN3979

With the possibility of the event result being a draw there was to be a tie break photo – a detour was made to Chateau de Peyrepertuse, this amazing castle is only reached by a very steep and uneven climb on foot over the rocks, in the now very hot midday temperatures. Showing competitive behaviour Vic & Craig and Jane & Mark both had to scramble to the very top to try to get a ‘Passage Control’ picture to impress Malcolm the organiser – I’m not sure how impressed he was with the results as rather too much flesh (not shown here) was exposed! Vic fell over on way down, I did point out that both members of the crew had to be alive to win.day7castle DSCN3992 DSCN4010

We left the castle for the final run to the finish. About 40km from Carcassonne we came across the American crew Keven and Loree in the Trabant on the side of the road with a problem, Mark who had also stopped and James diagnosed the problem as a failed coil, the Trabant has one for each cylinder. First they tried Marks spare which was also faulty, luckily Hedwig and Nicole in the Morgan had one which was fitted and we followed them towards Carcassonne. Seeing the medieval city in front of us was very sad as Nippy wasn’t reaching the finish. The cars gathered outside the city walls and then drove in together through the narrow crowded streets.DSCN4028MM_1617carcassonne DSCN4080 DSCN4105MM_1744

A final dinner was held in the Hotels Restaurant – local specialities of goats cheese salad and cassoulet. Malcolm and the head of PR for Fiat France made speeches and presented the awards. Everybody was presented with a finishers medal, all the drivers and navigators were there even though some cars hadn’t actually made it to the end. Although the Messerschmitt and the Subaru had finished equal on points, the overall winner was declared to be Vic and Craig, as they had the smaller engine and on the tests they were clear on two and on the other it was impossible for the Subaru to achieve the time. Craig also got the drivers prize and Jane Southgate the navigators. So there we were at the end of a brilliant weeks event and all that was left to do was party… MM_1796DSCN4150 MM 096

So another great event was over. There had been highs and lows but most of the brave little cars completed a week of hard driving, high temperature, steep passes and track challenges. Poor ‘Nippy’ made it home on a transporter about a week after we did. He requirers fairly major surgery to replace a failed bearing, pistons and rods. This has been delayed by lack of time, money and technical difficulties. The language barrier with Japan and the small number of the Subaru 360’s throughout the rest of the world has made sourcing new parts very difficult. We are still hopeful that he will be fixed before too long and be ready to go on whatever will be his next great adventure…