Edwardians star at 74th Members Meeting

PrintA couple of weeks ago we spent the weekend at the 74th Members Meeting at Goodwood. This much lower key event was revived in 2014 and is intended to be a recreation of the original seventy one Members Meetings that were held at the track in it’s heyday. It’s a treat for us, as we actually experience a weekends racing, it’s much less crowded and more accessible with no corporate hospitality then at the Revival later in the year, when we are busy working as part of the period taxi fleet.

Taking place in mid March the potential downside is the weather, luckily it stayed dry but it was rather chilly as it is an exposed airfield. However as James often says “there is no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing” and so we prepared well. With lots of layers – I could hardly move and looked like a Michelin Man – hats and warm boots, we stayed toasty all weekend. We saw some very stupid people who didn’t dress for the conditions and obviously weren’t enjoying it and the numbers thinned out quite quickly in the afternoons.

Saturday is practice day and after a great journey down to Goodwood, we arrived about 10.30. Unfortunately we didn’t have circuit parking for Mario, unlike the first 72 meeting and so left him at home. New this year and what we were most looking forward to, was the SF Edge Trophy for Edwardian Specials raced up until 1923. These proved to be the total stars of the weekend. One of the first things we saw in the paddock was this fabulous fire breathing Darracq, a 1905 land speed record car which was totally awesome. The practice session was amazing with a field of unique vehicles, most of which looked positively dangerous.DSC07239 DSC07287 DSC07304 DSC07305 DSC07343 DSC07352 DSC07354 DSC07360 DSC07244On Saturday there was a special demonstration of two Championship winning Mercedes Benz W196’s from the 50’s. Driven by Jochen Mass and Mika Hakkinen. We almost missed them so only got a rear view!DSC07371 DSC07388 We popped in the viewing of the Bonham’s auction. Mario would have been pleased to see a couple of small Fiats. We loved the Mercedes Service van and wanted to take home the Autobianchi Bianchini, just as well it wasn’t the cabriolet version or I might have had a problem keeping my arm down!DSC07402 DSC07404 DSC07409 DSC07411 DSC07412 DSC07414 DSC07420 As it started to get dark the Alan Mann Trophy got underway with a field of 29 Ford GT40’s charging into the darkness.DSC07446 DSC07457Then it was time for the party. Unique to the Members Meeting, everybody is invited to an evening of entertainment, with fairground rides, high wire acts, fire dancing and parades. All finished off with a tremendous fireworks display which lit up the sky as far as the eye could see.DSC07466 DSC07471 DSC07485 DSC07503 DSC07553 DSC07556 DSC07625 DSC07630 DSC07672 Sunday morning saw another good run to the circuit and we made sure that we arrived in plenty of time for the Edwardian race. At the entrance was this lovely Speedwell Blue A35, just like my first car (sort of!). We discovered that the racing was already running very late, this was due to a horrid and freak accident in the first race of the day, when a car had rolled and ended up in the tunnel beneath the track. Amazingly nether the driver or any members of the public were hurt but unfortunately it put a damper on the day and heralded a day of incidents and red flags, including another massive accident in the afternoon, again under unusual circumstances. The driver although injured wasn’t as bad as feared. Goodwood keep a very low profile over major accidents and do not show or comment on them and so I will not dwell on them any further or add links to images and video. The result of all the stoppages was that several of the races had to be shortened and it did take the gloss off of the racing.  DSC07675

DSC07698The Edwardian race however was superb. Exciting, competitive and with no incidents. In vehicles that were difficult to drive and handle, the drivers showed tremendous respect for each other while racing hard. They are completely bonkers, racing as they do while perched high up, exposed and unprotected on tiny seats and with a huge difference in size between the cars.
DSC07715 DSC07718 DSC07721 A high speed demo by the group 5 sportscars, which had dominated the World Sportscar Championships in the 70’s, including the iconic Gulf Porsche was a spectacular sight.DSC07765 DSC07773 DSC07778 DSC07797 We set off for a trip out to Lavant and spotted this lovely Volvo P1800 which is a car I’ve fancied owning for a while.DSC07812 Part of the Members Meeting is all the other events which take place around the circuit for people to join in and earn points for their house. Out at Lavant Corner I had a go at Duck Herding – well I stood in the middle of a field and the sheep (duck) dog and ducks did what the knew how to! There was also Feret Racing.DSC07813 DSC07819 DSC07822We went back to the paddock area for a tasty pre-birthday Afternoon Tea in the Bill Wisdom Enclosure. Then we had a good look around the Edwardian cars, which are even more impressive (and oily) close up and great for some detail photography.IMG_1087DSC07681DSC07685DSC07865 DSC07871 DSC07872 DSC07877 DSC07878 DSC07884 We went infield beyond the startline, to an area which at the Revival is all hospitality, here we had a good view back to the start through the daffodil display. The Ground Effect F1 cars gave a good high speed demonstration, unfortunately we missed the grid walk as due to the incidents the timings were all over the place. It was a good viewing spot so we stayed there to watch part two of the Gerry Marshall Trophy for the Group 1 Saloon cars 1970-1972.DSC07894 DSC07897 DSC07983 DSC07985 DSC08007 The Parnell Cup is another favourite with pre 1953 Grand Prix cars, including ‘Remus’ the blue with yellow wheels ERA which made such an impression on us, in the first race, at the first Revival, way back in 1998 and started our love affair with motorsport at Goodwood.DSC08027DSC08017 As the sun started to set, there were still three races to go, these all had to be shortened and were run with no ceremony but they had a certain intensity and in the cooling conditions, the lack of ‘hanging about’ was rather welcome.DSC08031 DSC08037 DSC08058 DSC08092 DSC08113 So with the racing over, the remaining spectators and competitors, headed for the Great Hall for the prize giving. Warmed up with Bullshot – hot Bloody Mary’s made with beef consommé – the ceremony took the format of a school awards day with the Race Governors in their robes handing out the prizes. The four House Captains waited anxiously to find out which house had won – Methuen and Anthony Reid for the third year running, although it was our house captain Emanuele Pirro who had the last word, thanking Lord March for the weekend.DSC08121 DSC08130 DSC08138

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!

Time off at the Goodwood Revival…

Although we have to work hard we do get to have some time off and see some of what’s going on at the Goodwood Revival. Here’s a snap shot of what we got to see…

We took Mario along to see our old friends at Kenwood, they generously supported the Haslemere Classic Car Show earlier in the year and had a great set up at the Revival with a period style sitting room and Kitchen. They also had a photographer on hand who took these great images, you can tell Jane was missing her Kenwood Chef from home!1238755_522772184470841_714174175_n575268_522771934470866_1522749277_nWe then had a wander through the paddock, the only real chance we got to see the fabulous racing machinery on display.
DSC02784 DSC02786 DSC02788 DSC02789 DSC02790 DSC02791 This year Goodwood were celebrating 50 years of the Ford GT40 with a series of demonstrations, The Whitsun Trophy dedicated race and a special GT40 pit area.DSC02795 DSC02796 DSC02797DSC02799 DSC02800Following on from the re-inactment of the Great Train Robbery which James took part in at press day earlier in the year, they had an actual Royal Mail train carriage on site with actors creating set pieces throughout the weekend.DSC02803 DSC02805 This year the air displays were a little muted due to the weather conditions, however the English Electric Canberra PR9, the RAF’s first jet bomber introduced in May 1951 made an impressive sight and sound.DSC02816 Friday evening was supposed to see the 90 minute Freddie March Memorial Trophy race into the setting sun, unfortunately the weather had other ideas and the rain started lashing down. The race was eventually stopped early after several incidents and safety car periods. Cars such as Jaguar C-types, Aston Martin DB3’s and Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica’s still made an impressive sight in the dark, headlamps reflecting in the standing water.DSC02833 DSC02836 DSC02837 DSC02841 DSC02843 DSC02846 Saturday morning started in beautiful sunshine, we had to pick up Jochen Mass’ party outfit from the Revival Village and deliver it to the hotel so we stopped off at Tesco’s on route for a couple of period style pics.DSC02867 DSC02870After the taxi’s stopped on Saturday evening we took advantage of the lovely evening to have another look round the infield area. I love the revival like this when the public have gone home and everything is peaceful, the silence just broken by the Spitfire swooping in for the party display, the setting sun glinting off the bodywork.DSC02922 DSC02926 DSC02927 DSC02928 DSC02929 DSC02930 DSC02938 This year the ViP’s and drivers entering the drivers club were greeted with Everest base camp. Celebrating the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay conquering the summit of Everest. I’m not sure what the team used to create the snow but weirdly it felt cold standing there.

DSC02946 DSC02948 DSC02961 DSC02963 Sunday was too busy and then too wet to see much but managed to catch the Junkers Ju 52/3m. This WW2 transport plane seems so slow in the air that it really shouldn’t stay up there.DSC02976 We finished the weekend late on Sunday with our only visit to ‘Over the Road’, we managed to catch the final performances of ‘Black Elvis’ and Mr B – the gentleman rhymer. A great but rather drunken atmosphere in the marquee, if rather surreal with Land girls, sailors, 50’s girls and gentlemen in damp tweed all dancing the conga, all in all the perfect end to a weekend back in time.DSC03049 DSC03070