Wonderful Wales – tour in ‘Regie’ the 4cv

As usual when it comes to holidays, Mario gets left at home and ‘brother’ Regie the 4cv convertible gets to play, no offence to Mario but Regie is just a better car for touring, the 850 Dauphine Gordini Engine means we can keep up safely with modern traffic on the road, it’s more comfortable for longer journeys and hasn’t got a roof, which hopefully is a good thing!

This year we had decided to go on an organised car tour – Watton’s Wander, organised by one of James’ rally pals. It was a relaxed four day tour around South Wales.  As this was to be our holiday for 2016, we decided to make the trip West worthwhile and spent a couple of days visiting other motoring friends in Devon and Somerset on route. We had a lovely couple of days and Regie spent some time with one of his Girlfriends – Bluebelle a Morris Minor convertible, although he wasn’t so impressed with being left behind while Bluebelle’s humans took us for a ride to the seaside. It was fun and interesting to experience the differences between the two fairly similar classics.

dsc02008

On a rather wet Monday morning we left our friends and set off for Wales. Our first stop and meeting place was The Plough Inn just outside of Llandelio, Carmarthenshire. We arrived in the early evening and had soon joined old friends and fellow entrants in the bar. By the morning the bad weather had cleared and we set off on out first adventure.

dsc02051

img_1343

Day one –  Pembrokeshire Coast and secret coves

After skirting Carmarthen, our first stop off was Laugharne, the home of Dylan Thomas. The Castle looked lovely but their was a very high tide and the area around it was flooded!

dsc02061

A few miles further on was the famous Pendine Sands, unfortunately the high tide meant we couldn’t see the vast sands used for motor racing but we spend an interesting time at the Babs Museum. Babs was a land speed record car from the 20’s, the driver John Parry-Thomas was killed on the sands in Babs and the car was buried in the sand dunes until 1969 when it was exhumed and restored. The car spends much of it’s time at Brookland’s but luckily for us it was at Pendine.

dsc02076

We had a lovely picturesque drive along the beautiful coastline, stopping off in St David’s to see the Cathedral and then the Llys-y-Fran reservoir and dam, which was also a Hill Climb course – obviously we had to have a drive up it.

dsc02101dsc02133

This trip is all very relaxed and not competitive, the benefit of which is you can go off route if you wish. It was disappointing not to see the actual sand at Pendine so we made a detour on our return route. We were hoping to get Regie on the beach for a picture but unfortunately the barrier was locked.

dsc02146

dsc02178

Day two – the Black Mountains and Valleys

A rather chilly and grey day but dry and we were still ‘roof down’. The morning started in the valley’s with some rather tricky map reading designed to take us through a series of fords and some rather bleak mountain roads. Even James who is an experienced rally navigator found the instructions rather unfathomable but with James Mann and Tracy in the Vintage Lagonda we made it through to Llangadog and found a lovely pub for lunch, not long after most of the group joined us. ‘Josephine’ the Lagonda was was originally brought by James Mann’s grandfather in the 30’s and he competed in the Monte Carlo rally in 1936. James and his Brother took Josephine back on the Historic event last year on the 80th anniversary.

We were very impressed that the Welsh farmers had painted the sheep to match Regie!

wonderful-wales_160921_0366a

dsc02212

dsc02215dsc02249

wonderful-wales_160921_0526a

Towards the end of the day we stopped off at Talley Abbey. The weather was closing in and it looked very dramatic against the dark sky, we weekened for the last few miles back and put the roof up!

dsc02270

dsc02299

Day three – The Brecon Beacons Valley’s and Hidden treasures

It was a beautiful morning as we packed up and left the Plough, for a stunning drive into the Brecon Beacons. The scenery was breathtaking as we traversed a series of mountain roads. Most of the group stopped off at the Penderyn Distillery, there wasn’t enough time for a tour but we stocked up on the lovely Brecon Gin which we had been drinking in the hotel.

dsc02314

dsc02326

dsc02339

dsc02353

dsc02360

dsc02369

Stopping off for lunch at the Mountain Railway and afternoon tea in Brecon itself, we were soon crossing the famous Epynt ranges, home to many well known rallies.  The land is owned by the MoD, the army were very much in evidence and we just sneaked through before they began ‘Live firing’! It wasn’t much further to our second hotel the Lake Country Hotel and Spa at Llangammarch Wells.

dsc02407

dsc02410

dsc02420

Day Four – The lakes of the Cambrian Mountains

Our final tour took us back West, the route up through the Elan Valley and the series of reservoirs was truly stunning. At one point a difficult spot of navigation went a little wrong and we ended up through a series of beautiful farms and tiny tracks until arriving at a gate – luckily unlocked and we managed to get through and join the original route.

dsc02484

dsc02501

dsc02509

dsc02533

Lunch was at the seaside in Aberystwyth, fish and chips on the prom in the sunshine. Another stop at at railway drew quite an audience who wanted to know all about Regie and Josephine.

dsc02539

dsc02578

The final drive back to the hotel took in lots of famous rallying roads, through forests, around reservoirs and across moors including this well known remote phonebox ‘Tregarron 262’ where, historically, road rally competitors would phone for instructions.

dsc02595

wonderful-wales_160923_1615a

dsc02626

wonderful-wales_160923_1090a

The cars on the event were a mix of old and new with MG’s, Porsche, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Lagonda and more. Regie performed well and kept up with the Lagonda, everyone was very surprised at how well he went. It was the first time we had been on a trip like this and we really enjoyed it. The event finished with a great dinner at the hotel and a few drinks!, we’d had a fun week with old friends and made some new ones.

The following morning we set off for England, spotting this rather large group of Hillman Imps along the way. We saw quite a few groups of cars or bikes during the week as it is a perfect area with good roads for classic motoring.

dsc02657
On the way back we detoured to Blaenavon, a world heritage site of Industrial Landscape. It was a great place and although we didn’t have time to do most of the attractions we did go to  the Ironworks which was an amazing place and well worth the visit. This is somewhere we will try to go back to in the future.

dsc02718

Advertisements

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

A trip to the ‘big city’…

LCCSLast weekend we made a rare visit to London to the London Classic Car Show, held in Excel in the Docklands. After a horrible train journey – 90 minutes longer than scheduled into London – which made us very glad we have given up commuting, it was an easy underground and Docklands Light Railway trip to the exhibition centre.

We had been invited as guests of our clients GaugePilot who were exhibiting at the show. GaugePilot is a very sophisticated in-car information system, with multiple applications for Classic, Rally and Race cars. Designed to look just like a 1950’s SpeedPilot, the unit offers several types of rally computer and was recently tested by James on the Winter Trial with great success. James has been working with GaugePilot to develop some of the rally applications and he is an authorised installer.

With up to 25 different gauges giving classic drivers peace of mind, the system constantly monitors the critical outputs of the engine and alerts can be set to allow the driver to stop before expensive damage is occurred. The GP also can also take the drama out of maintenance by storing all maintenance information and alert when routine servicing is due. For track use the system can life monitor critical components and data-logging software allows a driver or mechanic to recall and analyse how an engine has performed and review any triggered alerts.

GaugePilot are a new British company who are attracting a lot of interest. Here’s a picture of Rauno Altonen with GaugePilot when it was fitted in Brother Regie the Renault at Goodwood and in the Volvo on the Winter Trial at night.gp-rauno gp-winter-trialDSC06689

It’s been some years since we have been to a Classic Car show and there were some interesting things to see although a lot of the stands were high end dealers selling beautiful but slightly boring Jags, Porsches and the like.  The USP of the London Show is the ‘Grand Avenue’ a road through the middle of the show where cars are actually driven. This year it was set up as the 6 nations and countries competed for the public vote to who had produced the most iconic cars. I believe that Britain won! It’s quite a nice idea but in an exhibition centre the noise especially the commentary and the music was so loud you couldn’t hear yourself talk during the demonstrations which I imagine the dealers found very irritating.

Here are some pics of the cars I found interesting…

The Japanese section of the 6 nations was the most interesting, with this lovely Honda S800, cute Toyota sports 800, rare Nissan Skyline GTR and an unseen before Daihatsu Compagno Berlina 800. All really interesting and unusual.DSC06664 DSC06665 DSC06666DSC06669 DSC06667 DSC06668DSC06670 DSC06671 There were some lovely little 500’s for sale and although expensive seemed better value than some I’ve seen. I thought the little luggage rack would look good on Mario (or Nippy) but James felt it would cause too much loss of air flow to the engine.DSC06672 DSC06673 DSC06674 Bob Peterson’s recreations are amazing, I had to take a picture of this Birkin Bentley as we called our latest cat Birkin after Sir Tim Birkin (Our older cat is called Bentley)DSC06675 DSC06679 DSC06680 One of my favourite stalls although not motoring related was the City of London Distillery, I love artisan gins and these were very good, made in the City of London, under Blackfriars bridge, the lovely bottle is shaped to look like the dome of St Paul’s. I can feel the need for another trip to London to visit the Distillery.DSC06686 There were a few new cars dotted around including this eye-catching Fiat Abarth.DSC06690 An interesting display of McLaren F1’s with some great information, stories and bits of memorabilia around from the early days of Gordon Murray designing the car.DSC06691 DSC06692 DSC06693 DSC06695 DSC06696 The car I would ‘most like to buy’ was this lovely Fiat Giardiniera but no price tag!DSC06697 DSC06699 DSC06700

So our first ‘car’ event of the year and it’s now less than a month to the Goodwood Members Meeting so 2016 is now officially underway… watch this space, Mario will soon be out to play!

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

 

 

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!

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.

DSC00589
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

DSC00579 DSC00580 DSC00585

DSC00798 DSC00809
DSC01246
DSC01247DSC01487
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