Goodwood Revival through the eyes of the GRTC…

DSC02693Mario, brother Regie the 4cv Renault, Kato the Subaru 360 and humans ‘work’ the Goodwood Revival as part of the Goodwood Revival Transport Corps, otherwise known as the GRTC. This band of merry volunteers turn up every year with their pre 66 vehicles and help to keep the event running smoothly and the public entertained.

The group includes stationery display vehicles, mods & rockers and the police, who do the track opening, the jeeps, who operate from the gate and get equipment for the race teams from the competitors parking to the circuit and the period taxi fleet of which we are a part. The taxi rank is home to an assortment of cars, original London taxi’s, vehicles from the Vauxhall Historic Collection, AC’s, Humber Super Snipe, Triumphs and so forth. Most of the drivers have been doing it for a number of years and so it has the atmosphere of a ‘school reunion’ with everyone catching up on what’s happened since last year.DSC02696 DSC02719 DSC02724 DSC02806 DSC02818DSC02875 DSC02879

Being a Revival taxi driver is not for the faint hearted, long days, having your picture taken a ‘million’ times, telling the cars story and driving around/between the circuit, house, hotel and the Kennels, this year we completed over 200kms each!DSC02713DSC02714DSC02969

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We also have to keep ‘working’ no matter what the conditions and this year on Friday evening and Sunday after about 3.30pm the weather was disgusting! It’s not easy driving the old cars in these conditions, certainly on Mario the lights and wipers aren’t good and he gets all steamed up especially when filled with soggy passengers! We’d used RainEx on the outside which does help but in the future an application of Anti-Fog would be worth doing. We do have an advantage though when the weather is inclement as at least we have somewhere dry to sit. The roads especially at the entrances to the car parks were very muddy and slippery and visitors just ‘wanting to get home’ became a bit of a hazard. A lot of the visitors are very considerate to the ‘working’ vehicles but some are very unhelpful and don’t let us into queuing traffic etc, if only they realised that we might be trying to get a driver to a race on time! DSC02861 DSC02860 DSC02858 DSC02855 DSC02853 DSC02848

The best thing about being in the GRTC is all the interesting people you get to meet from celebrities, drivers, ViP guests, staff and members, they are all enjoying themselves and so are keen to chat about they and we have been doing. They are often surprised that the cars are our own and that we are volunteers but we always point out that Goodwood look after us well.

As always we had our share of ‘celebs’, our regular passenger Adrian Newey, F1 designer for Red Bull managed to get a lift in each of the three ‘little’ cars, as always he was most charming and for once wasn’t our last passenger of the day!IMG_3541

Ex Works Mini Rally driver Rauno Altonen had a ride in Mario and the Renault. Rauno who had driven a Mini in the St Mary’s and a Jaguar E-Type in the RAC TT Celebration wasn’t interested in talking about what he’d been doing, he just wanted to talk about our cars! When James dropped him back at the hotel he spent an enjoyable time discussing the engine and the modifications and maintenance that James had done. We also both took Stuart Graham who raced bikes (winning the TT in the 60’s) and Saloon cars in the 70’s, he also didn’t talk about his experiences in a Galaxie in the St Mary’s and a Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray in the TT but was fascinated about the cars. All the drivers celebrity and gentlemen alike are absolutely charming and very appreciative of the service we provide for them. IMG_3540

James picked up Sir Stirling and Susie Moss, he has rallied with them in the past so always likes the opportunity for a natter and David Richards, ex driver, runner of Pro-drive and now owner of Aston Martin. Cheeky driver Rae Davis even managed to ‘sweet talk’ us into running him into Chichester on Sunday evening when he couldn’t get a ‘real’ taxi!IMG_3558

All in all we had another brilliant weekend, the ‘little’ cars performed really well and hopefully did their bit to support the event and they certainly brought a smile to the face of many Revival goers. Fingers crossed we get an invite back for next year.

‘Brother’ Regie has a day out at Brooklands

Today Mario’s ‘brother’ Regie, a 1958 Renault 4cv Convertible was invited for a day out as part of the Brooklands Double Twelve Press Day. Regular readers will remember that Mario had a great day at the Double Twelve event last June. The event is one of Brooklands biggest weekends of the year and a good selection of cars was invited to be on display around the club house and take journalists on a couple of sample tests and to have a go at judging a concours to give them a taster of what was going to be happening in June.

The weather was fairly kind to us, quite bright and not quite as cold as it has been and really rather pleasant as long as one was wrapped up warmly, Regie isn’t really the best car for this time of year being convertible and having no heater, the engine’s in the back so you don’t even get any engine heat.

DSC06905 A couple of lovely Bentleys – a unique R type fastback special and a 1930 4 1/2.DSC06907

This row were used for journalists to play at being a concours judge – they were given tips for what to look for. The Mini Cooper S won, it was immaculate but has only driven 150 miles since it’s restoration.DSC06909A beautiful Aston Martin and our friends Vauxhall 30/98, both marques are celebrating centenaries this year and will be represented at the Double Twelve.DSC06910A Lagonda and the Bentley Pacey Hassan Special which has just returned to the UK and will be competing in the Double Twelve event.DSC06916 Two AC’s, Brooklands is home to AC Heritage and the original AC’s were built locally and raced at the circuit.DSC06917 A special Mini de Ville, this period mod was done by Radford and was a very rare ‘hatchback’ version with lots of extras.DSC06920 Mike getting ready for his test on the hill climb.DSC06929 DSC06937 This is a ‘recreation’ of the famous Mercedes 300 SLR as driven by Sir Stirling Moss on the 1955 Mille Miglia and had been built using original Mercedes parts.DSC06942 DSC06945 DSC06950 James taking Mario on the second test, a mixture of the speed and agility of the car (very good) and the ability of the driver to remember the route!DSC06967 The Barbara Cartland room in the museum.DSC06976 A beautiful Hare mascot on an Alvis.DSC06984 This wonderful 1920’s Rolls Royce had a hidden ‘toy cupboard’ in the running board. All the ‘little’ boys were fascinated and wanted a play.DSC06997 Your author wrapped up against the cold watching James do the Hill Climb test in Regie, picture by our friend Guy Loveridge.IMG_5359 Regie outside the clubhouse.DSC07011

We had a great day and hope we can take some of the cars back to compete in the Double Twelve Event in June, just need to find a class that they are eligible for. Hopefully Mario isn’t too jealous of Regie’s day out, he’ll get his first outing of the year on Sunday at the first Goodwood Breakfast Club of the year.

A few more pics online.