Much of what was said in our review of the Goodwood Revival in 2018 rang true in 2019: the ambiance was wonderful, the theatre and costumes continued to make for an immersive experience, and the selection of cars on display was impeccably well curated thanks to the crack team of consultants that the Duke of Richmond has on hand. The weather was perhaps even better than in 2018, with no shortage of sunburnt faces walking around on Sunday afternoon.
Being able to attend all three days this year and, as a result, take a more leisurely approach to proceedings, it was possible for me to sample a wider range of the delights on offer. The Bonhams auction over the road had the wonderful ex-Donald Campbell Aston Martin DB4GT on display, even if it was already sold, as well as a number of highlights from their upcoming watches sales. The auctioneer’s tent provided the gateway to a bazaar selling everything from complete cars, presented by purveyors such as P&A Wood and GTO Engineering, and beyond to tweed jackets, jewellery, greenhouses (of all things), and a vintage fair ground. Truly something for all.
What stood out was how social an occasion Revival is; with so many luminaries from the car world and beyond in attendance, it was difficult to walk more than a few metres without seeing a familiar face. Whether it was fellow journalists from overseas, F1 photographer Jon Nicholson (replete with a pair of Leicas ’round his neck and a Vertex watch on his wrist), legendary drivers such as Tiff Needell, Derek Bell, Jochen Mass and Emanuele Pirro, or other motorsport personalities including Adrian Newey and Christian Horner, be they old friends, or new acquaintances, all were happy to stop and chat about shared passions.
Alongside the annual events such as the Kinrara Trophy, which takes place during sunset featuring Ferrari 250 GTOs battling Jaguar E-Types, and the Barry Sheen Memorial Trophy for motorcycles, this year also included the Brooklands Trophy for pre-war Bentleys. It made for a fascinating spectacle with the low rev’ing in-line fours not providing the aural drama of some of the other races, but watching the cars being muscled through Woodcote at high speed before negotiating the chicane gave a great impression of what Le Mans must have been like in the 1920s, all rather appropriate in the centenary year for the maker from Crewe.
As in previous years, Rolex continues to be a flagship sponsor, and it was excellent to see their ambassadors in action on track: Sir Jackie Stewart taking part in the Tribute to Cooper Car Company Ltd, and Tom Kristensen in a Ferrari 250 SWB Competition for the Kinrara Trophy, as well as the St Mary’s Trophy Part I, driving an Austin A40. It is such a harmonious relationship, together with their partnerships with F1 and the likes of the Pebble Beach Concours of Elegance, and is further re-enforced by the number of competitors walking around the Rolex Drivers Club, virtually unobtainable green medallions swinging ’round their neck, who chose to wear a Rolex while in the cockpit.
The magic of the event is difficult to convey in words, but pictures go quite a bit further to share how special it really is in person; see below our bumper gallery of images captured during this magical event that should be on the list for all motoring enthusiasts.