The Goodwood Revival of 2015 and its founder.

DSC_2806The Goodwood Revival, now in its eighteenth year, is one of those entrancing events more often found in an Evelyn Waugh novel than in life. It is the creation of the successful Charles Gordon-Lennox (60) who is the Earl of March and Kinrara and the celebrated son of the Duke of Richmond dynasty. A British aristocrat and owner of the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, he took control of the 12,000-acre domain at the age of 40.

A lifelong car enthusiast, Lord March restored the estate’s historic motor racing circuit and created the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Revival. Held each July and September respectively, they have become the world’s foremost historic motor sport events.

When you arrived at this year’s Goodwood Revival, a Fish Fingers trawler was probably the first object to catch your attention followed by American drag racing Gassers from the 1940s and ’50s – an eccentric mix! Sixty years ago, around the middle of Goodwood’s 18-year racing period, Bird’s Eye introduced their Fish Fingers to the British public. Created by American inventor Clarence Birdseye, it was the new frozen food sensation of 1955 – twenty fish fingers, just heat and serve. No bones, no waste, no smell, no fuss – as their motto declared.


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Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe and forebears on display

En route to their World Championship title of 1965, the Shelby Coupes won at Sebring, Daytona, Le Mans, Monza, Nurburgring, Reims and Goodwood.

Following his 1959 victory at Le Mans in an Aston Martin DBR1, Carroll Shelby contemplated a return to the French classic with his own car. His ambition was to take a determined, well-orchestrated fight to the Ferrari GTs. But his endeavor had one vexing shortcoming. Despite its meteoric acceleration, the open-cockpit Cobras suffered a huge aerodynamic disadvantage on the three-mile Mulsanne Straight. At full throttle they could reach 160mph only, a discrepancy of some 30mph compared to that of the Ferraris. To find a solution Shelby turned to his head of special projects, Peter Brock. During testing Brock’s new coupe body, which featuring a rounded nose, steeply raked windscreen and a cut-off ‘Kamm tail’, demonstrated its effectiveness by traveling 20mph faster than any previous Cobra.

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RAC TT Celebration

Goodwood is admired for capturing an era and its mood yet its highly competitive present-day racing content cannot be ignored either and the RAC TT Celebration event rarely disappoints. This one-hour, two-driver event is open to closed-cockpit GT cars in the spirit of the RAC TT races held between 1960 and 1964. Here are some of the most exhilarating in action.

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The Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy

Barry Sheene was the 500cc motorcycle World Champion of 1976 and 1977. But motorcycle racing proved to be not his most hazardous habit. He lost his life aged 52 in March 2003 to cancer, having smoked since childhood.  Colorful and charismatic, Sheene won the fastest-ever motorcycle Grand Prix when in July 1977 he averaged 135.07mph around the old, perilous Spa Francorchamps road circuit.

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The St. Mary’s Trophy

The St. Mary’s Trophy race comprises two twenty-five-minute events for production-based saloon cars of a type that raced between 1960 and 1966. Mostly professional drivers fill the ranks of the St. Mary’s Trophy race and the cars are mainly of British, European and American origin. The Ford Galaxie 500 is a familiar sight at Goodwood both latterly and in post-war years. Brian Muir won the Easter saloon car race in one of the 7.0-liter models in 1966, three years after Jack Sears had driven a similar car in successful pursuit of the British Saloon Car Championship. The winning Fairlane Thunderbolt, of which 100 examples were built in 1964, was never raced at Goodwood until this year.

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Richmond & Gordon Trophies

This twenty-minute race is set aside for 2.5-liter Grand Prix cars of a type that raced between 1954 and 1960. Importantly, it offers an invaluable quality: the mixing of the last successful front-engine F1 cars with the first rear-engine machines. It represents the cream of the old guard competing against the advancing tide of evolution.

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Bruce McLaren parade

“Life is measured in achievement, not in years alone,” wrote Bruce McLaren in his 1964 autobiography, From the Cockpit. An engineer, designer, and racing driver, the New Zealander had come to England in 1959 to race alongside Jack Brabham at the Cooper team. He left the Surbiton, Surrey outfit in 1965, having won three Grands Prix to focus on advancing the prospects of his own team, Bruce McLaren Motor Racing, which he had founded in 1963. For a long time, he was the youngest driver to have won a GP: the 1959 US Grand Prix. He was just twenty-two. More significantly, McLaren was admired by virtually all with whom he came in contact and an inspiration and natural leader among those he worked with.

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World War II Aircraft

Their Finest Hour

“What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.”   Winston Churchill, BBC radio broadcast June 18th 1940.

Legendary Aircraft

The airplane most synonymous with the Battle of Britain was the Supermarine Spitfire, but many other aircraft were also involved in defending British shores, including the P-51 Mustang, the Hawker Hurricane and the Avro Lancaster bomber.

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At Lord March’s Cricket Match Thursday Evening

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Goodwood Extras

Our News Brief is read by some of the best informed motor sport readers and we hope you’ve enjoyed our Goodwood report and photographs. However, if any of our details are ambiguous or contain errors don’t hesitate to advise us

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