The best of British flair and engineering was celebrated at the 2017 Goodwood Revival. The international reputation of this annual automotive festival demonstrates the vision, professionalism and attention to detail of the Earl of March and his team, which keeps the motor racing enthusiast at its heart.
Last week I found myself in the excellent company of fellow motor racing enthusiast and Director of the Shipley Arts Festival, Andrew Bernardi. As we sampled the hospitality and Goodwood Ale in the GRRC VE tent we were transported back in time. The sound of happy voices competed with the bark of racing engines on the Lavant straight. Our spirits weren’t dampened by Friday’s wind and rain which added to the drama of this historic circuit.
As I made my way over the Sussex Downs early on Saturday morning the sky had softened with scudding clouds and the odd flash of blue. I was looking forward to the racing and seeing the Ecurie Ecosse Parade. The 60th anniversary of the Ecurie Ecosse win at Le Mans in 1957 was being celebrated at this year’s Revival. This plucky team with its Scottish blue and white racing livery first won Le Mans in 1956. Driver Ron Flockhart won again for them in 1957, this time with co-driver Ivor Beub. The tiny outfit took on the might of Ferrari, Maserati and Aston Martin to win under the leadership of the Edinburgh wine-merchant, accountant and gentleman driver, David Murray. The reliability of his D-type Jaguars won Ecurie Ecosse the race, testament to the best of British engineering and flair.
‘Over the Road’ I ran into my old friends and fellow motoring enthusiasts Oliver and Alison Winbolt. Oliver has had a remarkable career in international automotive design and engineering and has worked for many leading marques including McLaren and Mercedes. He is one of a cohort of talented automotive engineers and designers who emerged from the Sussex firm International Automotive Design (IAD) in the 1980s. Today he restores and rebuilds classic Jaguars for the discerning enthusiast. His firm, The Splined Hub, is based in Oundle, Northamptonshire but it is clear that he is delighted to return to Sussex. Their stand is a beautiful piece of set design which matches the drama of the Goodwood Revival with two exquisite customer E-Types and a Mk II saloon on display.
I am glad that the Goodwood Revival celebrates the motoring enthusiast whether they are participants or spectators, as well as the best of British automotive engineering old and new!
As the smell of Castrol and the noise and drama of the motor racing fades from the Sussex autumn landscape we set out for home reliving the excitement of the weekend in our conversations and imaginations.
To contact Oliver Winbolt go to www.thesplinedhub.co.uk. For more information on Goodwood’s motor racing events and to register for updates on the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival go to www.goodwood.com.
By Rupert Toovey, a senior director of Toovey’s, the leading fine art auction house in West Sussex, based on the A24 at Washington. Originally published in the West Sussex Gazette.