Drama and Beautiful Scenes at The 2023 Goodwood Revival

Rupert |Toovey on the Lavant straight as the heavens opened

We arrived at the 2023 Goodwood Revival and found ourselves basking in the extraordinary late Summer sunshine. Despite the un-expected weather everyone was in their Goodwood finery and once again we stepped back into the golden age of motor racing.

Over the road The Splined Hub were displaying an exquisite, restored Jaguar E-type, chassis 18.

Oliver Winbolt said “So this is the 18th ever right-hand drive coupé, October’61, so although that’s quite a bit later than the early left-hand drive cars it’s a very early right-hand drive car.”

I ask Oliver if it was made for the UK market and he replies “Yes, we bought the car in Beverley Hills in California but actually it came from Stamford in Lincolnshire originally.”

He continued “At The Splined Hub we bring low volume performance car build process into the restoration of classic Jaguars, it’s as simple as that.” There is nothing simple about these processes. Oliver explains “The restoration began with a detailed photographic record taken so that, once restored, the car would be as true and accurate to the original manufacturing intent as possible. This early body presented a challenge in terms of accuracy and originality because the early shell shares surprisingly few panels with the later ‘production’ E-types. The engine, gearbox and rear axle have been completely rebuilt using the original fixings and components where ever possible.” The interior, chassis and electrical systems have also received this attention. Oliver concluded “It’s all in the attention to detail.”

Holly, Oliver and Alison Winbolt of the Splined Hub with the chassis no.18 E-type

The lucky steward of this remarkable car will take possession of it after Oliver and his team have rigorously tested it.

Lotus, the Porsche 911 and the remarkable Carroll Shelby were all celebrated at this year’s Revival along with an extraordinary array of Ferraris.

Sunday at the Revival brought slightly cooler and changeable weather and the heavens opened before and during one of the Revival’s most prestigious and closely competed races, the Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration. It’s a one-hour, two-driver race for closed-cockpit cars like the mighty AC Cobras and Lightweight Jaguar E-types raced at Goodwood in 1963 and 1964. The wet conditions favoured the E-type with William Paul and Andy Priaulx bringing their number 78 E-type home for a well deserved win in what was an eventful race with many of these hugely powerful cars struggling for grip, even on the Lavant straight, and leaving the track.

This extraordinary celebration of period motor racing leads the world here in the heart of Sussex!

HM The Queen’s Life Celebrated at Goodwood

Graham Hill’s Ferrari 250 GTO/64 with its pale blue nose leading a pack of remarkable Ferraris at the 2022 Goodwood Revival

Motor Racing enthusiasts gathered from across the United Kingdom and from overseas at the 2022 Goodwood Revival to find scenes reminiscent of the early part of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s reign in the 1950s and 1960s.

HM The Queen’s life was celebrated and honoured across the three days with Union Jack’s flying at half-mast around the famous race track. A short film of The Queen at Goodwood was followed by a minute’s silence across the three days – moments of reflection for all who gathered. The Goodwood staff and many who came wore black ties and armbands, queuing to sign the books of remembrance.

Through both the joys and sorrows of life whatever the Queen faced she pressed on and it was in that spirit that the Goodwood Revival community came together in reflective mood.

The Goodwood Revival remains the most iconic international Historic Motor Racing event in the calendar and we are so blessed that it is held here in the heart of Sussex.

Rupert Toovey at the Goodwood Revival

The Stirling Moss Memorial Trophy saw Aston Martins and Ferraris challenged by AC Cobras and Jaguar E-types. British Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button interviewed on the Friday owned that he had understandably been a little distracted by his honeymoon and hadn’t had time to practice – the tightness of line and skill with which he drove the no.22 E-type was all the more impressive.

Ferrari played a leading role in this year’s Revival with a parade for the Scuderia featuring a breath taking array of cars from this most iconic of marques, many of which also featured in the racing across the weekend.

You couldn’t fail to notice the pale blue nose and beautiful lines of Graham Hill’s Ferrari 250 GTO/64 which raced in period at Goodwood, Hill winning the TT. It was very successful in the 1960s, including at Goodwood, and has been in the same ownership since 1969. The car united the old and new traditions of motor sport at Goodwood and has raced at every Revival since the first event in 1998.

As evening drew in and the skies filled with a rich autumn light the unforgettable sound of Rolls Royce Merlin engines roared above us as three Spitfires flew in formation marking the approach of Battle of Britain Sunday.

So much of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s reign had been embodied in this remarkable motor sport event and her life celebrated and honoured.

Goodwood 79th Member’s Motor Racing Meet

David Hart driving his yellow no. 8 1968 Ford GT40 in the Surtees Trophy at Goodwood
David Hart driving his yellow no. 8 1968 Ford GT40 in the Surtees Trophy at Goodwood

There was a nip in the wind at the 79th Goodwood Road Racing Club (GRRC) 2022 Member’s Meeting as motor racing enthusiasts gathered in number in the bright spring weather to enjoy the spectacle of the racing.

The weather matched the warm welcome of the Goodwood team and the enthusiasm of the members of the GRRC and GRRC Fellowship.

The Surtees Trophy is named after racing driver John Surtees, the inaugural Can-Am champion. It featured some of the fastest and loudest cars of the weekend with a mixture of Can-Am and Le Mans prototypes including V8-powered GT40s, Lolas and McLarens. Oliver Bryant took the win driving Julien L. McCall Jnr’s 1966 Lola-Chevrolet T70 Spyder.

I have always had a fascination with the Ford GT40 and it was fantastic to see them in action on the fast Goodwood circuit. The GT40 gets its name from its height measuring just 40 inches at the windscreen, the minimum height allowed at Le Mans.

The GT40 Mk II broke Ferrari’s winning streak at Le Mans in 1966, the first of Ford’s four consecutive wins at the Sarthe circuit. The rivalry was famously born out of Enzo Ferrari’s refusal to sell Henry Ford II his company after detailed and costly negotiations. The story was dramatized and told through the eyes of Carroll Shelby, an automotive designer, and racing driver, Ken Miles, played by Matt Damon and Christian Bale in the terrific 2019 movie Le Mans ’66.

A 1964 Porsche Carrera 904 GTS in the Paddocks at Goodwood
A 1964 Porsche Carrera 904 GTS in the Paddocks at Goodwood

It is always a treat to come alongside the drivers, mechanics and remarkable array of racing cars in the paddocks. The 1964 Porsche Carrera 904GTS with its small proportions, beautiful lines stood out against the spring sunshine and scudding clouds.

As the exuberant sound of the racing cars and bikes at Goodwood ended the cacophony of sound, the smell of racing oil and tyres and the spectacle of speed and colour faded to memory. The Duke of Richmond commented that the 79th Members Meeting had been “…another fitting celebration of the spirit of Goodwood.” And went on to thank everyone involved for “putting on another excellent race meeting”. I am already looking forward to this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival which embrace the modern and the halcyon days of motor racing with the accompanying glamour of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.

The GRRC Spring Members’ Meeting is always an exciting celebration of motor racing which is exclusively for GRRC and GRRC Fellowship members here in the heart of Sussex To find out more about the benefits of membership, how to join, and to book tickets for this year’s Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival go to www.goodwood.com/sports/motorsport.

A Sussex Celebration of Motorsport on and off the Track at Goodwood

The start of the 2019 Goodwood Revival Kinrara Trophy © GRRC/Chrislson.

I am really excited, I’ve just booked my tickets for the 2020 Goodwood motor racing season 78th GRRC Members’ Meeting, Festival of Speed and Revival. Goodwood’s quintessential British motorsport events celebrate not only the best of historic racing but also the cutting edge and contemporary in the automotive world. It’s a winning combination here in heart of Sussex.

For me the highlight of this year’s Goodwood Revival was the Kinrara Trophy for pre-1963 GT cars with closed-cockpits. Dubbed ‘the most expensive motor race in the world’ the line up on the grid included Ferrari 250 GTs Aston Martin DB4s, AC Cobras and Austin-Healeys promising some very special racing.

The race lasts an hour. As dusk approached the first race of the 2019 Revival got underway. By the time the leading cars had reached Fordwater on the opening lap the Ferrari 250 GT of Andrew Smith and Gary Pearson was being closely followed by the navy blue Aston Martin DB4GT driven by Darren Turner and Simon Hadfield. The racing was close and the pit-lane siren wailed as the cars came in for their compulsory pit-stop and to change drivers. As the race progressed the safety car joined the track after Jack Young went off in his Jaguar E-type. The safety car came in with just 10 laps to go with the leaders closely bunched up. The sun began to set as the drivers battled towards the finish their headlights blazing. It was Pearson and Smith’s Ferrari which took the trophy setting a new Kinrara Trophy lap record of 1 minute 28.825 seconds. They were closely pursued by Turner and Hadfield’s Aston Martin DB4GT in second place as they had been from the beginning.

This evocative race captured the spirit and excitement of the Goodwood Revival bringing together the marques which raced there back in the 1950s and 1960s.
The Sussex historic racing season will open with the 78th GRRC Member’s Meeting on the weekend of 28th and 29th March 2020. The spring Members’ Meeting is a celebration of motor racing exclusively for members of the Goodwood Road Racing Club (GRRC), and the ever growing GRRC Fellowship. It has its own unique atmosphere. This member only event allows enthusiasts, drivers and the car owners to mingle in the paddocks.

The 2019 Festival of Speed saw the UK launch of the much anticipated new Land Rover Defender alongside a spectacular celebration of Aston Martin 70 years after they first raced at Goodwood in 1949 and 60 years after their triumph in the 1959 World Sports Car Championship. The 2020 Festival of Speed will be held from 9th – 12th July.

September’s Goodwood Revival has a unique and special quality with the atmosphere of a motorsport party with vintage outfits, cars and racing. The 2020 event will be held from the 11th – 13th September.
To find out more about the benefits of membership of the GRRC and GRRC

Rupert Toovey at the Goodwood Festival of Speed
Rupert Toovey at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

Fellowship, how to join, as well news about this year’s Festival of Speed, Goodwood Revival, and to book tickets go to www.goodwood.com/sports/motorsport. Tickets for the Goodwood motoring season sell as fast as a speeding Aston Martin so be quick off the start and be sure to get yours!

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.

Best of British Flair and Engineering

Lining up for the Ecurie Ecosse Parade at the Goodwood Revival
Lining up for the Ecurie Ecosse Parade at the Goodwood Revival

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.

Shipley Arts Festival Director and motor racing enthusiast Andrew Bernardi
Shipley Arts Festival Director and motor racing enthusiast Andrew Bernardi

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.

Designers Oliver and Alison Winbolt at their Splined Hub Jaguar stand
Designers Oliver and Alison Winbolt at their Splined Hub Jaguar stand

‘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.