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.

Music of a Different Kind at Goodwood

The 1979 Hepworth-Cheverolet GB1

Goodwood by the Sea is one of the Shipley Arts Festival’s most famous and popular commissions. Composed by the internationally celebrated baritone and composer, Roderick Williams, it was inspired by the Goodwood Estate. But as Andrew Bernardi, the Festival’s Director, and I set out for the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed it was to celebrate music of a different kind – the music of V8 and V10 racing engines and the electric cars as they sped up the famous hill climb.

Andrew Bernardi at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

In the woods we witnessed the extraordinary power and poise of the 1980s Group B rally cars and the spectacle of the rough terrain Safari Championship buggies as they jumped and swerved around the purpose built course.

The speed and acceleration of the electric cars was other. I have never seen anything move up Goodwood’s hill as fast as Thomas Yates’s McMurtry Spiérling (the name is apparently Irish for thunderstorm). It looks like a cross between a Batmobile and a Le Mans prototype racer. The dual electric engines deliver 0-60mph in under two seconds and a top speed of 200mph. The car made a sound like a jet engine thanks to its fans which generate 2000kg of downforce. As it broke the all-time Goodwood record it moved so fast it sucked hay out of the trackside bales!

Another car which created an elemental noise was the Hepworth family’s 1979 Hepworth-Cheverolet GB1 with its 5.0-litre V8 engine. The car was the final BRM F1 car but never raced in the British Aurora F1 series which it was built for. The Hepworths used the chassis to build a ground-effect Can-Am car. Although it was shipped to the USA it again never raced. More recently the Hepworth family rebuilt the car and its racing pedigree was begun here in Sussex at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed. It was wonderful to witness it thundering up Goodwood’s famous hill climb.

I couldn’t believe that BMW’s M division is only 50 years old. The magnificent sculpture in front of the house appeared to throw some of the most famous M-series BMWs up into the air as other examples of the marque rushed up the track celebrating this important anniversary.

Goodwood with its remarkable celebration of cars and speed really did provide music and a festival of a unique and different kind.
I can’t wait for the 2022 Goodwood Revival weekend which runs from 16th to 18th September.

To find out more and to book your tickets visit goodwood.com/sports/motorsport and for the Shipley Arts Festival go to bernardimusicgroup.com/events.

Motoring Collectables for the Enthusiast

A Corgi Major No. 16 Gift Set Ecurie Ecosse racing car transporter and three racing cars, boxed with instructions and packing pieces

The motoring enthusiasts who turned out in such numbers for the Goodwood GRRC Members’ motor racing weekend are also passionate about motoring collectables.

Enamel signs, Dinky and Corgi cars, car mascots, models, motoring postcards and photographs, early lights, picnic sets and all things related to motoring delight the enthusiast.

The 1965 Corgi Major no.16 boxed Ecurie Ecosse racing car gift set gives a window into motor racing in the 1950s and 60s and the sort of cars that would have raced at Goodwood.

Eccurie Ecosse were an Edinburgh based motor racing team founded by the businessman and racing driver, David Murray, and mechanic, Willie Wilkinson. Their famous double decked car transporter allowed the team to carry three cars complete with a mobile workshop to race weekends.

Alongside the cars from the British racing teams BRM and Vanwall the set included a Lotus XI. It was designed by Colin Chapman. The sleek, aerodynamic body was designed by Frank Costin and the Le Mans version, powered by an 1100cc Coventry Climax Engine, achieved 7th in the 1956 24 Hors Le Mans race.
Condition is so important to price with toy cars and although the set was in good overall condition there were signs of paint loss and creasing to the boxes. Although a little play worn it still sold at Toovey’s for £200.

A rare ‘North British Rapson The World’s Longest Mileage Tyres’ single-sided enamelled advertising wall sign, , height 92cm, width 91cm

In the 1920s Mr Frederick Lionel Rapson, an automotive designer and manufacture, released the Rapson unpuncturable tyre amidst much disbelief and controversy. It was used to equip some of the fastest racing cars, on both road and track. The rare enamel advertising sign makes the claim of the world’s longest mileage tyres beneath the Royal Arms of HM King George V and Edward Prince of Wales. £3200 was paid at Toovey’s marking condition and rarity.

A ‘Morris Distributor’ double-sided enamelled circular advertising sign, finished in blue, white and red, diameter 72.5cm

In the same sale was the Morris Distributor double-sided enamelled advertising sign which made £850. I hold the Morris marque in some affection. Like many of us my parents and grandparents had a succession of pale blue Morris Travellers when I was growing up. The interiors always had a wonderful smell and moss always seemed to grow in the sliding rear window panels held in the comforting wooden frames. We would venture out from Horsham on Sundays to the Sussex Downs or Goring-by-Sea for a walk, always followed by tea made on a picnic Gaz stove in the boot by my Grandpa’s Traveller and a slice of pink iced sponge cake.
With memories of motor racing and family outings no wonder motoring collectables remain so evocative and popular.

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.