Porsche Celebrated at Goodwood

The 1970s Le Mans winning Porsche 917K at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Goodwood, with its Festival of Speed, Revival and annual Members Meeting has become the international venue for historic motor racing and is held here in the heart of Sussex. This year Goodwood celebrates its 75th anniversary since the start of motorsport at this historic venue. It has come along way since the now Duke of Richmond and Gordon was painting the footbridge over the track late into the night the Friday before the first Festival of Speed in 1993.

Another iconic automotive brand in the form of Porsche is also celebrating its 75th anniversary and was central to this year’s Festival of Speed. The Porsche Brand began in 1948, with the Type 356. It built on Professor Ferdinand Porsche’s design work begun in the 1930s.

A Porsche 356 suspended in front of Goodwood House © Holly Winbolt/Splined Hub

The Porsche 356 was the company’s first production car. Its lightweight body, rear-engine and rear wheel drive ensured nimble handling and provided the blueprint for the later 911s and subsequent Porsches. It looked extraordinarily contemporary hanging from the central sculpture outside Goodwood House.

In the Paddock I met up with Oliver Winbolt who has had a remarkable career in automotive design at many of the world’s leading marques including McLaren. Today he and his team bring this rigour to the restoration and re-engineering of E-Type Jaguars for the modern world through his company the Splined Hub.

We watched the 1970 Le Mans 24 hour winning 917K Porsche return from the track. Oliver explained how this car gave Porsche its first overall win at Le Mans. It was entered by Ferdinand Piech’s semi-works Porsche Salzburg team and was driven by Richard (“Dickie”) Attwood and Hans Hermann.

Dickie Attwood subsequently bought the Le Mans winning Porsche and referred to it as his “pension scheme” making numerous appearances with it in subsequent years. In 2000 he cashed up his “pension scheme” selling the car for more than £1 million. Dickie Attwood has remained a strong supporter of the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Porsche had a glorious weekend of celebrations. But it was the McLaren Solus GT which won Sunday’s prestigious timed shoot out on the famous Goodwood hill. Driven by Marvin Kirchofer it was a fitting moment for McLaren as they marked their 60th anniversary.

Congratulations go to all of the Goodwood team who, despite wind and rain, pulled off another remarkable celebration of motoring and motor racing.

To learn more about Oliver Winbolt’s extraordinary work with E-Types go to www.thesplinedhub.co.uk or visit their stand at the 2023 Goodwood Revival.

Goodwood Members’ Meeting Marks the Start of the 75th Anniversary Celebrations

Rupert Toovey in the Daffodil Tent at Goodwood

2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the start of motorsport at Goodwood. At the heart of these celebrations is Goodwood’s motor circuit so it was fitting that this year’s Goodwood 75 celebrations should begin with an exceptional display of motor racing at the Members’ Meeting last weekend.

Motor racing began at Goodwood in 1948 and continued through a golden age of motorsport until 1966. It became what has been described as ‘the spiritual home of British motor racing’. During this period many of the greatest drivers of all time raced at Goodwood including Juan Manuel Fangio, Roy Salvadori, Jim Clark, Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Phil Hill and Jackie Stewart.

In 1993 the then Lord March (now the 11th Duke of Richmond), with a group of other enthusiasts, held the first Festival of Speed with more than 100 cars and motorcycles blasting up the hill.

In September 1998 the first Goodwood Revival was held on the original circuit exactly 50 years to the day to the day after the Duke’s grandparents had first opened the circuit.

2014 saw the re-introduction of the Members’ Meeting for members of the GRRC and GRRC Fellowship who support motorsport at Goodwood.

This year’s Members’ Meeting, the 80th since motorsport began at Goodwood, started the Goodwood 75 celebrations with a stunning array of cars, motorcycles and racing held in the crisp spring sunshine.

The 1910 Fiat S76 Beast of Turin on the track at the 80th Goodwood Members’ Meeting

The SF Trophy is always popular with the crowds at Goodwood. These Edwardian racing cars and aero-engined specials from the early 20th century provide a sense of drama and occasion. Amongst the favourites at Goodwood is the Fiat S76, later also known as the Fiat 300HP Record and affectionately called ‘The Beast of Turin’. Made in 1910 its 28.4 litre engine developed 290bhp and is capable of some 130mph. It was built to break the land speed record.

Its current owner, Duncan Pittaway famously describes driving the car, which he fastidiously restored, as like “wrestling a gorilla”!

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.

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.