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.
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.