The alarm has just gone off. It’s 6.00 Friday morning, I’m so excited. Carole and I are off to Goodwood for the first day of this year’s Goodwood Revival Meeting. As all classic car enthusiast know it’s the must attend event on the calendar.
For the uninitiated, it’s Grand Prix racing vintage style. For those of us with long memories, the Grand Prix cars look like the free gifts we found in the sugar puffs packet as children. Remember those? It’s not just the cars that have turned back time. Spectators are encouraged to recreate the bygone eras too. Choose your favorite period from the 40’s, 50’s or 60’s and dress up or down. Indulge your fantasy and become a Wren Officer for the day or pretend you’re Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day or Grace Kelly.
The 3-day event is held at the famous Goodwood Circuit, just outside Chichester West Sussex. The only cloud on the horizon today is likely to be the weather. Rain is forecast. Rain +grass+ lots of spectators equals’ mud!
We wanted to arrive early to ensure we could park as close to the entrance as possible. Dressed as my version of an ordinary 1950’s housewife, pencil skirt, twinset & pearls + ankle boots, gabardine trench coat & headscarf we set off. (Travel Tip: Anyone coming from Brighton or the east, we would recommend travelling via Steyning, Storrington, Amberley & Slindon, joining the A27 just before Fontwell. This bypasses the bottlenecks at Lancing, Worthing & Arundel!).
As you approach Chichester the sign posting to the venue and parking areas is excellent, as is the marshalling. An hour and fifteen minutes after departure we were parked. It’s now 9.00 a.m. first stop find the entrance and a coffee. A short walk across a grassy field (mind the cow pats!), join the queue, quick scan of the tickets and we’re in. Hurrah.
Thankfully there are artificial walkways throughout the venue, which keeps you off the wet grass. Making our way to the food area we came across an exhibitor offering hand pampering. Never one’s to pass up a free sample of anything, over we went. This hand massage was sponsored by Opatra Skin Care. We were so impressed with the outcome of the pampering we decided to purchase a sample to carry out some in depth testing once we got home. Watch this space to see if it lives up to the claims!
There is a great selection of ‘food wagons’ so all tastes are catered for. Prices are slightly on the steep side but what the heck, it’s a day out, you’re at Goodwood, enjoy. At this time of the morning what else could be we opted for but a freshly cooked bacon roll & a coffee. Perfect.
The actual racing takes place ‘over the road’ so off we went following the artificial walkways. A bit like Dorothy following the yellow brick road, although we were seeking fast cars not Kansas. It’s tantalising because you can hear them in the background but not see them, yet.
Today, Friday, just like a normal Grand Prix weekend, it’s all about the practice, although there was one race, the Kinrara Trophy which closed today’s track action.
There is so much to see and do. We had tickets that included a Paddock Pass. A must if, like us, you are a petrol head because this allows you to get ‘up close and personal’ with the race cars. Another must do, is a visit to the Earls Court Motor Show. There you get an opportunity to see the latest model alongside its classic counterpart. To be frank, for a number of exhibits we preferred the style of the classic car. Could just be that we are romantics at heart and could conjure up pictures in our mind of that bygone era.
It did rain on & off all day and by the time we were leaving the grass in the busiest areas had turned to mud. And my car did look as though I’d been off-roading by the time we got out of the carpark.
Would we do it again? Most certainly, (already signed up for the ‘ticket alert’ for 2018). Top tips: Wear comfortable shoes, there’s a lot of walking. Plan your costume well in advance. Be prepared for bad weather and adapt accordingly (i.e. pack wellies & waterproofs). Arrive early and most importantly have fun. Looking forward to meeting all you Classic Car enthusiasts there in 2018.
Life is about living your dream, doing what you want to do, indulging your passion whatever your age. Carole’s and mine just happens to be fast cars. Modern & Classic the more powerful the better. Do go over to our Facebook page and let us know your passion. Tell us your story and share the pictures. We look forward to hearing from you.