Imagine stepping into a ‘real life’ movie, set in Britain across three decades from the nineteen forties to the sixties.
Picture the clothes, the hairstyles, the sights, the sounds, the smells. Classic cars – some over one hundred years old – are being raced, admired, or even used as taxis.
Everything from vintage Rolls Royces and Bentleys to Ferraris and Alfa Romeos – some literally worth millions of pounds – are driving around beside you. There are classic aeroplanes of all descriptions, from World War I and beyond, that have flown thousands of kilometres to be there. And then there are the people, dressed like nothing you have ever seen before in your daily life. Welcome to Goodwood Revival.
Goodwood is a historic racing circuit in the south east of England, about two hours out of London.
This famous venue holds motor sport events all year round, but without doubt the best is the Revival, taking place every September over three days.
It brings together some of the finest and rarest classic cars in the world, set to the backdrop of historic fashion – but the people who attend this unique festival are the real stars of the show.
Men, women and children from a variety of backgrounds come from all around the world, dressed up in classic fashion from the forties, fifties and sixties.
This gives an amazing ambience to an already exotic event, as you step back in time to experience life over half a century ago.
The circuit originally ran from 1948 to 1966, and the Revival pays tribute to this.
Thousands bring their cars to race, while many others watch this and the incredible spectacle of people dressed from three decades long since passed.
You can mingle with famous racing drivers past and present (we bumped into Sir Jackie Stewart, three times F1 world champion), and guests can visit the paddock to inspect the historic race cars before they compete.
Petrolheads love getting right up close to the racing, and feeling the thrill of historic F1 cars speeding past at full throttle.
The snarling noise of the engines at full power is amazing, as is the smell when they leave a plume of smoke full of hydrocarbons.
Watching dramatic wheel-to-wheel battles on the track is a joy.
Although Goodwood Revival visitors don’t have to dress up, many do.
You can see moustachioed chaps wearing tweed suits and caps from the nineteen forties.
This being the decade of World War II, some ladies and gentlemen wear military uniforms – we met people dressed as nineteen fifties Swiss pilots and sixties French gendarmes, and many were wearing British Army or Royal Air Force attire. From the fifties, we saw rock and roll fans in leather jackets and jeans with greased hair, and the Marilyn Monroe look was popular with women.
A group historic Police officers posed in front of their perfectly restored Police cars.
Many nineteen sixties dandies were also evident this year – men with long hair, velvet jackets and colourful blouse shirts.
Some ladies also went for the sixties look, with striking Mary Quant-style mini skirts and beehive or bob hairstyles.
The car auctions are great for people buying classic cars (or dreaming about buying them), and the huge site is packed with restaurants and bars where you can eat traditional food from around the world and drink beer of all flavours.
Gin bars proved a particular favourite this year, and there were some fine traditional tea shops.
Overall then, Goodwood Revival is a most special event – one that is unmissable for any classic motorsport or fashion fans. [https://grrc.goodwood.com]