“Things May Come, Things May Go but the Art School Dance Goes on Forever……..”
As with the Dance so with the Goodwood Festival of Speed, despite the financial storms battering the whole economic system the FoS sailed on majestically this past weekend. A huge crowd, sunshine most of the time and a fantastic show of some of the geatest motor cars in existence, what’s not to like?
The cars came in many shapes and sizes and from the dawn of motoring right up to the present day, but arguably the most extreme was Jesse James and his 7.2 litre Trophy Truck. The West Coast Choppers machine in the hands of TV star, Jesse, who claims to be related to the outlaw of the same name, was never seen in a straight line and gave most of us trackside more than a few moments of concern. The fans loved it and who are we to disagree? The Paparazzi were pleased too, chasing round after his wife, Sandra Bullock.
While the cars are usually the stars, some individuals transcend that rule. One such legend is Sir Stirling Moss, now 79 years young and still able to race up the Hill. Here he rides in the W196 Mercedes Benz that took him to the level of superstar back in 1955 and 1956. For a while in the late 50s and early 60s he was simply the best driver on the planet, the fact that he did not win the F1 Drivers’ Championship, only dimishes the title. His career ended after a terrible accident at Goodwood in 1962 which threatened his life for months. Happily he made a full recovery and now graces events such as the Festival, it is very appropriate that he is seen here in the shadow of the spire of Chichester Cathedral. Goodwood without Moss is unthinkable.
Memories……half remembered events, shadows from the past……….sometimes brought back to life…if only for a moment…..here is the McLaren Honda MP4/4 that Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost used to dominate the 1988 F1 season, winning 15 out of 16 races. And at the wheel is Bruno Senna, nephew of the great champion, time going backwards on the Hill.
Another genuine star, no matter what the likes of Max Mosely says, is Sir Jackie Stewart. He was reunited with the Matra MS10 Cosworth from 1968 during the weekend. That was the year that he took over the mantle of “The Man” in Grand Prix racing and his victory at the Nurburgring in this car in the worst conditions seen has become a legend.
The featured marque for the 2009 Festival was Audi……….so they got to have the sculpture on the lawn…..Andy B has already posted about it but here are a couple of different views.
Round the bend? Maybe……..
Another tradition is for the F1 stars and cars to make an appearance, giving the fans to get way more up close and personal than is possible at any Grand Prix track, especially Stalag Luft Silverstone. Until this year the teams would bring along a test car or two and show them off doing doughnuts all the way up the hill. Of course this year there is a test ban in force and yes that also covers the Festival of Speed. The teams all brought out last year’s car, except for, yes you guessed it, Brawn GP who are the new boys on the block. So Jenson Button could not wow the crowd in his Championship leading wundercar…………so out he went in a Mercedes W25, some 75 years old but this did not matter to the assembled masses who cheered him to rafters.
The Festival of Speed always attracts its fair share of celebrity petrol heads………..here Peter Fonda relives his role as Captain America in the film Easy Rider, it was a 60’s cult classic but having endure Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” twice a day could be classified as a cruel and unusual punishment………………….
And what Festival would be complete without the Red Arrows?
The Festival also attracts some very unusual cars and I will be doing a piece about some of them later this week. This one takes a prize though. It is a De Tomaso BRM Sport built back in 1966, with special Spyder bodywork by Fantuzzi and powered by a contemprary BRM F3 engine.
Showing that the event is able to salute all forms of motorsport there was a section paying tribute to 50 years of the Daytona International Speedway. Here the ex-Jeff Gordon ‘T-Rex’ Chevrolet Monte Carlo takes the applause.
Another one off, from 1968, the Homet TX. It is powered by a helicopter gas turbine engine and ran at Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans during that year without much success. However the TX did manage to score two wins in SCCA races back in the USA, to date the only victories for a gas turbine powered car.
A complete contrast is this National 40 Indianapolis that raced in the event back in 1911.
One of the most powerful rally cars ever, the Audi Sport Quattro S1 with over 550bhp on tap from its 2.1 litre 5 cylinder turbocharged engine. This car epitomises the wild times of Group B rallying.
A Williams FW08 makes its way down to the start line, this was the last Cosworth DFV car to win a World Championship.
All the way from 1914, the Mercer 450 won the American Grand Prix that year at a speed of 77.2mph. Not sure that I would want the job of being a riding mechanic……….all them chains and propshafts…………
One of the most elegant Grand Prix cars ever built, the Ferrari 312 from 1968, fast but unrealiable.
The unmistakable profile of the Ford Capri RS3000 that slugged it out with the BMW 3.0 CSL ‘Batmobile’ for tin top honours in 1973.
Le Mans winner in 2003, the Bentley Speed 8.
A smoking hot Ferrari 550 Maranello GTS.
Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren Mercedes MP4/23 from 2008. I bet he wishes he could wind the clock back to last year………………….
There are nutters all around on four wheels or two……………or even three.
More magic, Jacky Ickx, six time winner at Le Mans and the Auto Union Type C from 1936.
Forty shades of green, a C-Type Jaguar on the Hill
Friends Reunited, David Coulthard and the car he made his Grand prix debut in, the Williams Renault FW16B.
More for Goodwood tomorrow.