As with June’s Festival Of Speed at Goodwood, the Revival’s open paddocks are a fantastic way to get close to a huge collection of racing machinery in a way that’s usually just not possible at a regular meeting. There’s a twist at the Revival though: in keeping with the event’s theme, capturing the atmosphere of Goodwood’s glory years is the goal so the entire site aims to recreate the look of the ’50s and ’60s. Buildings, cars and people all take on the period theme, making for a pretty immersive experience.
Supplementing the on-track racing action, air displays and the markets, you can spend hours wandering the paddocks. At the top end of the main straight is the assembly area, where cars are prepared before being sent out on track. At the other end, by pit-in, is post-race scrutineering. In between are the racing paddocks, which are split into two: the big ticket races (F1, big banger sportscars and GTs) get their own specially segregated area just behind the pit-wall. The secondary race series (junior single seaters, inter-war, GTs and tourers) are housed in the same white awnings used at the Festival Of Speed, set up further toward the interior of the circuit.
There’s even a dress code. No jacket and tie? You’re not getting in the main paddock! It can seem a bit stiff at first, but it actually makes the event work on a completely different level.Even though I was amazed I even remembered how to put a tie on, once you’re inside the paddock I quickly forgot the neck constriction…
I’ve just never seen so many classic cars in one place – the amazing thing being that it’s not just a single example of, say, an Aston Martin DBR1. But the entire three-car team from 1957! And it’s the same all round the paddock. An entire line of metallic green Astons, the different hues of Italian Racing Red of the Alfas and Maseratis – and then a line of Ferrari models stretching the entire length of the corral.
The primary colours of these Ferrari 250LMs, part of the Whitsun Trophy grid, was the only thing that broke up the scarlet line of over 20 Ferrari sportscars.
This 1961 Ferrari 250 SWB GT Berlinetta Competizione looked beautiful in the dark metallic blue/white nose-band colours of the Rob Walker Racing team. This is yet another of the Sterling Moss cars on display: it won the Tourist Trophy at Goodwood at the hands of Moss. He also set the GT lap record with Graham Hill at Le Mans, won the Silverstone International Trophy, Brand Hatch Peco Trophy and Nassau Tourist Trophy races. The latter race was Moss’ last before his Goodwood accident…
This pristine Ferrari support truck was on display in the paddock, along with the restored Ecurie Ecosse racecar transporter.
Although most of the cars were restored and shining, the odd car looked more ‘original’ – and sometimes the better for it. This is the grilled bonnet of the 1932 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3 which competed in the Goodwood Trophy. These cars were also raced under the Ferrari banner, long before Ferrari became a constructor in their own right.
The raked nose and potato-cutter grill of the Alfa Romeo 308C represented the Italian firm’s efforts to take on the might of the aerodynamic Auto Union and Mercedes cars in the late 1930s. It had a 3-litre straight-8 Roots supercharged engine producing about 300hp, using a four-speed box. The Tipo 308 scored 7 Grand Prix victories, and competed at the Indy 500 four times between 1940 and 1948.
Following on from Italian red… British Racing Green – or at least the lighter, metallic shade campaigned by Aston Martin racers. Here’s the nose badge of the DB4GT.
This DB3S from 1953 shows the more typical darker green predominantly used by Jaguar. Its sister cars had different colour noses – a look obviously taken on for the modern DBRS9 GT1 racers.
Here’s the line of 1957 DBR1s, two of which impressed in the Lavant Cup. Not one, not two, not three… Just a breath-taking sight.
The same cars from the reverse angle.
Although between races some of the cars are left pretty much alone, all the paddocks are working areas: cars coming back in are cleaned and fettled, and prepared for their next outing. The bonnet is up on this Lagonda V12 Le Mans, and a mechanic blips the throttle of its screaming V12 engine. It went on to win the Freddie March Memorial Trophy race.
An OSCA Alfa Romeo MT4 (Maserati Tipo 4 Cylindri) sits waiting for its run-out in the Madgwick Cup.
I thought this Lotus Climax summed up the fragility of period F1 cars. There’s just so little protection built into the chassis – at least in relative terms. Inch-thick steel rods and thin body panels in a feather-weight car: I’m not sure if the drivers were brave or insane. Likely a combination of both.
The Mercedes 300 SLR #722 famously driven by Stirling Moss in the 1955 Mille Miglia.
Cars were grouped together according to manufacturer or, more usually, race. I kept going back to the Whitsun Trophy bays where all the sports prototype and CanAm cars were parked. Here’s the line of GT40s: a couple still haven’t come back from the track, but in the foreground is the 1965 Ford GT40 Roadster. Next to it is the rare GT40 Prototype.
Less David Vs Goliath: more Goliath Vs Goliath? The McLaren M1A and B weapons are lined up next to their Lola T70 competitors.
I’m assuming this M1A didn’t carry the spare wheel whilst racing!
The McLaren M1B was raced between 1965 and 66. It had a shortened nose, higher tail and stiffer chassis than the A, and was developed for the first year of CanAm.
Fast though they were, Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon’s M1Bs couldn’t beat the Lola T70-Chevrolet of John Surtees – he took the inaugural title in 1966.
Stingray-styling front and back for the Hamill-Chevrolet SR3 – the last of three cars designed by American Ed Hamill for CanAm competition.
The McLaren Chevrolet M1A was a spaceframe design made to the Group 7 rules in 1964. It has a pretty sparse, metallic interior – note that as with any proper sportscar it’s a true two-seater.
The lines of tents out back were packed with cars from the other half a dozen races. This one housed cars from the Fordwater Trophy for production-based GTs.
Another period support vehicle: I’ve previously seen Scuderia Del Portello running Alfa GTAs in the FIA Historic GT championships. Here there were overseeing a Giulietta SZ and a Giulietta Sprint Speciale – the racing sister to the road-going version parked next to the Bristol Teardrop Special.
There was a nice line-up of Porsches as well: three classic sportscars alongside a quartet of 911s (the latter all competing in the Fordwater Trophy). Here a mechanic attends to the motor of their Porsche 718 RS61 – this is a mid-engined race car based on the 550, which won its class and came fifth overall in the 1961 Le Mans 24.
Next door was a Porsche 550 Spyder – the spindly wooden steering wheel looks more suited to the motorway than the race track!
NART overalls are being worn by the mechanics on this Porsche 718 RS60 – more usually associated with Ferrari. Le Mans and gearing diagrams are stuck on the dash.
I liked the bulging nose and massive intake of the 1954 Kieft De Soto, shipped over from Australia after a recent complete rebuild to take part in the Freddie March Memorial. The hood needs to be big to house the V8 Hemi that’s in there…
Of the pre-war racers, you couldn’t help but be impressed by the Bentley Speed 6 – the spiritual ancestor of the EXP Speed 8 Le Mans LMP winner of 2003.
Talbot was a British company formed in 1903 to sell imported French Clément-Bayard cars. They moved into producing their own designs from 1906 and achieved a lot of success in early races. The Talbot 90 was designed in 1930 for the round-the-clock races at Brooklands– it also placed well at that year’s Le Mans (3rd and 4th). The dash looks more like a fighter plane than a racing car.
One of a pair of shining bare-aluminium Lolas: this a 1958 Lola-Climax MK1 Prototype. The original Climax engine was derived from a 4-cylinder used in mobile fire pumps!
More engines being tested: here’s a 3.8L Jaguar unit from a 1958 Lister-Jaguar Costin.
80 cars driven by the man himself during his career were lined up to celebrate Sterling Moss’ 80th birthday, with a huge mix of models brought out to play – here’s a just a small selection of the cars being prepared for their run out. The W196 dwarfs some of the little Formula Junior and karts.
Another race over, and cars pull off the track just before the pit-in. Here a Ferrari 250 GTO follows a Jag E-type and a pair of Cobras into scrutineering at the end of the RAC TT qualifying. We’ll move back to the track with the next story.