A Father and Son Adventure
The Goodwood Revival is the world’s most popular vintage racing event. It is a step back in time to the risk and romance of motor sports in the 40s, 50s and 60s, and for as long as he can remember A Hume’s own, Chris Whitlock has wanted to go.
Finally this September he determined to make the trip and bundling Father’s Day, Birthday and Christmas all into one, he took his Dad, Garry on a very special boy’s own adventure. A passionate pilgrimage set to a soundtrack of revving engines.
It was he says:
“Unforgettable from beginning to end: we saw old single seaters, Jaguars and Ferraris that have travelled from all over Europe – wonderful old cars and an incredible atmosphere. All around people had dressed for the occasion there was a lot of old tweed and a few RAF uniforms. Of course we got our most dapper threads on too. Getting dressed up is a huge part of the fun.”
Top of the list of highlights was the Whitsun Trophy Ford GT40, a unique one model race marking the 50th Anniversary of the development of the car Henry Ford II hoped would put Enzo Ferrari ‘il Commendatore,’ in his place in the Le Mans 24hrs race. The GT40 was the fastest race of the three-day event and was won by Red Bull designer Adrian Newey and former Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack.
Also up there was the St Mary’s Trophy a wonderful outing of touring cars from the 1950s. The cars may’ve been old but the competition was fresh and fierce with celebrities and owners battling it out in a two-part race that featured the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Austin A35, Ford Zephyr, Jaguar MkI, MG Magnette, Morris Minor and Standard 10. Chris’s Dad, Garry took a personal interest in this race as it featured the Lotus Cortina, a car he had once owned and watching it race brought on a bout of nostalgia – as Chris put it, he was loving it.
Getting up close and personal with these iconic cars is one of the big attractions of the event and Chris and Garry were able to wander through the pits inspecting the cars and chatting to the owners. There were a significant number of celebrity owners; James Martin, Chris Evans, Sir Chris Hoy and, of course racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart.
To own a vintage sports car you need deep pockets so it’s no surprise to learn that the majority of owners are very wealthy. Still even knowing this it’s heartbreaking to see some of the irreplaceable cars spinning out and crashing during the races. In any normal motor sports scenario all concern is reserved for the man and not the machine but at Goodwood concern for the drivers is mixed with horror at the sight of twisting metal and glorious styling meeting its end in an almighty crash.
On this point Chris says the owners are pragmatic and fatalistic, racing is what these cars are built for. Owners may need to sink a million or so to un-corrugate their Lotuses, BRMs and Brabhams but they won’t hesitate, or question the sanity of spending unthinkable sums on a car that is driven perhaps once, or twice a year, if at all.
Certainly if you plan on enjoying motor sports it’s best not to dwell on such things and instead simply relish the sound of the engine and the spectacle of speed. Chris certainly achieved this and is already planning a return trip to Goodwood.
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