So, here I am on Friday at the famous Goodwood Festival of Speed with Ian H and Paul S. It’s my first visit here to the acknowledged mecca for petrol-heads!
Ian and Paul are here Saturday and Sunday too, but my diary hasn’t been quite that generous this year - so maybe next time! It’s a packed programme, where the challenge is to make sure you don’t miss anything - as there is so much to see!
I stayed overnight at Ian’s and Paul and I hit the road early on Friday morning to join the gazillions heading for the same destination. Paul drove, and it was good to get a closer look at his recently acquired Mercedes C350. We parked without too much trouble, and this year, for the first time, they’d laid-on transport-by-tractor-and-trailer to get us to the main site - it saved us some serious walking.
Once inside, I became immediately aware of the scale of the event - it was massive! By now, the sun was shining and with a cool breeze, and it made the torturous task of what was to come - looking at cars - a lot easier!!
We arrived just before 9 and stayed until 7. A full-on day, and very enjoyable for a petrol-head like me (and perhaps even for non petrol-heads too, given the weather, the lovely surroundings and the non-car stands). We took advantage of the hospitality of the manufacturers - all that was needed was a smile and key to prove you owned one of their vehicles. Free drinks, free food and generally better views of the main action (though big screens or well-positioned suites), broke the day up nicely, and gave us chance to recharge our batteries before more exploration.
Amongst the more memorable sights and sounds was the ‘Jaguar Experience’ - where I think the intention was to get through as many tyres as possible by (ahem!) ‘exercising’ various f-types to their limit - the sound of tyres under protest could even be heard above the engine noise of other racing cars on full throttle!
The next-door Land Rover stand had various setups to demonstrate their vehicles’ climbing ability - and they didn’t disappoint!
Oddities such as the ‘Cummins Mini’ (a mini with 1000bhp on-board) was quite a sight, as was the Honda stand with its ‘cars in a box’ display.
We even managed to blag our way into Goodwood House (Cheers Ian!), and briefly sipped Pimm’s on the balcony looking out across the Mazda sculpture
Here are some more memories of the day…
It was a great day, although I’m not sure how you make it last three days as a spectator. The best thing for me was being able to get close to some very expensive/unusual/rare vehicles without worrying about any pressure to buy them!
We left about 7pm and finished the day at the quaint Crown and Anchor Pub close to sea in Chichester. It was a nightmare to park and the place was heaving - but it was well worth it, and we had an excellent meal.