Goodwood Revival 2009


Out on the track
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Goodwood Faces Click to Enlarge

The Aerodrome
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The eleventh running of the Goodwood Revival took place in autumn sunshine and pulled in a massive crowd of 134,000+ spectators to the wonderful setting next to the South Downs. The four day festival of motorsport and aviation is absolutely unique transporting visitors back to the glory days of motoring and aviation. Simon Fenwick reports with additional words from Paul Johnson/Flightline UK. Photography copyright of Simon Fenwick and Paul Johnson.

The Revival has become one of the premier events in the world and although there are many other classic motor race meetings, nowhere does it quite like Goodwood. The whole site is period dressed so that it looks and feels like the ‘Magical Step Back In Time’ that the organisers delight in using. Old sheds are given special frontages so that they look like art deco car showrooms – one featuring two genuine Ford GT40s and another representing Mike Hailwood’s original Tourist Trophy garage in Farnham. The side of an aircraft hangar looks like the entrance to Earl’s Court and inside is a representation of a motor show as they used to be. NAAFI wagons serve out cups of tea and period vehicles transport people and goods around the area.

The paddocks are full with hundreds of vehicles of every description and from manufacturers well known (Aston Martin, Ferrari, Maserati and so on) to those small racing car makers who perhaps only every made a couple of cars such as Stranguellini. Within the bounds of the circuit, there are no vehicles newer than 1966. Even the race transporters are the originals from the fifties and sixties (the modern ones are hidden away behind screens!).

An event of this nature is nothing without the people taking part, whether they be racers, mechanics, staff, paying spectators and even journalists and TV crews. The vast majority of people attending take the trouble to dress the part in one way or another and those that don’t, do stand out. Racing in the 50s and 60s was not the place for shorts and baseball caps! For men increasingly, a military uniform is becoming very popular, but tweed jackets and day suits are still popular. For the ladies, flowing skirts, often with layers of petticoats, or the famous twin-set and pearls. However, 2009 was the 50th birthday of the Mini (the car that is!). So the organisers hit on the idea of making this Revival a 60’s based event, so the mini-skirt was very much in evidence! Outside the circuit, Spivs and Tarts could be found rubbing shoulders with Mods and Rockers who naturally were watched closely by the Boys In Blue. Shifty men with suitcases full of loot chatted up the girls from Glam Cabs and in Carnaby Street, hippies lounged on VW Campers, miniskirted dancers gyrated against a backdrop of a London bus and Union Flag bedecked Minis.

On the Richmond Lawn a new event, Vintage At Goodwood, provided entertainment including Katy Carr a London based singer whose new album is based around people and events of WWII and whose grandfather was a Polish Spitfire Pilot in the RAF. She was delighted to be able to be photographed with the Spitfire Mk.Vb which bears the signatures of other Polish pilots, thanks to the generosity of Janice and Guy Black of the Historic Aircraft Collection and pilot Charlie Brown.

With Haurel and Lardy as ever drawing their own crowds and the Road Menders getting up to their usual tricks, perhaps the most unusal sight had to be the performance artists known simply as ‘The Girls’. Once the candy striped tent had been removed from its place on the lawn, we were greeted with the sight of a blonde wearing nothing but cake, icing and strawberries!

It just shows that even after attending so many Goodwood Revival Meetings over the years, there is always something new…and different to see!


Vimy Finale

The revival marked the replica Vickers Vimy's final public flying appearances before retirement to Brookland Museum. The aircraft has completed a number of epic flights since it first appeared in 1994. Lste in 2009, made it's final ever flight into Brookland Museum where it will be kept in ground running condition. It was flown at Goodwood by John Dodd and Clive Edwards who gave the aitcraft a fitting send off!

As with so much about the Revival Meeting, only superlatives can be said about the flying displays which happen at various times each day, usually between the various races and parades that happen on the track. Due to the fact that, being a motor race meeting and with crowds lining the outside of the track, this creates a very different situation for the pilots when compared to a ‘normal’ air show. Flying is only allowed to take place when there is no racing and if there are delays due to incidents on track then unfortunately the flying can suffer somewhat. This in fact happened on the Sunday afternoon this year when firstly the 80th Birthday Tribute to Stirling Moss overran its time and then various cars decided to take to the boondocks in the following race leading to the traditional warbird mass take off and airfield beat up being scrubbed. However, this must not detract from what is always a feast for any aviation nut.

Meanwhile, at the Goodwood Flying Club, the outside area had been provided with some classic vehicles including Bugatti and Bentley, along with re-enactors to give a flavour of what RAF Westhamphnett was like back in the dark days of WWII. Of course, all the staff had joined in the fun and were dressed in a variety of uniforms from the period whilst the ladies were in their floral finery.

2009 was indeed Merlin heaven with a total of 11 examples of Roll-Royce’s famous engine in the air. Spitfires were HAC’s Mk.Vb with Charlie Brown in the cockpit and OFMC’s Mk.IX flown by Lee Proudfoot. Mustangs were P-51D ‘Ferocious Frankie’ and TFC’s TF-51 flown by Alister Kay and Paul Bonhomme and representing the ‘other side’ was John Romain in the Hispano Buchon, a Spanish built Messerschmitt Bf109. The BBMF are always at their stunning best in the Goodwood setting and on Friday and Saturday brought along Lancaster PA474, Hurricane IIc LF363 flown by ‘Parky’ Parkinson and Spitfire Mk.IX MK356 flown by The Boss Sqn Ldr Al Pinner. An often heard comment about the BBMF is the lack of topside passes but this is certainly not the case here with formation passes aplenty by all three and a tailchase routine by the fighters.

Across the weekend there were various permutations of the Warbirds with at various times a brace of Spitfires, a pair of Mustangs and a wonderful tight four ship formation comprising all four. The Buchon was put through an excellent flowing display by John Romain on all three days.

Following the disappointment of last year, Avro Vulcan XH558 finally made it to Goodwood and certainly made its presence felt. On Sunday in particular, this Cold War bomber thrilled the crowd with a series of low curving passes finishing off with a mighty and steep climbout, with plenty of opportunities to hear the infamous Vulcan howl.

Sunset is always a bit special with the South Downs as a backdrop and in that glorious light, the Brooklands Vimy replica took to the air each day giving its final public displays in the capable hands of John Dodd and Clive Edwards. Mainly keeping within the tight confines of the airfield itself, the Vimy belied its somewhat aged design with some very tight turns in the still air. On hand to witnesss Sunday’s display was Peter McMillan the original founder of the project that led to the construction of the replica and it’s worldwide flights.


A "first timer's" view

I have to admit, I didn't really know what all the fuss was about before going to the Revival! However, actually visiting the event changed all that. Some stunning flying displays and motor racing are augmented by a superb atmosphere that in 2009 recreating the swinging 60's around the paddock. Every turn was a total assault on the senses whether it be the paddock, the recreation of Carnaby Street or the Airfield. Every effort had been made to make this event something very special. It's little wonder this event has such a large and lyal following - it really is one of the best events in the UK.

The Spirit of Aviation Concours event at the Revival was started in 2007 to bring together a collection of priceless examples of some of the best and in some cases unusual aircraft from the classic biplane days up to 1966. Fredie March, the grandfather of the current Earl of March, was no mean aviator and also designed his own aircraft in the 1920s and it is as a tribute to him that the Spirit of Aviation now takes place at the Revival each year. The full entry list is given below and as can be seen, includes one or two very rare machines as well as some from manufacturers that are still with us today. Worthy of special mention were Brooklands Museum who had brought along their Bleriot XI replica which was very appropriate in the year when the centenary of Bleriot’s Channel Crossing was celebrated, Nigel Pickard’s gorgeous Spartan Executive which is the second of these beautiful aircraft that he has brought over from America to his base at Sywell and the trio of Aeroncas of which the tiny C3 was in the original colours of the London Air Park Flying Club at Hanwell. By far the largest aircraft, by total wing area at least was the now world famous Vickers Vimy replica which graced the far end of the enclosure. The Vimy was making its final public display appearances each day, before retirement to the Brooklands Museum. It drew enthusiastic crowds all weekend to hear from the Museum staff about its exploits on its flights across the Atlantic, to Australia and to South Africa and a final flight recreation this year when it flew back to Ireland to the place where Alcock & Brown had originally landed.

The judges of the concours this year were Sir Terence Conran, Chris Barrie who can currently be seen on TV presenting his Magnificent Machines series, Top Gear’s James May, newly crowned Red Bull Air Race World Champion Paul Bonhomme and Apollo astronaut and the 2nd man to walk on the Moon, Buss Aldrin. Buzz was flown in to the circuit aboard the Bell Iroquois (Huey) helicopter, though that wasn;t sufficient to get it into the top three in the judging! Sharing the runners-up places were Andrew Wood’s Cessna 195B and the previously mentioned Spartan Executive. Judged the overall winner was the much travelled Dornier built Bucker Jungmeister belonging to Mark Rijkse.


  • Aeronca C3 G-ADYS
  • Aeronca 11A Chief G-BPRX
  • Aeronca K Scout G-ONKA
  • Alouette AH.2 XR379 AAC Historic Flight
  • BA Swallow II G-AFGE
  • Bell UH-1H Iroquois G-UHIH
  • Bleriot XI G-LOTI Brooklands Musuem
  • Bolkow Bo107 D-EFOE
  • Bucker Jungmeister G-BVGP
  • Cessna 195 N3064B
  • De Havilland Hornet Moth G-ADKC
  • De Havilland Tiger Moth G-AFGZ
  • Douglas C-47 N147DC
  • Fokker S11
  • Harvard KF729
  • Hutter H17 Glider
  • NA Navion N8968H
  • Nanchang CJ6A G-BVVG
  • Nord 1002 Pinguin (Bf108) G-ETME
  • Pilatus B4 Glider
  • Piper L-4 Grasshopper N46779
  • Spartan Executive NC17615
  • Vickers Vimy 19/94 N71MY Brooklands
  • Westland Scout AH.1 XT626 AAC Historic Flight


Fourteen races spread across two days, some 350 cars and 30 classic motorcycles, 80 vehicle for 80 years as a tribute to Stirling Moss, 50 Minis for the 50th birthday and 15 ERAs celebrating 75 years of the famous racers. These are merely the bare figures of what happens on the track during the Goodwood Revival meeting. On four wheels and with one exception, the races feature cars of the period 1948 to 1966, the years when the Goodwood circuit lived and breathed some of the classic races of that era. The exception is the Brooklands Trophy which features cars of the pre-war period and celebrates the races on ‘The Track’ as Brooklands came to be known and the period when Freddie March himself raced. Single seaters, open sports cars, saloons and thundering TT cars, they are all here. No high pitched wailing or muted exhausts. This is pure unadulterated adrenalin and an assault on the eardrums of the best possible type. Further, these are not demonstrations but full bloodied races where the competition is fierce but always sportsmanlike. Just as it was in those bygone days.

Where else other than Goodwood can you see former Grand Prix drivers (Stefan Johansson for one) mix it with rally drivers such as Rauno Aaltonen, sports car legend Derek Bell and touring car stars (Andy Rouse) in a field of original Mini Mk.1s? The RAC Tourist Trophy Celebration is widely regarded as the centrepiece of the action and comprises a field of mouth watering machinery such as AC Cobras, Ferrari GTOs, Aston Martins and Jaguar E-types. This hard fought one-hour contest has drawn star names through the years, some returning time and again to compete. Former Pink Floyd drummer and avid car enthusiast Nick Mason has taken part in every Revival Meeting since the start and finally this year managed to win in his Aston Martin, though this was not an easy win by any means as he was chased all the way by Patrick Blakeney-Edwards in his Frazer-Nash. This was a dice to the finish despite the latter having to make two pit stops to top up with water. Opposite lock and tyre smoke, that is what period racing is all about.

ERA versus Alfa Romeo, Maserati versus Lotus, Aston Martin versus Farrari, BRM versus Brabham and McLaren and Lola versus Ford GT40. The makes themselves just pour history at you and a sunny September weekend at Goodwood it the best place to witness it.

Although there was only ever one motorcycle race during the years that the circuit was originally open for racing, it was decided right from the start of the Revival 12 years ago that there should be a place for these machines. A stauch supporter right from the start was British bike hero Barry Sheene. So much to that following his death, it was decided to rename the morotcycle races after him. Now the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy caters for different categories in alternate years. 2009 was the turn of  machines of the type that raced between 1962 and 1966. There are two races, each of 25 minutes duration with a compulsory rider change and the overall result is decided on an aggregate of the results. Racers old and new were there including Jamie Whitham, Mick Grant, Steve Parrish, Troy Corser, Phil Read, Jeremy McWilliams, James Haydon and Leon Haslam. Yes, the current stars of MotoGP, WSB and BSB like a bit of Castrol R as much as the ‘oldies’!

Thanks as ever must go to Janet, Louise and all the team at Goodwood for all the help and hospitality and for yet again staging an event that truly is ‘One Of A Kind.'

Flying Action
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Roaring Forties
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Spirit of Freddie
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