The Gift of Goodwood
West Sussex in summer and the iconic Goodwood Revival is a quintessentially British day out, mixing a picnic on the lawn with classic car displays, historic air shows and motor racing. Under the backdrop of a burgeoning post-war England, there could only be one way to experience the Revival and that’s in the company of a 1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé, the factory calls “Betty.”
I never believed in time travel until I visited a lush piece of English rural paradise called Goodwood in the South. Goodwood also happens to be home to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and a fantastic old racetrack which for one weekend a year, literally steps back in time.
After checking in to my hotel room, I opened the door and greeting me on the table was my period-looking entry ticket and paddock pass, small sepia cardboard tags bound by twine ready for the next day’s historic racing. Hanging on the dresser to complete my entry permit was a pair of white moleskin trousers, braces, a flannelette shirt, tweed vest and jacket complete with a cravat and fedora hat.
Entrance to the pits and paddock is only allowed if you’re dressed in the appropriate pre-1966 attire and with that, I and 140,000 other people over the course of the weekend, stepped through the gates and into the time machine they call, The Goodwood Revival. [To be continued...]
1955 Silver Cloud
The chance to savour a rare 1955 Rolls-Royce convertible, one of just 21 alloy-bodied, Series One cars built, is a once in a lifetime opportunity. But to do it at the Goodwood Revival is something altogether out of this world.
If your eyes could only let you see things with a sepia tone as you entered the famous Goodwood Revival in West Sussex, England, then nothing could convince you that you weren’t actually living in post WW2 Britain, enjoying a day at the races.
It’s hard enough to convince 20 of your closest friends to follow the rules on the party invite and come in costume, so I have no idea how Lord March gets 140,000 people to not only do just that, but also bring their matching period cars along to the insanely British event that is the Goodwood Revival.
As the 11th Duke of Richmond is also the landlord to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars which is based on a corner of his 12,000 acre estate, we didn’t just meet the entry requirement of arriving in a pre-1966 car, we blew it away in the factory’s rare, 1955 Silver Cloud Series One Drophead Coupé.
Each year Rolls-Royce displays a collection of its museum cars and of interest on the day we visited was the powder blue Mk1 Silver Cloud Drophead Coupé named “Betty” which was sitting in Park Fermé as part of the Course Director’s Official entourage. [To be continued...]