When you go to the Goodwood Revival, you’re obviously there for the historic racing. But there’s just so much else on offer, and one of the most alluring for me was no doubt the Revival Car Show, where spectators park up their beautiful classic cars in which they have arrived.
Arguably we can attend various classic car shows throughout the summer. As such, time at the Revival really shouldn’t be wasted on static road registered classics parked in a field. But as my wife and I left our red BMW 2002, I couldn’t help but notice quite a few really good looking classics parked near us, which would clearly require closer inspection. Later in the day I sneaked out for a quick glance, but every time I decided it was time to return to the motor circuit, I would spot something even more scrumptious just a few rows further down, and so it continued until I had been wandering around the Revival Car Show for a good couple of hours. The variety was massive with some real beauties among the more ordinary classics, such as the stunning green Volvo Amazon 123GT or the hearing-aid beige BMW 2000 Neue Klasse sitting on a set of rare TiSA steel wheels. Then there was the quirky and the rare such as a Peerless GT (when did you last see one in real life?) or the painfully elegant Fiat 1500 Coupé Pininfarina. There was of course also the utterly exotic, with more Aston Martin DB2’s, DB3’s and DB4’s than I can recall seeing in one place ever before. Oh, and a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing usually stands out as something quite nice too…
It was all made even more interesting as I spotted several number plates from both Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland and even Italy! But what made this classic car show truly different than all the others, was the mud. I realize that would initially sound like a bad thing, but it honestly wasn’t. At any other show, all the classic cars are there to be showed off, and as a result they are all highly polished and sparkling clean. I don’t judge either, as I’m just as guilty as the next enthusiast. They are our pride and joy after all, so we want them looking their best when we show them. But this was different. On this occasion, our classics where merely our means of transportation so we could get to the Goodwood Revival. Once there, very few bothered wasting their time cleaning their classic, as there were much more important things to see to. To make matters worse – or perhaps better? – the heavy rain on Friday had left the field more than just a little muddy, so every single classic car there had a healthy splattering of mud along their flanks. To me at least, it only made these classics even prettier. They stood out as being driven, used and enjoyed as they were meant to be. I’m sure the boys at Pebble Beach would have a rather different opinion though.
To my own big surprise, my favourite car on the field ended up being a Ferrari. While I’m not a hater, I’m certainly also not one of the tifosi that are thoroughly blinded by anything wearing a Prancing Horse. Sure they have produced some real gems, but I still usually end up feeling that they are just a tad hyped, and that there are others I would rather take with me home. I suppose I can comfort myself with the fact that this technically wasn’t a Ferrari at all – it was a Dino. It also helped that it wasn’t the oh-so-obvious Rosso Corsa. But more than anything, this was a Ferrari – or a Dino! – which was driven and enjoyed by its owner. Here it was parked in a muddy field in the south of England, but wearing Belgian number plates, and with an almost surreal amount of road grime, dirt and mud on every surface and in every crease. How refreshing! I so wanted it, and I don’t think I would ever wash it either.
My runner-up was something totally different though. I have only ever seen one other of these, and that was a disassembled wreck. But here it stood in all its rarity and funkiness! The brilliant and supercool Unipower 1000GT. It obviously got even better when I noticed the text in the windscreen explaining that this particular car was the very first of the only 71 Unipower’s ever produced. How’s that for rarity and historical provenence all tied into one? More importantly though, it just looked great and while I at 6’2” probably wouldn’t fit, the lithe mid-engined sportscar just begged to be driven – hard!
How about you? Do you get squeamish about mud on your classic, or is it simply a by-product of enjoying it to the fullest? On a different note – mud or no mud, which car would you have taken with you home from the Revival Car Show? Perhaps you were even there in that muddy field yourself? Did I miss anything good?