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A Visitor’s Guide to Goodwood Revival

Goodwood Revival is a premier event that captures the hearts of vintage car enthusiasts and fashion aficionados alike. Set in the picturesque landscape of West Sussex, England, this event breathes new life into the past. But what makes this event so special? Let's delve into the history of Goodwood Revival, the significance of its fashion, and the unique atmosphere that makes it a must-attend.

Goodwood Revival, Kinrara Trophy 2016 Aston Martin and Ferrari jason fong
A visitor at the 2023 Goodwood Revival. Ph. by PA
Kinrara Trophy Ferrari GT SWB Goodwood Revival 2018_Nick Dungan
Sunset at the 2023 Goodwood Revival. airshow Ph. by PA.

As a regular attendee of major vintage car events, the Goodwood Revival holds a special place in my heart. What sets this event apart for me is that it is not just driven by the organizers but also by us, the visitors. Every detail is meticulously crafted, enveloped in a quintessentially British nonchalance that makes the experience truly unique. At Goodwood Revival, genuine enthusiasts come together, exchange stories, and celebrate our shared love for all things vintage and classic. The event transcends pretentiousness; it is a warm, welcoming gathering that unites us all as admirers of a special era.

What to Expect at the Goodwood Revival

The Inception of Goodwood Revival

First launched in 1998 by Charles Gordon-Lennox, the 11th Duke of Richmond, Goodwood Revival is held at the historic Goodwood Circuit. This track, which played a pivotal role in British motorsport from 1948 to 1966, aims to revive the glory days of racing and the elegance of bygone eras. Authenticity is key at Goodwood Revival; the races feature only classic cars from the period when the circuit was operational. Iconic brands like Ferrari, Jaguar, Aston Martin, and Lotus roar across the track, taking spectators back to a time when speed and style were paramount.

The Role of Fashion at the Revival

Fashion is integral to the Goodwood Revival experience. Visitors and participants dress in authentic outfits from the 1940s to the 1960s, transforming the event into a living time capsule. Men don tweed suits, flat caps, and classic leather accessories, while women wear 1950s dresses, petticoats, pearls, and elegant hats. This dedication to period attire not only enhances the event's atmosphere but also shows a deep appreciation and respect for the past. The immersive nature of these outfits allows attendees to actively participate in this historical revival, making Goodwood Revival more than just a motor race.

Dandy Wellington enjoying the fun fair at the 2023 Goodwood Revival. Ph. by PA

Revival visitors on the carousel in the vintage amusement park at the Revival. Credit: by Pamaphoto

The Unique Atmosphere

The atmosphere at Goodwood Revival is unparalleled. Upon entering the grounds, you are enveloped in a wave of nostalgia. The roar of engines, the scent of motor oil and leather, and the sounds of swing and jazz music create a multi-sensory experience. The track and surrounding areas are meticulously decorated to reflect the mid-20th century, with vintage fashion stalls, antique markets, and traditional food stands adding to the ambiance. This meticulous attention to detail transports visitors to a different era, making it a place where enthusiasts can meet, share their passion for vintage cars, and celebrate together.

For me, the Goodwood Revival is far more than just an event—it's a journey back in time. It’s a place where I meet like-minded individuals and collectively celebrate the allure of bygone eras.

 

Experience Goodwood Revival Live
If you want to experience Goodwood Revival firsthand, be sure to check out the travel packages from Nostalgic. They offer an unforgettable experience for every car enthusiast, ensuring you can enjoy the event up close and personal. Don't miss the chance to be part of this unique celebration.
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Goodwood Revival Beautyparade 2015_StephanieO'Callaghan
Goodwood Revival 2018_Nick Dungan
Kinrara Trophy_ Ferrari 250 GT SWB Goodwood Revival 2018_Drew Gibson
Goodwood Revival 2015 StephanieO'Callaghan
Goodwood Revival Paddock 2018_Chris Ison
High in the sky at the 2023 Goodwood Revival. Ph. by Jordan Butters.
Dandy Wellington enjoying the fun fair at the 2023 Goodwood Revival. Ph. by PA
Goodwood Revival Grenadier Guards 2021_Edd Horder
Rock 'n' roll at the Goodwood Revival. Ph. by PA.

Goodwood Motor Circuit

The Royal Air Force Finds a Home at Goodwood

The history of the Goodwood circuit is deeply intertwined with the dramatic events of World War II. In 1940, the site was utilized as the Royal Air Force Westhampnett airfield, serving as a support base for the strategically significant RAF Tangmere. From here, legendary aircraft like the Spitfires and Hurricanes took to the skies to defend Britain against enemy attacks. After the war, the airfield lay dormant, but for the visionary Duke of Richmond, Frederick Gordon-Lennox, this was just the beginning.

In 1948, the Duke of Richmond transformed the abandoned airfield into a racetrack. With a grand opening on September 18, 1948, a new chapter began. The existing taxiways and runways were cleverly integrated into a challenging motorsport course. The inaugural race was a spectacular success, won by Stirling Moss, one of the great drivers of the time.

From the outset, motorsport enthusiasts flocked to Goodwood, drawn by the perfect combination of breathtaking scenery and a demanding track layout. 

Sunset at the 2023 Goodwood Revival. airshow Ph. by PA.

Spitfire air shows are an integral part of the Revival's charm. Credit: by Pamaphoto

Key Sections of the Goodwood Motor Circuit

The Goodwood Motor Circuit is renowned for its challenging layout, beginning and ending on the Start/Finish Straight. This fast, straight section allows drivers to push their vehicles to top speeds, setting the stage for thrilling overtakes as they prepare for the first corner. Madgwick Corner: Following the Start/Finish Straight, the track leads into Madgwick Corner, a medium-speed right-hander. This turn demands precise braking and a clean racing line to maintain speed and set up for the next section.

Fordwater: Next is Fordwater, a fast left-hand curve where drivers can push their cars to high speeds. This exhilarating section often sees vehicles at the edge of their grip limits, making it a favorite among both drivers and spectators. St. Mary’s: This technically demanding section consists of a left-hand turn followed by a right-hander. St. Mary’s requires skill and control to navigate quickly and safely, challenging even the most experienced drivers. Lavant Section: After St. Mary’s, the track transitions into the Lavant Section, starting with Lavant Corner, a right-hand turn leading into the long Lavant Straight. This straight is one of the longest on the circuit, providing an opportunity for high speeds before the next challenging turn.

Woodcote Corner: Woodcote Corner is a fast right-hander that transitions from the Lavant Straight towards the Chicane. This critical point in the circuit demands excellent car control and precise driving. The Chicane: Perhaps the most iconic part of the Goodwood Motor Circuit, the Chicane is a tight right-left combination that serves as the final obstacle before rejoining the Start/Finish Straight. This section requires hard braking and precise steering to navigate cleanly without losing time, making it a decisive point in any race. Each of these sections combines to create a circuit that tests every aspect of a driver’s skill, making Goodwood a beloved track in the world of motorsport.

Carroll Shelby celebration at the 2023 Goodwood Revival. Ph. by Peter Summers

Legendary sports cars up close: at the Carroll Shelby Celebration at Goodwood Revival 2023. Credit: by Peter Summers

The Races and Drivers

Over the years, Goodwood has been a stage for legendary races and drivers. The "Goodwood Nine Hours" endurance race and the "Tourist Trophy" are just a few of the prestigious events held here. Renowned drivers like Stirling Moss, who won the first race in 1948, and Mike Hawthorn, the first British Formula One World Champion, have left their mark on Goodwood's storied history. Other legends like Graham Hill, Jim Clark, and Jackie Stewart have also contributed to its rich legacy.

The Track's Golden Era and Transformation

In the 1950s and 1960s, Goodwood experienced its golden era, becoming a mecca for motorsport enthusiasts. The circuit hosted numerous prestigious events and attracted legendary drivers, solidifying its place in racing history. However, as times changed, so did the safety requirements in motorsport. By 1966, it became clear that the track could no longer meet the modern safety standards necessary to ensure the well-being of drivers and spectators. Consequently, regular racing operations at Goodwood came to an end.

The Rebirth as Goodwood Revival

But the story of Goodwood was far from over. In the 1990s, Charles Gordon-Lennox, the grandson of the original founder and the current Duke of Richmond, breathed new life into the racetrack. In 1998, the first Goodwood Revival was launched, an event dedicated to reviving the glory days of motorsport. The track was meticulously restored to its former glory, and since then, races have been held exclusively with vehicles built before 1966.

For me, the Goodwood Revival is a highlight of the year. The opportunity to immerse myself in a bygone era, the attention to detail, and the authentic atmosphere make this event an unforgettable experience. It is more than just a gathering—it is a celebration of the lifestyle and elegance of past times that brings us all together.

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Conclusion

The Goodwood Revival is an exceptional event that brings the past to life in a way that captivates us all. With a fascinating blend of historic racing cars, authentic fashion, and an unparalleled atmosphere, it succeeds in reviving the golden days of motorsport and the elegance of bygone eras.

Every aspect of the event, from the lovingly restored racetrack to the meticulously detailed outfits of the visitors, contributes to a vibrant journey back in time. This experience goes far beyond a simple car race; it is a living time capsule that immerses participants in the charm and excitement of the mid-20th century.


Revival Kinrara Trophy featuring Gran Turismo sports cars from Ferrari, Aston Martin, and Jaguar. Credit: by Chris Ison

For me, the Goodwood Revival is a yearly highlight. It is not only a homage to the history of motorsport but also a platform where enthusiasts from around the world come together to celebrate their shared passion. This event unites us in our love for vintage elegance and classic automotive excellence, making it a truly unforgettable experience.

Goodwood host Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara. Credit: by Stephanie O Callaghan

The Goodwood Revival is more than just an event—it’s an ode to an era of timeless elegance and charm. This celebration of the 1940s to 1960s lifestyle and aesthetics unites us all, offering a unique opportunity to immerse ourselves in the captivating past.

The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing Goodwood Revival

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The Goodwood Revival is a unique event that combines the thrill of motorsport with the charm of vintage fashion and a deep appreciation for history. To make your visit truly unforgettable, here are some essential tips and preparations.

#1 Tickets, Entry, and Accommodation

Book Early: Goodwood Revival is a highly popular event, and tickets sell out quickly. Ensure you secure your tickets well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Accommodation: Nearby accommodations are in high demand during the Revival. Look for places close to the venue, such as Bed & Breakfasts, hotels, and holiday rentals, and book early.

Camping Options: For an immersive experience, consider the official campsite. Staying on-site allows you to soak in the atmosphere throughout the event. Make sure to reserve your spot early, as these too can fill up fast.

#2 #2 Attire and Gear

Vintage Clothing: One of the highlights of Goodwood Revival is the chance to dress in period-appropriate attire. Embrace the style of the 1940s to 1960s with tweed suits, flat caps, petticoats, and pearl necklaces. There are numerous stalls on-site where you can buy or exchange vintage clothing and changing areas to get into your outfit. Check the Goodwood website for a comprehensive style guide.

Comfortable Footwear: The event covers a vast area, so wear comfortable shoes that complement your vintage outfit.

Weather-Appropriate Clothing: England’s weather can be unpredictable. Pack a raincoat or umbrella and remember sunscreen and a hat for sunny days.

Rock 'n' roll at the Goodwood Revival. Ph. by PA.

The Barry Sheene Trophy is exclusively for classic motorcycles and has many fans among the visitors. Credit: by Pamaphoto

#3 Essentials to Bring

Camera: With so many photo opportunities, from historic race cars to stylish visitors, a camera is a must. Modern smartphones are also great for capturing these moments.

Picnic Blanket: Many visitors bring blankets to relax on the grassy areas and watch the races.

Snacks and Drinks: While there are plenty of food stalls on-site, having some snacks and water with you is always a good idea.

Cash: Some vendors may only accept cash, so it's handy to have some on you.

#4 #4 Hospitality and Dining

Hospitality Packages: Goodwood offers various hospitality packages that can enhance your experience with exclusive access, VIP areas, top-notch dining, and comfortable seating. Prices range from £300 to £1500 depending on the package. More details are available on the official Goodwood Revival website.

Hospitality Packages: Goodwood offers various hospitality packages that can enhance your experience with exclusive access, VIP areas, top-notch dining, and comfortable seating. Prices range from £300 to £1500 depending on the package. More details are available on the official Goodwood Revival website.

Food Stalls: There are numerous dining options on-site, offering everything from fine British cuisine to international dishes. Reservations are recommended to avoid long waits.

Picnic Options: If you prefer to bring your own food, there are many picturesque spots perfect for a picnic amidst the historic and vibrant setting.


Up Close with Racing Legends: Formula 1 driver Jenson Button signing autographs.

Page Photo Credits by: Pamaphotos, Drew Gibson, Nick Dungan, Jordan Butters, Stephanie O Callaghan, Dominic James, Peter Summers, Jason Fong, Chris Ison, Michal Pospisil, 
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