2007 Goodwood Revival

Sights and Sounds of the annual Goodwood Revival

| January/February 2008

On its face, the Goodwood Revival is a classic auto race meeting with a couple of motorcycle events thrown in. In reality, it's the world's largest fancy dress party.

And what a dress party it is, a vintage fashion event where everyone is encouraged to recreate the golden era of 1948 to 1966, when the Goodwood circuit in southern England, along with Silverstone to the north, was England’s leading racetrack.

Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2007, witnessed the 10th year of the Revival, and the crowd’s participation has grown with its numbers. The participation is encouraged by the organizers, led by the Earl of March, Goodwood’s owner.

"There isn’t a specific dress code, but dressing appropriately is almost an expected part of the experience, and adds to the sense of occasion. To me, the Revival is pure theater," says his Lordship (as the Earl is referred to), a car and bike fan who also hosts the highly successful Festival of Speed (an annual hill-climb for exotic vehicles of all ages) on the grounds of his nearby mansion.

I’d have to say my choice for motorcycling moment of the day was the comical sight of a group of rockers jumping on their Triumph and Norton twins to chase a bunch of scooter-riding mods in a staged display, followed in vain by a whistle-blowing copper. More than anything, though, the Revival’s thrill is the constant feeling, in which ever direction one looks, of having been magically transported back in time by half a century.

Making history all over again 
Lord March and his team certainly make a huge effort to generate the period atmosphere. No modern vehicles are allowed within the circuit perimeter throughout the weekend. Instead, more than 250 old vehicles provided all services. The Revival’s own Transport Corps supplies a taxi service for competitors, and classic tractors tow spectator-carrying trailers around the perimeter road between viewing spots.

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