On a bitterly cold weekend in March, the owner of the Goodwood estate, Lord March, opens up his back garden and invites some of the most prestigious cars in motoring history to have a few laps around his race track in addition to a good old-fashioned knees up. Sounding like a recipe for a perfect weekend, we thought we’d don our thermals and go take a look!
This isn’t your usual stretched tyres, stanced out, hella flush kinda show. This is motorsport history at its finest. Let us show you around the place...
The members meeting is Goodwood's opening event of the year and is a truly unique opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the most amazing motorsport masterpieces ever created. The first members meeting way back in 1948 was held for the members of the British Automobile Racing Club and was such a big success that a further 71 meetings were held at the motor circuit until the mid 60s when racing was ceased at Goodwood. But the members of Goodwood have been demanding its reinstated into the calendar for many years and since 2014 its been back, and better than ever!
The variety at Goodwood is just incredible. Theres everything from aero engined pre war gauntlets, to mega high tech super tourers from the early 90s, and everything in between. Theres something for everyone. And what makes it even more special is its a much smaller event than the festival of speed or the revival, so its access all areas for everybody! How cool is that?!
So lets get down to the nuts and bolts. Our resident photographer Mike Clarke was on hand to capture some stunning photos over the course of the weekend.
We arrive early on the Saturday morning and through the early morning mist, the first car we lay our eyes on is this stunning McLaren MP4-1 raced by the legend Nikki Lauda in 1982. The first carbon fibre monocoque F1 car. A truly breathtaking and innovative car that laid the foundations for all F1 cars thereafter...
This Volvo 850r from the 1996 British touring car championship was raced by Tim Harvey and Rickard Rydell. What an awesome machine. Taking a standard family Volvo and lacing it with the latest technology to create a true legend in the BTCC scene.
Its not just cars that get invited to Goodwood, a fine selection of early Super bikes made an appearance and had track time throughout the weekend. These are no show queens either, everything at Goodwood, regardless of its price tag gets used as it was intended. The owner of this Yamaha TZ350 is checking the thickness of his clutch plates with a vernier before getting it all built back back up and ready to go out on track.
Everyone has childhood heroes, and here at Rollhard ours are most certainly the BTCC cars from the 90's. Everyday school run cars with a livery, sequential gearbox and a 300bhp N\A engine that revs to 9000RPM. Does it get any better? The early BTCC line up at the 74th members meeting was second to none. Nineteen of the most legendary race cars ever made in the same place at the same time since 1999, it was a sight and sound to behold. Here we have the 1999 Honda Accord being chased down by the 1999 Nissan Primera.
The 1993 Fuji filmed livery Vauxhall Caviller was our personal favourite livery from the weekend. So retro. So 90s...
Where else can you see a few million pounds worth of 1960s Ford GT40 with full opposite lock at 120mph?
We love a gin & tonic here at RollHard so this 1981 Yamaha 350 with Martini Livery seemed very appropriate...
The Porsche 917k is a stunning machine. Built in 1969 for the 24 hours of Le Mans. Powered by a flat 12 with over 600BHP and capable of speeds of 240mph on the Mulsanne Straight, Porsche were out to beat the likes of the Ford GT40 and the Lola T70, and they did just that by taking the victory at the 1970 24 Hours Of Le Mans and many other race wins in endurance racing championships.
The 1950s and 60s was a golden era for motor racing, with the likes of Juan Fangio, Jack Brabham, Graham Hill, Jim Clark, John Surtees, Sir Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi and Nikki Lauda gracing the grid, it sure was an incredible period of motorsport history. This 1967 Chevron Ford powered by a 1000cc Cosworth ‘Screamer’ engine, producing around 110bhp was the pick of the bunch during the mid 60s and took countless race wins and several championship titles. Its incredible to see just how far Formula racing has come over the last 50 years.
In the 1920s it was all about speed, and BIG engines. These post first world war machines are truly insane. What with the military making huge advancements in technology after the war, there was an abundance of prototype aero engines to be had cheap. So engineers back in the early 1920s decided to build cars using cast off aircraft engines from the military, and they are incredible fire breathing monsters. This Delage DH V12 is powered by a 10 Litre 60 degree V12 producing 280bhp at the wheels. Bolt that to a ladder frame and add 4 very skinny tyres and you’ve got yourself an enormous handful capable of over 130mph! These cars really are a sight to behold and the drivers wrestle them sideways around every single corner. Hats off old chap.
All in all this was a petrolheads dream weekend. A fantastic mix of machinery and a great atmosphere. We can’t wait to go back in 2017 for the 75th Members Meeting.
Words: Chris Newton
Photography: Mike Clarke