Goodwood Motor Circuit, Chichester.
Who’s heard of the Goodwood Festival of Speed? Goodwood Revival? Members Meet? Players Classic? Well, there’s a new Goodwood event in town.
Organised by the same team behind the brilliant Retro Rides Gathering at Shelsley Walsh in Worcestershire, this event came with added promise of bringing a healthy line-up of modified and retro classics to the famous Goodwood venue, which sounded like a pretty good formula to us.
The Ever-So British Trackday.
Setting the scene, let’s talk about Goodwood for a moment. Make no bones about it, Goodwood has a certain mystique about it. Steeped in motorsport history, this place has played host to some incredible automotive moments over the years and, thanks to the dedicated Goodwood staff, is still wowing visitors to this day through some very special events.
As automotive venues go, it doesn’t get any more quintessentially British than Goodwood. If you’ve never been to Goodwood before, this estate is a huge expanse set in the leafy Sussex countryside a few miles from the sea - seriously classy surroundings!
Racing Since 1948.
The Goodwood Motor Circuit was officially opened in 1948, when Freddie March, the 9th Duke and renowned amateur racer, took to the track in his Bristol 400. This was Britain’s first professionally-organised post-war motor racing event. The Goodwood Motor Circuit is the last remaining classic circuit in the world.
In addition to the Motor Circuit, you’ll find Goodwood House (a surreal stately home), Goodwood (horse) racing track, the hill climb track and the Goodwood Motor Circuit, including the ex-military airfield, which served as an important base during the Battle of Britain.
RollHard Loves Goodwood.
All in all, we’re always excited to attend events at Goodwood, which is why when David Murphy and the Retro Rides gang released details of their Goodwood event we just had to be in attendance. Backed by a cult forum following, Retro Rides aren’t big on social media - they have a refreshing word of mouth kind of following, bringing out more diehards car fans than the posers.
In Britain we know never to rely on the weather, so fortunately for the Retro Rides Goodwood event, the sun shone on us all weekend, creating perfect car show/track conditions.
In terms of genre, Retro Rides at Goodwood really was a catch-all show for anyone who likes 1960s right through to 1990s metal. Our favourite thing about this event is the huge mix of different metal on show. Thankfully, this show had a super chilled-out vibe, which is exactly what we’ve come to expect from RR events.
Retro Rides events are basically a cool version of the classic car shows I used to attend with my Dad as a kid. Back then, classic car shows felt a bit “stuffy” and all a bit "owners club", if you know what I mean? The Retro Rides events create one massive enthusiast group, warts ‘n’ all, and it’s a whole load of fun.
At Goodwood, Retro Rides more than matched the relaxed atmosphere we’ve come to enjoy at the Gathering, which as the name suggests, brings together car enthusiasts from every corner of the country.
I guess you could say Retro Rides Goodwood was a deluxe version of Gathering, with owners having an opportunity to session their own cars around the famous Goodwood Motor Circuit. This weekend show was effectively split down the middle, with the Saturday providing track action and the Sunday, er, not providing track action (i.e. just show cars).
We were set-up with our pop-up store both days, located just behind the starting grid. In true RollHard fashion, we had an eclectic mix of cars on our stand; Pipey's V8 E-Type, Scott's amazing E36 Touring, Nick's Mini, Jonny "Carpervert" Smith's '68 Challenger, Alex's PS13/RB26, Eden's bay window bus along with a whole bunch of other cool cars.
Saturday Track Action.
With Saturday’s focus being on track, show cars were displayed in and around the paddock areas, which meant you were never far from amazing cars, be it on the move or parked up.
Seeing owners put their cars through their paces on the Goodwood track was a real treat, there is nothing better than seeing car enthusiasts enjoy their cars. My only slight irritation was that cars weren’t out on track for long enough and the lack of overtaking (i.e. purely sprint laps), meant that the cars never really opened up their full potential. For example, it was frustrating seeing a Honda NSX ease off the throttle for a slower car to then cruise down the long straight past the pits (and spectator area) instead of hitting the throttle hard and giving everyone a proper fly-by.
Aston Martin Vantage V8s.
In addition to the “privateer” entries onto the track, Retro Rides served up some professional and legitimate ex-works race cars. CSCC Special Saloons were in attendance and brought along some very serious metal. Among these were the phenomenal pair of 1980 Aston Martin Vantage V8s - an outrageous sight both static and on the move. These machines were straight out of the history books. The crowds gathered to catch a glimpse of both classic beasts ripping it up round the track for their exhibition laps.
Sunday Show Cars Only.
This meant that Saturday’s track action provided a heavy dose of excitement, whereas the Sunday was a much more chilled-out affair. With the Goodwood Motor Circuit closed on Sunday, this allowed show cars to be displayed actually on the track, adding a whole other dimension to this event.
It was great to see so many retro cars over the course of the weekend, giving everyone a rare opportunity to get trackside at the prestigious Goodwood Motor Circuit and have a poke around some very unique retro builds.
The UK Lay'n'Play lowrider club brought down their unique brand of hydro'd up retros. These guys certainly know how cause a stir!
Retro Rides Goodwood, you were amazing, just you try and stop us coming back next year… We’ll see you guys and girls there! Big thanks to everyone who popped by the stand and to all who got involved with RollHard things throughout the weekend!