The world’s greatest historic motor race meeting and the only sporting event of its kind to be staged entirely in a period theme, the sun shone for the 25th birthday of the unique Goodwood Revival near Chichester last weekend, attended by many famous faces including Jodie Kidd and Twiggy.
Often described as the fastest fancy-dress party on earth, a constellation of motor racing and Formula 1 icons including Mark Webber, Jenson Button and Sir Jackie Stewart made the thrill factor of the weekend go from 0 to 60mph in 2.5 seconds, with a moving tribute marking 50 years since Sir Jackie’s third championship win in 1973 that saw him reunited with his championship winning car, the Tyrrell Cosworth 006.
Other track highlights included a celebration of Lotus’ 75th anniversary with 75 cars from across the marque’s history coming together for a parade, with Johnny Herbert getting behind the wheel of a 1965 Ford-Lotus 30, while in the year which would have seen Carroll Shelby celebrate his 100th birthday, the Revival paid tribute to the legendary driver, car manufacturer and entrepreneur, with a parade featuring Shelby’s first race-winning MG-TC and a grid full of Stetson-wearing drivers.
This year’s Revival also saw the first ever fully sustainably-fuelled race, the Fordwater Trophy, with 30 pre-1966 Porsche 911s, while a spectacular collection of vehicles went under the hammer at the Bonhams Cars Auction including the 1989 Lancia Delta Integrale restored by TV presenter Richard Hammond which raised £36,000 for charity.
A parade of 200 period motorcycles, including Royal Enfield, Indian, BSA, Triumph alongside those marking the 100th anniversary of BMW Motorcycles, 120 years of Harley-Davidson and 130 years of Royal Enfield, took place on each day of the festival, while to remember Goodwood’s role as an airbase during World War II, rarely seen machines from aviation history were celebrated in the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation competition for pre-1966 aircraft held at the Goodwood Aerodrome including a 1936 Focke Wulf Stieglitz Red D-EMNN which won ‘Best in Show’ as judged by television presenter Noel Edmonds, former Airline Captain Emma Henderson MBE, Squadron Leader Alan Jones, Director of Solent Sky Museum, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, Zara Rutherford, the youngest female pilot to fly solo around the world, board member of Carroll Shelby International Aaron Shelby and Peter Teichman, founder of Hangar 11 Collection.
As the world’s biggest second-hand event, attendees are expected to dress in period attire from Goodwood’s heydays of 1948-1966 and vintage fashion lovers from across the country and further afield made the annual pilgrimage to the Revival dressed to impress despite the weekend coinciding with the hottest temperatures of the year. I chose a Pretty Dress Company 1950s a black circle dress with red rose print which I styled with below elbow black satin gloves by Dents and chic but comfortable Pretty Ballerinas for the opening day and an adorable badge print dress from the new AW23 collection by Palava inspired by the Wes Anderson 1960s-set film Moonrise Kingdom for day 2 which I styled with vintage binoculars and the Traveller crossbody satchel bag in Oxblood from the Cambridge Satchel Company, although the unexpected heatwave meant that I sincerely regretted the ankle socks and tassel loafers!
The Revive & Thrive Village offers visitors the chance to enjoy a vintage-style hairdo at Betty’s Salon and retail therapy aplenty at the many pop-up shops offering the finest vintage fashion (some with an on-the-spot alteration service). There were also a wide range of demonstrations and workshops across the weekend inspiring visitors to breathe new life into second-hand belongings and encouraging the ethos of “reduce, reuse, repair, restore and recycle.”
Talks included a fascinating interview with British fashion and lifestyle influencer Paula Sutton of Hill House Vintage who discussed the secret of her much-followed classic style, while anticipation surrounded the Best Dressed Competition on each day, decided by a panel of judges led by New York Jazz Bandleader and Style Activist, Dandy Wellington. The festivities continued after dark across the bridge from the track in the area known as Over the Road with live music, a vintage fairground and the Revival Cinema presented by Sky Cinema showcasing vintage blockbusters including Grease, The Italian Job and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
The next Goodwood Revival will take place on the weekend of 6-8th September 2024. For more information and to sign up to 2024 ticket alerts please visit the website.
Photography by Ash Lipkin