Why the Goodwood Revival needs to heard north


DEAR Lord March,

I very much enjoyed your nostalgia-tinged car show on the outskirts of Chichester last weekend. I suspect just about every other petrolhead from across Europe did too, given the size of the traffic jams on the way in and the fact the 3,500 classic cars eventgoers brought along made what’s effectively a visitor car park bigger than most classic car shows in its own right.

The Goodwood Revival is a motoring event quite unlike any other. Nowhere else has the same near-obsessive attention to detail – everything from the cars and bikes to the shops and costumes has to fit in with the idea you’ve somewhere stepped back in time to 1966. Nothing else has quite the same scale of ambition too. You might think squeezing the cream of the world’s touring car talent, Le Mans winners and David Coulthard into identical Austin A35s for a race sounds a bit far-fetched. But it isn’t. Last weekend the sort of race you’d dream up six pints into a night out actually happened.

But there is one real problem with the Goodwood Revival. It’s miles away, and nothing in the North even comes close.

The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power – sorry, Cholmondeley Power and Speed – is a noisy step in the right direction but it doesn’t have quite the same atmosphere or scale as the Revival. An event I went to over in Scarborough last year, the East Coast Classic, nailed the motorsport pedigree bit by bringing classic cars to an old street racing circuit but lacked the sort of ruthlessly efficient timetable that makes the Revival’s every-other-minute thrills so beautifully coordinated. The closest thing I can think of is the Oulton Park Gold Cup, which is brilliant and very well attended but lacks Goodwood’s sense of theatre.

What you need to do, M’Lord, is venture up here and bring a little Revival sparkle to the North West.

Happily we’ve just the venue too; Aintree. We already hold a small race meet there called the Grand National but it’s also the place where Sir Stirling Moss won his first British Grand Prix. It’s steeped in motor racing history, and thanks to all the horse racing fans it has proper grandstands and facilities too. I think you can see where I’m going with this one.

Just imagine how brilliant it would be if you could have some Team Lotus F1 cars or Jaguar C-types belting around the circuit in its full, three-mile glory. You could insist everyone dressed up in 1960s costume too, and have vintage aircraft circling overhead. There’s so much potential for a Goodwood of the North – and we have the perfect place for it, right here.

You know you want to – and if it all goes wrong, just say that bloke from The Champion put you up to it.



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