It is pretty standard to see a Grazia girl sniffing out the best vintage outfits at Goodwood Revival so how will Chrissy Amer cope at The Festival of Speed; every car geek’s dream, when her only motor induced heart flutters are from near-misses on a motorway?
My car is vintage but not in a good way. She’s white, rusty, attracts birds and is called Brenda. It’s one thing to scoot to the shops and back in but pulling up at our luxury retreat on the eve of our motor festival debut felt plain wrong, so we saved some serious face by catching the train to West Sussex.
To get us in the mood, Ford had raided their heritage car vault and lined up some real retro beauties for us to drive. It’s strange for a non-petrol head to get so instantly passionate about these cars but there was just something about them. Their old but still familiar shape, the smell, their basic dashboard displays and the ludicrously springy seats. I’ve often had people point and stare at me whilst driving Brenda but whilst bobbing about in a 1966 Ford Anglia through town and zooming past in a burnt red 1974 Escort Mexico the pointing fingers had admiration attached to them at the other end. I could get used to this…
We headed off first thing and took in the glorious countryside along the way. Had I any 3G (emergency calls only – gah!), I would’ve been straight on RightMove to see if a migration from London was possible. Yes, it really is that gorgeous.
The festival is in its seventeenth year and is a really slick affair. Thousands of people descend to ogle the latest models and the old classics, swoon at supercars and watch them whiz around the race track. Add to this Mediterranean style weather, live music, actually quite interesting trade stands, a sumptuous lunch at Goodwood House (oh, if I must) and track-side hospitality, the life of a motor nut isn’t at all shabby.
The beauty of this event, at least for me, is that you don’t need to know anything about cars to enjoy it. The workmanship that has gone into preserving the oldies, the technology of the new cars and the skills and precision of the drivers (spare a thought for Olympian turned racing car driver Sir Chris Hoy though who pranged his Nissan GTR Nismo #awks). And when attention levels wane, there is plenty of people watching to keep you entertained. Particular fashion highlights from within the Sponsors Enclosure included jodhpurs with large striped underpants and a braless gravity-defying beauty in silk dungarees – side-boob fest 2014.
So from a very doubtful start, I am officially a Goodwood convert. It was quite unexpected to get so whimsical about the old Fords the day before and so fired up as the cars roared around the circuit. I am already looking forward to the Revival in September and will be making much more time for the cars than I previously thought. Who knows, Brenda might even be invited.
Thanks to www.ford.co.uk
Where we stayed www.parkhousehotel.com
Next event: 12-14 September 2014 goodwood.com