Sunday, 17 September 2017

Goodwood Revival 2017

September - school holidays are over (whoohoo!!), the hazy heat of summer is fading... oh, OK, the summer rainstorms are replaced by, er, autumnal rainstorms, and the calendar date arrives once again for the best vintage weekend of them all - possibly in the world.  The Goodwood Revival.

With tickets booked early in the year, I'd kept a careful watch on the weather after last years rather rain-swept affair.  It was hit and miss this year - probably thanks to those Caribbean storms.  At least we weren't facing hurricane weather, no matter how bad it got.  As the week before the event started, Saturday promised clear skies in the morning and light rain from 1.00pm... the next forecast was heavy rain from 1.00pm... the next forecast sunshine until 4.00pm...  It left me in a slight quandary what to wear.  I packed my PVC mackintosh and boots just in case.

Friday saw a thankfully steady drive down to Guildford - my base for the weekend.  Other friends were staying at Brighton and Godalming, so we'd planned to meet up at the race circuit itself on Saturday morning.  That meant an afternoon in Guildford for some late lunch before an early night.

The old town of Guildford was pretty, periods of bright sun broken by light rain showers.  I'd made a good decision to wear my long see-through mac and high-heeled boots for the walk into the town from my hotel.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Guildford and my PVC mac.
The destination for late lunch was The White House - a  gorgeous pub on the banks of the River Wey.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort -lunch time in Guildford.
The pub was as lovely inside as it was outside, and the menu looked similarly enticing.  We had a wonderful meal (along with some tremendous local beers), and we finalised plans for the early drive
down the next morning.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - The White House, Guildford.
Saturday arrived.  I dressed in a classic vintage two-piece that I'd bought at the Retro Revival a few weeks earlier, finishing the outfit with long, sexy leather opera gloves.  My lift arrived on time at 6.00am, and we set off in the pre-sunrise darkness to make sure we arrived for the car park opening at 7.00am.  On arrival, it was clear that the previous day's rainstorms and heavy traffic had made the car park field resemble something like the beginnings of the battle of Passchendaele.  The clean car we arrived in suddenly looked like it had just completed a full mud-splattered rally.  It didn't bode well for my high heels, either.

With the car parked, we made our way gingerly over the thick oozing mud.  By some miracle, we met up with the rest of the group who had arrived at the same time.  We couldn't stand and chat, however, as the glue-like mud sucked at your feet if you stood for too long - I had already seen a pair of mud-caked shoes, already discarded in defeat of the clinging dirt.  Once out of the car park we at last stepped onto duckboards.  Alongside us a line of muddied classic cars stood, some getting a bit of urgent cleaning from their proud owners. 


Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort -early morning, Goodwood Revival, 2017
With the main gates finally opening at 7.30am we were onto solid ground - the hallowed concrete of the circuit itself.  At least the sun was rising brightly, bringing a welcome warmth to the cool morning.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - a quite start, Goodwood Revival 2017'
Inside the circuit the period buildings looked breathtaking, with vintage-styled themes perfectly enhancing the atmosphere.


Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Goodwood Revival 2017.
As always, everywhere you look there is something of interest, and once again the Revival does everything with such style and attention to detail.  It is quite astonishing.  We made our way over to the pits, where to gorgeous old cars sat, bright paintwork and chrome dripping with early-morning dew.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - the pits, Goodwood Revival 2017.
We had a quick stroll around the assemble planes parked up - the Revival is as much about the site's aviation history as it is about it's racing heritage - after all, it did serve as a Spitfire base in World War Two, the perimeter track for refuelling the planes eventually becoming the race circuit.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - aerolanes, Goodwood Revival 2017.
After looking at the planes we had a group decision to have a (rather expensive) breakfast at the adjacent Spitfire Café.  Refuelled ourselves, it was time for more strolling, taking in the unique sights and sounds of the Revival.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - more pits, more cars, Goodwood Revival 2017.
Up above, and on time at 8.30am, the quiet sky was split by the roar of a P-51 Mustang, the first of the day's air displays.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - P-51 Mustang, Goodwood Revival 2017.
On the ground there was still more to see...

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Goodwood Revival 2017.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Goodwood Revival 2017.
 ...including some sights that aren't strictly vintage but are no less eye-catching and captivating...

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - lovely leather lady, Goodwood Revival 2017.
This year the lovely little Fiat 500 was honoured - at 60 years old, the tiny car remains iconic and suitably classic.  A host of them would take to the circuit in a parade lap - as they gathered in readiness it resembled a chaotic Italian city centre traffic jam.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Fiat 500s, Goodwood Revival 2017.
Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Goodwood Revival 2017.
I bumped into the biker gang again that I met last year - they didn't quite recognise me due to my new hair style and the fact that I wore a long wig last year, but remembered the jodhpurs and boots outfit I wore!

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - my favourite biker gang, The Hornets, Goodwood Revival 2017.
Around where the bikers were lounging there was some lovely old machinery - bikes and cars.  I spent a bit of time checking them all out in their rather dishevelled glory.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - old bikes and Fords, Goodwood Revival 2017.
From there it was short walk to the market area - once again offering everything from motoring memorabilia to clothes, books, motoring, film and aviation art and vintage posters, car restorers and builders (want a perfect tool-room copy of a 1959 Le Mans-winning Aston Martin - those guys are here!), etc.  There was even a stall selling toys for a grown-boys playroom (ok, call it a 'den' if you wish, but it's still a playroom), with displays of a bowling alley, Wurlitzer jukeboxes and pinball machines.  I thought I should have been on display there, too, dressed in stockings, high heels and long luxurious leather gloves, gently stroking myself.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Goodwood Revival 2017.
Of course, I spent quite some time browsing the clothing stalls, while the gentlemen of the group browsed the jukeboxes and games (discussing which they would have in their 'dens'...) and the numerous book and art stalls.

One of the grumbles about the main market area inside the racecourse gates is that big companies have somewhat taken over.  I remember when all of the traders were small independent retailers - those days have definitely disappeared and many of the independents can now only afford stalls in the market area in the circuits adjoining field (the Over the Road section).  Nevertheless, I have to say that the big companies put on amazing displays and really add to the visual spectacle of the event.  The displays from Porsche, Michélin and Shell were certainly exceptional, with smaller brands like Kenwood and De Longhi adding their own vintage-inspired take on their history.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Goodwood Revival 2017.
We stopped briefly at the De Longhi shop for a coffee and chance to sit and do some people watching - I remain convinced the Revival is still the best-dressed event in the world.  I soon got talking to a lovely couple who had made their way from Australia just for the event!

We decided to wander back to the 'Over The Road' area and continue our browsing.  Thankfully, the weather was still looking good, unlike my visit to this area last year when the howling wind and lashing rain made it all a bit dismal.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Over The Road, Goodwood Revival 2017.
Once again we checked out the numerous stalls - all in a similar vein to those inside the circuit.  Everything related to vintage style and cars was available - a Ford GT40 (OK, a 'reworking of the original) - here.  Vintage clothes - here.  Vintage art - here.  Oh, and some things that weren't particularly vintage but no doubt in search of a well-heeled buyer, such as oak-built garages (for that classic Aston Martin or Morgan, etc) - here.  It was fantastic just to wander, browse, people-watch and take in the friendly and lovely atmosphere of this unique event.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Goodwood Revival 2017.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Goodwood Revival 2017.
I soon spied a Fever Tree drink stall, and with available chairs nearby and some bales of hay providing 'tables', it was time for a drink.  One problem - the grassed area in between the walkways and the seating area looked a little like the remnants of trench warfare for World War One, so it was a rather long and difficult route to reach our destination.  Once there, we got our drinks (beers and cocktails) and sat and chilled out to admire the sights.  It seemed many had the same issues as we did - particularly the ladies.  I really had to admire the perseverance of one lovely lady in pink who seemed particularly determined to get her Gin and Tonic back to her seat safely, no matter the cost to her delicate high heels.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Goodwood Revival 2017.
The adverse ground conditions did prove to be, er, fertile ground, for meeting people as they chose the covered area where we were seated as a route from the food and drink vans.  I met a particularly sexy and very charming mature lady from Nottingham, dressed in a very tight tartan dress, the low-cut of the bust displaying her lovely cleavage, making me think that a roll in the provided hay was probably worth getting a bit dirty for.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Goodwood Revival 2017.
After midday drinks we headed back to the main circuit.  The Fiat 500s, fresh from their sprint around the track were now parked up in charming retro rows near the main grandstand.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Fiat 500s, Goodwood Revival 2017.
Nearby, as always, the girls from Glamorous Cabs were in attendance -  they were lovely and so professional to keep smiling and posing all day long.  One especially caught my eye - a dusky beauty that could have offered me a ride any day or night of the week.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Goodwood Revival 2017.
I finally made it to the track and caught up with the remainder of the group that had watched some of the racing - I couldn't believe half the day had gone and I hadn't seen a race yet.  Nor was I about to - the next event on the track would be qualifying for next days RAC TT Celebration, but this was something I was looking forward to.

Seeing the likes of AC Cobras, Ferrari 250 GTOs, Jaguar E-Types and Aston Martins in the gladiatorial arena of the race circuit is what the Revival is really about.  The qualifying was fantastic, and from our vantage point we could see the cars slipping and sliding on their exit from the Woodcote right-hander after the long and fast Lavant straight.  The thunderous roar of the Ford V8-powered Cobras was matched by the V12 scream of the Ferraris, a sheer aural delight to match the visual display.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Goodwood Revival 2017.
Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Goodwood Revival 2017.
I decided that I particularly loved the No.1 and No.20 AC Cobras, the ground almost shaking as they bellowed past, wheels scrabbling for grip under the huge power of their engines, and you could see the drivers working furiously at the wheel to keep the cars (roughly) pointing in the right direction.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - my favourite car, Goodwood Revival 2017.
One Ferrari 250 GTO wasn't so lucky.  As a jumble of cars approached Woodcote corner another red Ferrari braked hard in front of him.  In taking avoiding action the driver lost control, spinning the expensive car backwards at speed into the tyre wall.  When a space became available he limped across the grass to the safety of the infield, the car clearly in a state of bad damage, one side much lower than the other.  It was clear it wasn't going to polish out and continue.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Ferrari 250 GTO crash, Goodwood Revival 2017.
At least it wasn't a long walk back to the pits for the unfortunate driver - but I'm glad it wasn't me having to explain the additional repair costs to the owner or insurance company for the £20-million car.

The qualifying continued for some time, and we stayed until the end - and a particular flame-spitting TVR caught my eye.  It bellowed almost as much as the AC Cobras (another Ford V8!) and its chunky looks were quite endearing.  It wouldn't be the last TVR to catch my eye at the Revival.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - TVR, Goodwood Revival 2017.
Once the qualifying stint had finished I headed back to the Over The Road area, leaving the gents to watch the next race - there was a fashion show I wanted to see.  It was vintage-inspired, telling the story of a young couple caught up initially at the outbreak of World War Two, subsequently living through the 1950s and 1960s social revolutions.  It was superb, with fantastic dancing from the starring couple, interspersed with fashion from the decades.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Fashion Show, Goodwood Revival 2017.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Fashion Show, Goodwood Revival 2017.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Fashion Show, Goodwood Revival 2017.
As the 1940s-inspired evening wear hit the catwalk, my eye was once again caught, firstly by the stunning flowing silver gown worn by a gorgeous brunette, but then by another dusky maiden in a clinging-silvery grey dress that hugged all her curves - including the most amazing arse that was hypnotic in its movements.  Wonderful.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Fashion Show, Goodwood Revival 2017.
The 1950's began with more amazing rock'n'roll dancing from the star pair, before more vintage-themed fashions were displayed.  I especially loved this lace skirt, with peek-a-boo glimpses under the PVC-design.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Fashion Show, Goodwood Revival 2017.
Finally it was the turn of the 1960s - and a pair of legs that could take me to heaven.  I could have played with her furry soft pom-poms all day...

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - gorgeous legs, Fashion Show, Goodwood Revival 2017.
 I was also delighted to see some sexy PVC thigh boots strutting down the catwalk as well as a rather fetching lace catsuit...

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Fashion Show, Goodwood Revival 2017.
The finale of the show was the return of our 1940s stars, turning into their modern-day selves, and a re-run of the fashion styles from the show.

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - Fashion Show, Goodwood Revival 2017.
That, of course, measnt a return of that fabulous ass from the beautiful model...

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - the gorgeous girl, Fashion Show, Goodwood Revival 2017.
 ...so a great end to a truly magical show, and something very different to the usual Revival experience.

Still bewitched, I joined the rest of the group back in the main circuit for a look around the Earls Court Exhibition display - this year featuring the brand new TVR along with some of the models from their varied history... complete with pretty 1960's-themed models of another kind...

Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - TVRs, Goodwood Revival 2017.
Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - TVRs, Goodwood Revival 2017.
Dexi Delite Altrincham and Manchester Escort - TVRs, Goodwood Revival 2017.
Back outside, it was nearing 4.00pm, and we'd been lucky with the weather - there had been no rain and the sunshine and temperature had remained pretty good through the day.  However, as promised by some of the weather forecasts, dark brooding clouds were appearing.  We made a decision to head back to our hotels, before the car parks became a quagmire and cemetery of abandoned and stuck cars.  Just as we reached the car park the rain came, heavy and furious.  It was a quick run back to the cars, and I'm thankful that we made it out of the car park without any mishaps.

So, despite the early finish to the day, it really was a truly glorious Goodwood Revival - and it remains the best vintage and style event of the year.  The only problem now is... is one day enough for all that the Revival has to offer?  I hadn't seen enough cars on the track and my promise to visit the fun fair rides had been missed due to lack of time.

There's always 2018, though...