From petrol-heads to petticoats: The brilliance of the Goodwood Revival

Think the Goodwood Revival is just for petrol-heads and people who still have 1950s frocks in their wardrobe? Think again.

Derek Bell starting the rally.
Derek Bell starting the rally.

This is a delicious piece of fun for all ages - and youngsters are amongst the biggest fans.

Walking through the gate of the Goodwood Revival, it’s always difficult to know where to look first. It’s a strange sensation to go from 2016 to 1950 in a matter of paces, as you are immediately thrust into a myriad of activity.

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The Revival meeting is truly unlike any other experience. Ladies and gentlemen in period dress step out of the path of oily mechanics wheeling vintage motor cars, as families look on from their picnic rugs. The 1948-1966 era is truly brought to life.

Goodwood Revival MJR SUS-161209-115507001

There are few places where you can admire from inches away a series of race-spec 1961 Aston Martin DB5’s rumbling onto the starting grid, whilst being seated on a deck chair listening to an authentic 50s rock ‘n’ roll band. It’s simply surreal yet utterly marvellous.

You cannot help but get sucked into the atmosphere, it’s intoxicating.

This is what is most striking about the Revival, it has transitioned from a purist race meeting to a globally renowned event which caters for all people – whether they are motor enthusiasts or simply enjoy the glitz and glamour of spending a day in vintage attire. It caters for all.

From the perspective of a young adult, the Revival meet is just as much about the experience of being thrust into 1950 as it is about the racing, with the vast majority of people choosing to don vintage dress and soak up the incredibly detailed period atmosphere from the multitude of seating areas and stands, rather than simply watch the racing.

This was made apparent by the large numbers of young adults in attendance at the event, with many simply enjoying the experience of life in a different era, and being completely thrilled by it.

The beating heart of the Revival, however, is still in its full-throttle action celebrating the glory days of motor racing. Enthusiasts or not, all look on in wonder at the period machines taking to the track. It’s a fabulous spectacle.

Even if motor racing is not in your interest, a collection of 1950’s-1960’s GT cars screaming past evokes marvel in all, and races such as the exhilarating Sussex trophy are a must watch. The sheer purity of the racing is a spectacle in itself, it really is man and machine, and it’s simply enthralling.

Being a Chichester teenager with a love of cars and racing, the Revival has always had a strong draw for me, but above anything else it is my love of a good day out that keeps me returning for more. The Revival is so unlike anything else, and with it being on the doorstep it is absolutely unmissable.

This year’s Revival meeting can only go down as a raging success. The sheer diversity of interests the event has to offer has meant it now appeals to all audiences – alongside enthusiasts admiring the machines, are those happy to just be in vintage dress and shimmy along to a classic 50s number, rendered wonderfully by a live band. Others are happy to simply sit back and soak up the period atmosphere – champagne glass in hand. No matter what your interest, there is something for everyone.

Attending the Revival meeting is truly a breath of fresh air. Its care-free, charming and joyful atmosphere is unrivalled, and will never waiver to put a smile on your face. It evokes everything unique about being British.

The Revival is a magnificent experience no matter your age or interests, and stepping into 1950s Goodwood was an absolute pleasure.