Viva Veloce! was an apt slogan for the 18th Goodwood Festival of Speed on the first weekend of July as Italian cars were featured in virtually all classes of pre and post-war machinery, and the 100th anniversary of Alfa Romeo was the centerpiece of this year’s spectacle.
An Alfa Romeo P2 and 8C Competizione adorned the Quadrifoglio-shaped sculpture in front of Lord March’s Goodwood House. Some 50 Alfas had been promised by the Alfa museum, though rather fewer appeared. The contingent of privately entered cars was impressive, especially in the Cartier et Luxe concours, judged by design, television and royal luminaries.
On the hill, American machinery, events and personalities played a major role. Both Lord March and Jackie Stewart drove the Indy 500-winning Lotus 38-Ford that Jim Clark took to victory in 1965. In attendance were two of the legendary Wood brothers, Leonard and Delano, who crewed the car in 1965. Lord March had convinced Ford to back the restoration of the car from the Ford Museum. It had not run since Clark had turned it off in Victory Lane 45 years ago. Stewart drove the car wearing Jim Clark’s helmet.
Bobby Unser, Rich Morrison, Anthony Fairbairn, Kerry Earnhardt, Michael Waltrip and Ken Block were among the Americans making the trip on the Fourth of July weekend. Unser drove the MG Liquid Suspension Special owned by Rich Morrison, a mid-’60s Indycar that had been driven in period by Walt Hansgen. Unser also had dream-fulfilling runs in the famed Boyle Special Maserati with which Wilbur Shaw won the 500 in 1939 and 1940.
The huge crowds were particularly attracted by current Grand Prix cars and a large and exotic field of Supercars. World Champion Jenson Button and 2008 Champion Lewis Hamilton drove their cars as well as historic F1 cars, joined by Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Jarno Trulli, Bruno Senna, and Karun Chandok. Former GP stars Emerson Fittipaldi, John Surtees, Stirling Moss, Arturo Merzario, Brian Redman and Marc Gene were all in various cars. Fittipaldi was again reunited with his Lotus 72 chassis 5 which he raced in no less than 30 races (see Page 66-67).
Again, Goodwood was more than a parade of racecars, with an active special rally stage, and a major focus on cars associated with music, with rock stars Jimmy Vaughn, Jeff Beck and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons all performing live during the weekend, Vaughn being driven to the stage in a 1955 Cadillac.
A very competitive and hard-driven “shootout” for fastest time of the weekend took place on Sunday, and was won by the Wolf Williams of Roger Mills, ahead of the Johnny Milner Toyota and Andrew Smith in a Group C Ecosse-Cosworth.
With Sunday a total sell-out, more than 100,000 people attended the three days, with many more at the new event, the Moving Motor Show, that took place on Thursday. This featured a new approach to an interactive show, with those attending able both to see the cars and be driven up the famed Goodwood hill in them.