At its most basic, Goodwood Revival is a long weekend worth of car races featuring cars made before 1970. There are lots of those, though, including some pretty great ones all over the world. But nothing is like Goodwood Revival because it’s so much more than “just” vintage car racing.
First, you have to look the part. Attendees are strongly encouraged to dress in period clothing from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, with a strict dress code enforced should you want to enter the paddock. The goal is to create a more authentic atmosphere to match the cars and the meticulously restored and recreated paddocks, grandstands and other facilities of the reborn Goodwood circuit. Now, the dress code was relaxed this year since the Saturday was literally the hottest Sept. 9 on record in that part of England, and the organizers didn’t want people dropping dead because they needed to wear an ascot. Some people definitely took the “relaxed” bit too far, but there was still plenty of atmosphere maintained. It really does make a big difference, as those “relaxed” individuals were often akin to seeing a Starbucks cup in a scene from “Game of Thrones.”
You can see what I came up with below along with former Autoblog editor Reese Counts and various other Goodwood attendees.
Second, there’s the parking lot. But I’ll let this entire separate post detail that.
Third, there’s the enormous carnival-like area featuring vintage-looking rides and various boutiques. Both of those are on the outside portion of the track, and honestly, you could easily just spend your entire day in the parking lot and carnival/shopping area without even crossing over into the circuit area. There you’ll find more shops, food and drink opportunities, plus obviously, race car paddocks and the track itself.
Fourth, there are airplanes! I heard there are fewer than in the past, but they’re there and they’re cool. The Goodwood circuit started out life as the perimeter road around the World War II airfield RAF Westhampnett.
Fifth, with all of the above, Goodwood Revival really is fun for the whole family. It isn’t just a bunch of old guys sitting around in lawn chairs. There are plenty of women and adorably dressed children, including babies in vintage prams. It’s also not an event that’s exclusively for the uber rich, even if they are certainly in full force given who has the sort of money needed to go vintage racing. Tickets started at only 67 pounds this year for adults, with half-price young person tickets for those 13 to 21, and free admission for those under 12. That’s chicken feed compared to what Disney parks are asking for these days. There are plenty of ways to spend far more money than that, though, including group suites and The Mess, a fully immersive re-imagining of RAF Westhampnett officers’ mess.
And finally, because words really can’t do it justice, I now present about 244 other reasons in the form of photographs from Goodwood Revival 2023. All photos, including those in the gallery above, were taken by Michael Shaffer unless otherwise noted.
Goodwood Revival Racing Action Day 1
Goodwood Revival Paddock and A Few Other Things to See
(photos by James Riswick and therefore much crappier than Lipman’s)
Goodwood Revival Parking Lot
(photos by James Riswick)