• What You Need To Know About The Goodwood Revival

Get up-to-speed with one of the most unique auto events in the world

September’s not a particularly enthralling month in our shores. Summer’s winding down, school’s about to start, and the nearest auto show we have comes two months later in November in Los Angeles. There are some dog days that lie ahead for us, but that’s not the case for those across the pond, specifically those who will be attending the 2016 Goodwood Revival.

Yes, the Goodwood Revival is all set to take place from September 9 to 11, 2016. That’s less than three weeks away, which means that preparations are starting to heat up for the only motor racing event set up entirely in period.

On that note, here’s an important question: what exactly is the Goodwood Revival? It’s an interesting question since the event isn’t held in the U.S., and as such, it’s not all that familiar to a lot of people on this side of the Atlantic.

So to help those who don’t know about the Revival understand the event and why it’s important in automotive calendar, we’ve prepared a primer about the whole thing, complete with answers to certain questions you may have about the event. Who knows, by the time you’re done reading it, you might end up booking a ticket to the U.K. to attend the event. Anything’s possible, right?

Continue after the jump to read more about the Goodwood Revival.

Is it different from the Goodwood Festival of Speed?

Yes, it is! This year’s Festival of Speed already took place in June 2016 and we already have extensive coverage of it. Whereas that event is largely defined as a showcase for some of the newest and fanciest cars in the world today, the Goodwood Revival is exactly the opposite. Modern cars are a faux pas at the Revival as the event is largely restricted to cars and motorcycles that would have raced in period at Goodwood. The shops, food outlets, and overall theme of the three-day festival are all designed to harken back to the halcyon days of the 1950s and 60s, otherwise considered as the golden age for British motor racing. Even those who attend the event are encouraged to wear in-period attire, which also makes the event one of the largest gatherings of people wearing petticoat skirts and jumpers while ironically using iPhones and Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

Where exactly is the Goodwood Revival held?

Basically, the Revival is held in the same area as the Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England. The only difference is that the FoS is held in the grounds of Goodwood House while the Revival is held at the actual Goodwood circuit that sits around the perimeter of a World War II airfield. That particular airfield plays an important role in the Revival as it stages the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation concours, regarded as one of the world’s finest displays of vintage aircraft. Notice the consistent use of “vintage” when it comes to the Revival?

Can I go?

2018 Bugatti Chiron High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Of course you can! You can even bring your entire family if you want. The only caveat is that the Revival is one of the most highly anticipated events in the U.K. and as such, tickets can sell out faster than it takes the Bugatti Chiron to hit 60 mph. Buying tickets in advance is highly recommended and while some tickets have sold out already, there are still some available from the Goodwood website. Better be quick about it though because, you know, zoom and they’re gone!

Okay, so what can I realistically expect from the three-day festival?

If you’re looking to get up close and personal with modern-day exotics like the Chiron and the Koenigsegg One:1, you picked the wrong event. Those hypercars already appeared during the Festival of Speed.

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Koenigsegg is planning on breaking a few records with the Agera R and One:1.

But if you’re the type who enjoys period racing at its finest, the Revival is the place to be. This year, the schedule includes a total of 15 races featuring single-seater race cars, saloons, and motorcycles. There’s also this one event – the RAC TT – that you should be excited about. This race is traditionally regarded as having the world’s most expensive grid, largely because the cars that compete in this race are those that routinely sell for eight figures in any kind of auction. It’s been said that an RAC TT grid is made up of cars that are worth a combined $200 million. Imagine the horror of seeing one of these classic closed-cockpit GT racers get into an accident during the race. The mere thought is already making me nauseous.

In addition to all the racing that’s going to take place in the three-day event, the REvival will also host track parades, including a special one this year that celebrates the life and times of Sir Jack Brabham, the three-time Formula One champion who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his last F1 title. Sir Jack passed away in 2014, but his memory definitely lives on.

The Revival also offers plenty of entertainment for non-racing aficionados. The shops that line up the Revival Highstreet offer everything from in-period clothing to automotive artworks.

Can I buy cars at the Revival?

If you have the financial means to buy, you most certainly can. The Revival will also have its automotive auctions, including one being hosted by Bonhams. It’s already been reported that the auction house is bringing a mouth-watering 1956 Porsche 550 RS Spyder to the Revival with the expectation of selling the car north of $8 million. Like I said, if you want to buy a car the Revival, you better bring the checkbooks with you.

1955 - 1956 Porsche 550 Spyder High Resolution Exterior
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Is it worth the trip?

This is a fair question to ask, especially since most of us are in the U.S. You’ll have to factor in air fare and accommodations costs just to go to the event. As I have said numerous times, paying to go to the Goodwood Revival isn’t going to be cheap, but if anybody’s willing to spend the money to be part of the experience, it will definitely be worth the coin. The Goodwood Revival is as close to a must-attend auto event as there is in the calendar. Just be prepared for those wallets and checkbooks to take a hit in one form or another.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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