The Goodwood Revival Shames Every Other Car Show

Picture a car museum, but with ale and danger.

byLawrence Ulrich|
Culture photo

Watch some vintage race footage. Grainy black-and-white or the saturated colors of the Seventies, it doesn’t matter: You’re transported to a more stylish, romantic and fiery (literally) era of speed.

Better, you can go back like McFly in his DeLorean—just make sure to dress for time travel. England’s annual Goodwood Revival brings 200,000 weekend spectators, most dressed in natty vintage attire, to the sheep-grazed estate of the Earl of March, for the most spot-on historic racing on the planet.

The lovingly recreated Goodwood Formula One circuit is a modern Field of Dreams, where retired superstars like Sirs Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart routinely take on younger generations of A-list pilots. It’s a hell of a show, but it’s no put-on; these drivers are in it to win it. That door-to-door action, in chariots from 500cc Coopers to museum-worthy LeMans, F1, and CanAm winners, is alone worth the trip. But Goodwood is also British partying at its gentlemanly best, generously fueled by ale, stout and champagne. And it’s one of the world’s rare racing events that’s not an overstuffed sausage fest. Throngs of women, dressed like Forties screen sirens, wartime WAFs, or go-go-booted vixens, dial up the spectacle of this greatest of automotive revivals. See for yourself in The Drive’s video. And start working on your own outfit for next year.