Events: Festival

Shiny Triumph at Goodwood Revival 2017

Good times: it’s Goodwood Revival

Retro rocker reunion

Vintage motorcycles and classic cars rubbing bars and bumpers with World War II planes… it can only be Goodwood Revival. 

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Atmosphere. That’s the key to Revival’s success, with the changeable late-summer weather whipping up the British flags, neckerchiefs and headscarves while big-band music and the spluttering and popping of Castrol R-fuelled engines provided the soundtrack to the weekend.

A low, rumbling roar

The Revival’s packed weekend racing schedule meant plenty of actual circuit racing behind the beautiful façade. On-track motorcycle action featured the Barry Sheene Memorial Race, where big names included Guy Martin, who rode a Matchless G50, and William and Michael Dunlop racing a MV Augusta 500. Away from their road-racing roots, these hardened competitors took to classic bikes on Goodwood’s circuit.

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When it came to classic cars, shiny Jaguar E-Types, Aston Martin DB6s and AC Cobras all braved the muddy fields to be on display or to take a stab at racing. The noise on the grid was a low, rumbling roar only achieved with old-fashioned, naturally aspirated machines.

Who needs a time machine?

Focusing on the 1940s-60s, the Revival is 100% committed to stepping back in time, with motorcycle action and a Mods vs Rockers display adding to the edge.

Triumph Bonneville with helmet and goggles at Goodwood Revival

For those who turned up to the Revival looking a tad too modern, Goodwood had them covered. Hair salons, barbers and clothes stalls dotted around the circuit alongside streets could have been lifted straight out of the 1950s. You couldn’t help but crack a smile as families walked out of a salon all Brylcreemed and hairsprayed – who needs a time machine?

The Goodwood staff all sported brown overalls and taxied show-goers around in vintage tractors and wooden-clad buggies. Acting troupes were also on-hand to add even more retro flavour.

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Spitfires flew low overhead and cigar smoke hung in the air as a contingent of Rockers relaxed on their motorcycles opposite a group of Mods. Sporting full leathers covered in pins and badges, Jake Turner leaned on the seat of his 63 Bonneville.

Once you’ve had two wheels, it never leaves you

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Sarah and Jake as Rockers

“It’s brilliant,” Jake says. “People really make the effort to dress up and it all enhances the old-school feel of the Revival. We’re the Rockers, of course, and over there are the Mods,” as Jake points across the road to the many mirror-laden scooters.

“We’re just here to add a bit of atmosphere. I love meeting the old guys who used to ride these bikes, it’s great hearing their stories. The fact is, once you’ve been on two wheels it never leaves you.

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“A lot of the guys here are from the local bike club. As you can see, it’s mostly Triumphs on our side of the road. Me and my partner Sarah have been coming here for many years. We are mostly into classic Triumphs but we love the new Hinckley range too – they’ve nailed the modern-retro style. Sarah’s got a new Thruxton and she loves that.”

Through hard rain on Sunday, the final races came to a close marking the end of this year’s Revival. Sodden racers rode past still smiling. After all, it wouldn’t be a traditional British summer without at least one downpour would it?