Luckily for me I managed to acquire a pair of tickets via my in-laws (many thanks!!!) . On top of these tickets I bought tickets for two really good friends of the family. Since my early 20’s they have been like my other parents – always full of good advice – so I thought I would treat them.
What a day!!! The sun was out, there was a great buzz about the place, with a greater number of people than before wearing period dress for the racing – a real experience.
Far too much to sum up in a blog entry, but for me the highlights (other than the great company) were the Saloon car race, the Lancaster display and the spotting of the Jaguar XJ13 (replica) in the Bonham parking area.
The Saloon cars were old immaculate Jaguars, Austins, Tatras etc. The rave drivers included Striling Moss, Tiff Needle and Tony Jardine… and these people weren’t in it to just show off some superb cars…. they were there to race hard.
The Saloon car race was a real tooth and nail event – and probably one of the best motor sport races I have ever seen! Neck and neck all the way… and an unfortunate manoeuvre by Jardine in the chicane meant that his little (but furiously fast) Austin A35 knocked the back of a strangely brown Austin Westminster…. which caused the Westminster to flip onto its side and slide done the track, which in turn Jardine in the A35 hit… ending both of their races (no one hurt though). A really exciting race – which looked and sounded great!
The Lancaster…well…. we were on the way back through the car park (an area where by the authority of the CAA, you cannot watch the air display) when we saw the Lancaster circling. It was preparing for its part of the display, but we wanted to avoid the traffic so were meandering back to the car.
On the way back to the car the XJ13 caught my eye. You can keep your Ferraris, Astons, and such like… the Jaguar XJ13 is firmly rooted in me as my favourite sports car. Yes, I like many others (Cobra Daytone Coupé… drool….), but the XJ13 is a little bit special and has a very interesting history to go with it. Let’s just say that the GT40 was very, very lucky.
I took countless pictures of this superb replica (there was and is only one true XJ13… which adds to the mystique). Being a relatively unknown car even replicas are rare.
We carried on towards the car park and saw the Lancaster begin its display run. If you have ever been to Goodwood you will be aware of the low altitudes that this “middle of no-where” airfield can get away with. The Lancaster past directly over our heads as it levelled out from a shallow dive… so low I couldn’t take a photo first time…. car alarms went off…. the rumble of the 4 Merlin engines could be felt through every part of my body… the roar was deafening…..It was only a few hundred feet above us!
We knew we were in a great place after this had happened…. and we knew the Lancaster always flew solo, and was then always joined by the Spitfire and the Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Flight…so we waited and were not disappointed!!!
Deafened… awestruck… gob smacked…yes…disappointed…no!
What a day!!!