MMR Blog

Sandy on Assignment:
My Favorite...The Goodwood Revival

Posted on January 9, 2014 Comments (5)

By Sandy Cotterman, Motorsports Enthusiast

Adventure Begins - Goodwood House

Another adventure begins…in front of the Goodwood House.

Although it never made my motorsports bucket list, everyone I know who has attended the Goodwood Revival says it’s a must, so I felt compelled to check it out. It was fantastic - my all-time favorite adventure for the year! This is an event for everyone… from the vintage racing buff to the reluctant spouse. You can’t help but have a fabulous time... even in the rain!

Stepping Back in Time

Stepping back in time.

Mods and Rockers

A friendly group of mods and rockers.

Close your eyes and take yourself back in time... England, post war ‘40s and ‘50s, through the early ‘60s… and you have the setting for the Revival. Everyone is dressed to play the part from the golden era of motorsports. Tight skirts and silk stockings, British military uniforms, fedora hats, mechanics’ overalls, biker garb and bell bottoms… if it’s vintage, you’ll see it. Even the concessions are in period, selling absolutely everything to get you into the mood for this three-day event.

West Sussex County, the 2.4-mile circuit sits on the grounds of the Goodwood Estate. During WWII, this area was a key British airfield and home to several Spitfire squadrons. When the RAF closed the base after the war, the landowner, Freddie March, grandfather of the current Earl of March, turned the perimeter road into a racing circuit. Britain’s first post-war motor racing took place here on September 18, 1948. The track was closed to racing in 1966, then re-opened in 1998. In its 16th year, the Revival features 15 races and special tributes over the mid-September weekend. I’ll give you the how-to’s for this event. But first, if you ever think you’ll attend annually, get on the list for membership into the Goodwood Road Racing Club (GRRC). Membership perks are outstanding. I’m on a 24 month wait list!

GTs

The GT’s from the Woodcote grandstands.

Taste of Victory

A taste of victory.

This year, celebrating 50 years of Ford’s GT40 history, an exciting one-make race for GT40s and related models took place. The career of legendary racecar driver Jim Clark was celebrated with 36 of the actual cars he raced, on parade. The Settrington Cup saw younger racers pedaling their way to glory in Austin J40s! Bonham’s auctioned over $23M in cars on Saturday. Tour de France cyclists, celebrating the 100th year running of the world’s greatest bicycle race, were also on parade. One hundred years of Aston Martin was celebrated in the Earl’s Court Motor Show exhibit and spectacular air shows went on overhead daily.... all just for starters!

Air shows and races

Air shows and races … all day long at the Revival.

Since I’m not a costume type person, I was a little apprehensive going into this adventure… easing in slowly. Outfitted in a black turtleneck, white jeans and big square sunglasses, I headed off to the Tampa airport feeling like Jackie O. By Day 3 at the track, I was so into dressing up that I didn’t think twice about wearing my red satin evening coat, long gloves and big sunglasses… in the pouring rain.

Before sharing my adventure, let me say that getting to Chichester, England, which is just up the road from Goodwood, was a snap! British Airways flies direct to Gatwick from Tampa, in eight hours, leaving at 6:15pm and arriving the next morning around 8am. Since tickets for this event go on sale mid-November, I was able to book a flight at a ridiculously low fare. Once in Gatwick, I hopped the train (right inside the airport) into Chichester. I personally didn’t want to hassle with a rental car and succumb to driving on the wrong side of the road. Lucky for me, I booked lodging in town and could take a five minute taxi ride to the Goodwood grounds after the gates opened at 7:30am and catch the official shuttle bus back into Chichester at the end of the day. Friends Keith Carlson and Bruce Murray were meeting up with Brits locally, and drove directly to the Estate in classic cars. The parking lots are a show in themselves!

Sandy in the Paddock

E2A and Sandy in the Paddock.

Paddock - rows of racing

The Paddock…rows of racing history.

It was a given, I would be seeing a lot of British cars, but, I was curious as to what else was in the Paddock. I was also on a mission to track down a Ferrari or two. To my surprise, there was a paddock full of these stallions! Speaking of the Paddock, a special pass, and of course vintage attire, is required to enter. Getting a Paddock pass is difficult, as you cannot buy them. That’s where the GRRC membership comes in handy. Again, I lucked out. After stopping to take photos with a group of bikers, they handed me a pass!

For me, my motorsports adventures sparkle because of the people I meet. Whether it’s a famous race car driver, classic car collector, or just another motorsports enthusiast, like me, each person adds to my adventure. The Goodwood Revival was all sparkles!

Flurry of excitement

A flurry of excitement around Stirling Moss and Jochen Mass.

I checked out the racing line-up and was thrilled to be able to watch legends Derek Bell, Brian Redman, and Andy Wallace, and also Oliver Gavin and Tom Kristensen – whom I had just seen race at Le Mans, all take the wheel of some pretty cool vintage race cars. Stirling Moss was on hand signing autographs, but more special than that, I was able to witness Stirling and Jochen Mass prepare a race history time capsule. It was a treat to run into Garth Hammers from Gooding Auctions and Steve Serio from Aston Martin of New England, who, like me, were there enjoying the weekend festivities.

Max - race car driver

Max… the race car driver.

What made this entire adventure spectacular was following one very special racecar driver through every pace of the weekend. Right off the bat, I thought I recognized a familiar face from the automotive auction world, as I was snooping around the Paddock. No, it couldn’t be, I thought. But on Day 2, while again roaming the Paddock, I ran into my very favorite auctioneer, Max Girado, from RM Auctions. It really was Max whom I thought I recognized the day before. You’ve read my praises of Max, as an auctioneer in previous articles, so you can imagine how ecstatic I was to find out he was racing… the Ferraris!!

Derek Bell

Derek Bell up second in the Corvette Sting Ray.

Besides being offered a Paddock pass at the start of the Revival, I was graciously offered another pass from the mechanic of the 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray, which Derek Bell would race on Sunday… a team armband. I hope that gentleman goes straight to heaven when the time comes, as doing such a good deed was amazing. I could maneuver anywhere inside the pits and team areas, wearing the armband.

Ready to race

Ready to race.

Following Max though the paces connected me with the excitement of the races. The owners of both cars he was driving, the 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France and 1956 Ferrari 860 Monza, told me they had heard Max was a great auctioneer, but obviously admired him for his skills as a race car driver. Max slipped into the cars with ease, all smiles, and graciously took the time to wave before taking off. Watching Max finish third on Sunday, in the No. 22, 250 GT during the Fordwater Trophy race, was a thrill. I even watched him go through the post scrutineering checks. He definitely made my weekend!

Similar to Le Mans, you really have to watch the website (www.goodwood.com) to jump on board for early ticket sales, as they sell out quickly. Tickets are mailed after the first of the year. Here is what my website shopping cart included: A 3-day required roving grandstand general admission ticket, for $206; and, Saturday and Sunday reserved grandstand tickets at $122 each, in the Woodcote grandstands. The grandstands offer a fantastic viewing advantage.

I signed up for lunches at the Goodwood Hotel in the Cedar Suite. Dinners were back in Chichester at a fabulous Italian restaurant, Carluccio’s. Lodging at the Goodwood Hotel is reserved exclusively for guests of Lord March, but you can make reservations, on–line, for the three-course buffet lunch. Hostesses seat guests together, filling up tables for scheduled seatings. The Hotel ended up being my go to place for everything… relaxing, bathroom breaks and all other meals. There was even a fleet of complimentary vintage Jowett taxis and roadsters to take me back and forth to the track. The Hotel experience is definitely my MMR secret find!

Revival

Everyone has fun at the Revival.

Forever one of my favorite adventures, I hope the Goodwood Revival makes everyone’s motorsports bucket list. It’s no wonder Veuve Clicquot is sparkling everywhere during this weekend of excitement!


MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on January 3, 2014 Comments (0)

Welcome to the New Year!

Our images this week are some of our favorite leads of MMR Newsletters past. If you are reading this on the MMR blog and want to see more images, simply subscribe to our MMR Newsletter and we will forward this issue. For subscribers, simply click on the images below to be taken to the issue that featured them and learn more about the photographers and what they were shooting.

While this is unquestionably the first MMR Newsletter of 2014, it somehow still feels like the final MMR Newsletter of 2013. In keeping with that, we will follow up on stories recently begun and cast a prescient eye on the horizon of events to come.

Sadly, as we write this, Michael Schumacher is in an induced coma in a hospital in France. The most recent news is more hopeful and we wish him well.

Cleaning up some of the leftovers from 2013, we offer a sampling of your responses from the query about purchasing a Cadillac vs. a Euro sedan.

Looking Forward…

Stay tuned, while this issue has no room for our 2014 predictions. As threatened, we will share them with you next week. Meanwhile check out this week’s video, a Porsche 908 cockpit view of one lap of the Targa Florio. Thanks to Michael Keyser, co-author of Racing Demons.

Going to Scottsdale? Tony Singer, founder of Automobilia Monterey is launching a similar event, Automobilia Scottsdale, with the same excellent vendors. Most are listed as suppliers in the MMR Goods and Services Directory. See poster below for details.

Also in January, Denise McCluggage comes to New England for dinner and The Centered Driver Workshop  at European Motorsports Exhibit Center in Lawrence MA. Tickets are still available, but not many.

Here’s wishing you all good health and a wonderful 2014!

Peter and the MMR Team


Cadillac Responses

Posted on January 2, 2014 Comments (3)

Our recent article on Euro drivers prompted us to ask, why not Cadillacs?

These were some of the responses:

Peter: The big response to the Bronson article proves the demographic, herein. ;) The good folks trying to follow "You meet the nicest people on a Honda" have a long way to go in trying to beat the social stigma generated by others; be it film, local behavior or the racket they make. I like the new Cadillacs a lot. They're good looking, plus handling and power are very impressive. That level of ostentation is not for me. There's nothing subtle about them either. But a manual trans. with all that power! Good fortune, B~

Cadillacs. It's a fookin' Cadillac. My father-in-law used to drive Cadillacs. It now has the same problem of perception Volkswagen had with the Phaeton. Great luxury car, that. But it's a Volkswagen. We're not buying a luxury car with that brand name on it. So the new Cadillac is a high performance driver's car? That's just too bad. You know, BMW got around this issue... their front wheel drive turbo small car is called a Mini Cooper S!

For me, there is more to this question than handling. Of course, in the end, that is the best reason to buy any car, but image is also important. Cadillac is not what I want to be identified with. As a woman of a certain age, the brand has a long-standing repugnance for me. Too big, too lumbering, too glitzy, too aged-Florida-resident (sorry) who needs a lot of metal for protection.

Thank you Peter. I'll never forget the moment that Eldorado puked its headbolts (all 10 bolts on the rear head). I was in the middle of the Howard Frankland Bridge east bound over Tampa Bay at 90 mph plus and saw the temp. gauge spike to the red zone. I said to myself "you gotta be s****in* me!" All ten bolts in the rear head. I was able to pull the six center bolts out with my fingers! A fine world class engine design cheapened by poor quality, porous block castings. Do like the new Cadillacs very much but it would take a lot to get me to give up my two Jaguars.

God man! Think what you just wrote! You’ll have people peeing their pants all over America! (Peter)

About the Cadillac ATS: They'd sell more, at least to idjits like me, if they would get rid of the bling. Dump the phony Cadillac crest on the grille and trunk, soften and shrink the hey-look-at-me sea-of-chrome grille, itself. Hang big banners in the styling department proclaiming; AFTER 1938 HARLEY EARL LOST HIS WAY.

You could get an argument on that date. If gas was still .40 per gallon I would kill for a 1958 Cadillac Biarritz.

Cadillac El Dorado

Cadillac's new offerings are superb automobiles. I own a CTS V coupe which is fantastic, and I'm now deciding between the new CTS V sport or the upcoming ATS V as a replacement. Cadillac is definitely working its way back to the top, but admittedly does have a lot of baggage to overcome. I do get tired of the unenlightened looking incredulous when I tell them I drive one......they stare downwards looking for the SansaBelt and white patent leather shoes. However, I love to promote American design and technology in the process of explaining my choices.

MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on December 27, 2013 Comments (0)

Christmas has passed, New Year’s Day is ahead; what to do in between? The past week has been hectic for everyone and this seems the perfect time to be catching up on our as yet unread magazines and books.

The Auctions Are Coming! The Auctions Are Coming!

But hold on! January is Auction Action Month. Bonhams kicks it off with a very interesting vintage motorcycle auction  in Las Vegas, Nevada on the 9th. The action then moves to Arizona the following Sunday for the Arizona Concours d’Elegance in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area. And so begins a week of auctions dominated by The Eight Days of Barrett-Jackson featuring the Salon Collection sale on Saturday. B-J hope to reintroduce themselves to the buyers of classic and foreign cars they deserted for the American Muscle car market several years ago. RM, Bonhams, and Gooding & Co., who presently own that business, will also be running in the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday timeslots.

Classic Car Auction

There is an interesting dynamic here as RM, who is the Big Dog on the World Stage, is followed closely by Gooding & Co. and then Bonhams. All consider Monterey the prize American location. But they come to Phoenix-Scottsdale to play in the Barrett-Jackson sandbox and protect their turf. B-J, who virtually created TV coverage of auction events, have turned their sale into a marathon TV show. Fox Sports and Fox Business channels will give them over 50 hours of TV coverage for the Arizona event. That’s a lot of Chevys!

BJ Scotsdale auction

The Arizona Concours is new and designed to bring diversity to the week’s offerings and broaden the customer base for the remainder of the events. It has heavy backing, a good setting and it should be interesting.

Denise is Coming! Denise is Coming!

A month from now, January 28th, Denise McCluggage will be in New England to present her workshop, The Centered Driver, tickets remain but they are going fast, so join us for dinner and an instructive and entertaining evening.

Denise

MMR 2014 Motorsports Calendar is Here!

Here is our MMR Motorsports calendar for January. Time to begin making plans, or at the very least, to begin dreaming.

This week’s video is a view of the 1960 Ferrari 250GTE SWB Spyder at Pebble Beach. Do you have a favorite video you want to share with the MMR Community? See you next Friday with our motorsports predictions for the coming twelve months. If you have thoughts about what will happen in 2014, drop us a line.

Have a great weekend!

Peter Bourassa


MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on December 20, 2013 Comments (0)

Bronson

Then Came Bronson

The response to last week’s piece on Michael Parks and the Then Came Bronson TV show was far greater than expected. The series is fondly remembered by a significant number of our readers. Considering it only lasted one season of 26 episodes, it obviously had an impact. The character of Parks strongly influenced the character he portrayed and while he speaks fondly of the product, he readily admits that the producers constantly pressured him to make the stories more in tune with the Hopper-Fonda angry biker image of the time. He was unwilling. Refreshingly, he sees himself as an actor first and the stint on motorcycles as just an opportunity and a job. Parks was also a gifted athlete who ran the mile in 4:05 and tried out with a major league baseball team. To everyone’s amazement, he simply packed up and walked out of training camp to pursue a life in the arts. The Bronson character was probably pretty close to the Parks character.

What are you driving?

A loyal subscriber wrote in response to our comment about preferring older Euro vehicles to the new offerings and asks if we would consider owning a new Cadillac. The Derek Hill Cadillac commercial, featuring the ATS Turbo being driven in Monaco, prompted a switch from a BMW Five Series to a new Cadillac ATS Turbo.

The writer loves the car and states that the car “makes me feel young.”

Caddy

While I was not initially fond of the styling, one of us is changing. I now find myself warming to the newer models and it is hard to ignore that Cadillac has done a hell of a job making the thing work. A small and quick survey of our recent Dragone auction travel group resulted in two distinct considerations. First, a competitive American car is very appealing. Second, Cadillac has yet to overcome its previous cumbersome image. What do you think?

Castello Cavalcanti

This week’s Video, Wes Anderson’s Castello Cavalcanti is a true hoot. Starring Jason Schwartzman as race driver Jet Cavalcanti, it hits absolutely every cliché possible about Italian villages, relations, race drivers, mechanics, and the Molte Miglia. Enjoy!

MMR Goods & Services Directory

Stuck for something you want somebody to buy for you? A reminder that our MMR Goods & Services Directory has over 2800 top quality suppliers of all the stuff you need in 350 categories. The trick now is to get the second most significant person in your life to find exactly what you want. Good Luck!

Happy Holidays to you and your family from the MMR Team.

Peter Bourassa