The man in the suit looked surreptitiously around all the classic cars, then he slowly opened the left-hand side of his jacket – lots of pocket watches were dangling inside his jacket. “Special price, special price,” he murmured to the astonished onlookers… Scenes like this are typical for the Goodwood Revival Meeting: It’s a spectacle from start to finish.
Every guest is part of the drama at the annual rendezvous around the Goodwood Circuit and on the race track located in southern England. Genuine performers, professional racing drivers and innumerable mechanics revive an era of motor sport that has long since passed into the annals of history. This year once again, more than 150,000 visitors took a trip down memory lane and enjoyed some 360 automobiles and 30 motorcycles on the race track, along with the numerous heritage treasures waiting to be admired.
Classic motorcycles from BMW Motorrad were put through their paces on the race track and demonstrated that they should certainly not be consigned to the scrap heap. Australian racing legend Troy Corser achieved some impressive records and a historic triumph. On the BMW R57 Kompressor, he and Herbert Schwab won the overall placings as they competed for the traditional Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy. Already in the first race on the Saturday, the duo crossed the finishing line in third place after a false start and a subsequent spectacular pursuit. In the second race on Sunday, Corser and Schwab even succeeded in passing the checkered flag as winners. This enabled them to come out on top in the overall placings when the two results were put together. This was the first overall win for BMW Group Classic at the Goodwood Revival.
The sensational performance of the BMW R57 Kompressor was complemented with a further tour de force by Corser. The two-times Superbike World Champion rode the fastest lap of the entire weekend and simultaneously achieved the best lap time ever ridden on the Goodwood Circuit with a classic motorcycle. The other teams also made their contribution to the exceptionally successful appearance by BMW Motorrad Classic in Goodwood. Maria Costello and Claus Clausen riding the second BMW R57 Kompressor came in tenth when they competed in the race on the Sunday. In the same race, Klaus Ottillinger and Sebastian Gutsch rode their BMW R5 to fourth place.
The races for the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy recall the “BMCRC 1000cc Scratch Race” in which Grand Prix bikes, slightly modified road motorcycles and specials battled for victory on “Motor Cycling Goodwood Saturday” in 1951. At the Goodwood Revival in 2018, historic automobiles also competed in a trial of strength emulating an old tradition. The entrants included an Austin Mini Cooper S Competition and a BMW 1800 TI/SA. They even took part in the same race for the “St. Marys Trophy,” named after the bend with the most action on the 2.36-mile (3.8-km) Goodwood circuit. They were competing with lots of other classic Minis, a veritable horde of Ford Lotus Cortinas, Alfa Romeo 1600 GTA coupés and Jaguar Mark II saloons. The drivers lived up to their reputation and delighted the public gallery. The races are not show acts – nobody wants to be overtaken here even if there is only fame and honor to be gained.
The classic Mini heralded the entry into motor sport for a host of drivers who subsequently became successful professionals – names like Lauda, Hunt and Stewart are associated with the car. There again the “Rally Professor” Rauno Aaltonen – who subsequently went on to become head of BMW driver training – achieved his biggest successes in the diminutive British car. The BMW 1800 TI/SA is one of those cars that allowed the make to prove its potential in touring-car racing during the 1960s. The1.8 liter four-cylinder engine powering the saloon in the road-going version generated 110 hp, while two twin carburetors and higher compression in the motor-sport guise of the “Special” – “Sonderausführung – (SA) increased the power to 130 hp to allow a top speed of up to 120 mph (190 km/h).
Alongside the racing events on the Goodwood Circuit, BMW Group Classic fascinated the public with the acclaimed BMW 507 once owned by Elvis Presley, a rare BMW 503 convertible and an open-top Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. The vehicles were presented entirely in the style of the 1950s and 1960s. A replica of the traditional London motor-car dealer Kevill-Davies & March was set up not far from the race track.