The Revivalists

PUBLISHED: 13:37 28 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:13 20 February 2013

Ian Johnstone

Ian Johnstone

Celebrating the eleventh anniversary of the Goodwood Revival, eagerly awaited by enthusiasts who enjoy taking their cherished cars back into a time capsule of the Fifties and Sixties...

The classic car is synonymous with style and the perfect place to showcase these wonderful vehicles is, of course, the Goodwood Revival. This year the Revival celebrates its eleventh anniversary (Sept 18-20) and it is eagerly awaited by enthusiasts who enjoy taking their cherished cars back into a time capsule of the Fifties and Sixties. Liane Oldham meets some of the many Revivalists throughout Sussex who are fortunate to have a little bit of history parked in their garages and are already polishing them up for this unique event...

'Spike' Milligan from Lavant owns two magnificent classic cars, a 1953 Connaught A type once raced by Roy Salvadori and a 1953 HWM Jaguar raced by Peter Collins.

Spike has raced at every Revival and moved to Sussex largely because of his love of motor racing at Goodwood.

"Ever since the Connaught was made at Ripley on the A3 and I saw my car being put together, I have loved classic cars. In those days everyone took their cars to Goodwood to test. It has remained unique and unchanged."

Spike now does private instruction at Goodwood during track days and at the Revival this year he will be driving the HWM. "The Revival is, quite simply, one of those events you have to do before you pass away - like Ascot!"

Ian Johnstone, from Boxgrove has been taking cars to the Revival since it began in 1998.

He has an impressive collection of five models: a BNC Monza 1927, a Lea Francis Hyper 1929, a 1915 Calthorpe Minor, a De Dion Bouton 1904, which will take part in the London to Brighton race later this year, and a 4.5 litre Bentley dating back to 1924.

"The Revival is the best classic competitive motoring event in the world. It's like walking on to a film set. I got my first car, an 1933 Aston Martin, in 1963 after I'd had a nasty motorcycle crash and I was advised to get a car.

"I've always found classic cars so much more exciting and over the years they have integrated into family life.

"We have used them for family weddings, been on rallies to South Africa and New Zealand and I do as much of the work on them as I can myself."

Jorg Arnhold from Nyetimber moved to West Sussex from Germany in 1993 and designed his garage roof around his cherished 1960 Armstrong Siddeley Star Sapphire.

"The car has the phoenix motif so I had the garage roof designed in a pyramid shape to make it feel at home. I always liked the idea of owning an old English car because they have such style."

As a wine merchant Jorg finds that the Sapphire has been a great bonus to business life as well. "We supply wine and champagne to Goodwood and to drive up in a lovely car is perfect - stylish wine needs a stylish car."

Jorg and his wife have been going to the Revival since the very first day: "It's my annual indulgence. I can get my fix of Castrol R and burning rubber - a heady mixture for someone who loves old cars."

Having sourced and supplied parts for Jaguar's XK model over the years, Tom Kent from Poling, Arundel, knew just how precious a 1955 Jaguar XK 140 Roadster was when he bought it as a pile of bits.

"I totally rebuilt it and it deserved all the attention. Classic cars are like lovely ladies - they have lovely shapes! I do all my own maintenance and it won best of class at one of the Jaguar XK shows. When I have the time I take it to shows and rallies and just enjoy using it."

Tom was a founding member of the Goodwood Road Racing Club and is an avid fan of the Revival. "We go every year and park at the Lavant Bank which is very much part of the circuit. The ambience is fantastic and it reminds me of my era."

David Grey from West Wittering lives next door to where Henry Royce lived between 1917 and 1933, which is one of the reasons he decided to become an owner himself.

"Each year on the anniversary of Henry's death, Rolls-Royce enthusiasts turn up outside the house to hold a memorial service. I got fed up with all these people arriving in their plush cars and decided to get one myself." David now owns three Rolls: a 1929 20hp, 1937 25/30 and a 1955 Silver Dawn.

He is unlikely to be adding to his collection: "My wife says if I buy any more she will leave me and as I can't cook, she's staying!"

As for the Revival, David says: "It's a fantastic event and people make a real effort for it both with their cars and their clothes."

David Grice from Highleigh in Sidlesham says: "I had always wanted to bring a car into the Lavant Bank at the Revival and I did this four years ago with my 1937 Morris 8 Series 2.

"I do track days in a Porsche because modern cars do a lot of the work for you and I now appreciate how much skill is required to drive these old cars."

He was offered the Morris in pieces and rebuilt it with help from friends in the GRRC. "The car needed a new engine. I can now take an engine apart and put it back together. I do my own servicing and maintenance.

"It's all part of the fun of owning an old car. I am now thinking of what I need to do to get it ready for the Revival this year. Check tyre pressure, a good polish, adjust steering and check brakes. It wouldn't do to have it looking out of control on the Lavant Bank! I find it a very noble way of driving and people respect an old car.

"When we take it to France people come out of their houses in the little villages to have a look."

Peter Jury from Racton, West Funtington, has enjoyed restoring old cars most of his life and has now has five including a 1964 Gordon-Keeble, this 'very reliable' 1961 Ford Anglia and an old Daimler.

He spent 500 hours working on the bodywork of the Ford Anglia but insists it was well worth it. "People just don't bother taking the time or the expense to restore something like a Ford Anglia so you don't see them very often.

"Mine is bright lime green and does bring a smile to people's faces. When I take it out I always have someone come to me saying 'Oh I used to have one years ago' or 'My Dad had one.' My son will probably have it eventually, when he can afford to pay for the insurance!"

As for the Revival, not only has Peter has never missed a meeting, he has never missed a Breakfast Club gathering either.

Derek Bell

Champion racing driver Derek Bell has raced at the Revival since its inception. The first car he raced holds very special memories for him

The car I raced at the first Revival meeting was a Formula 1 Ferrari 312B which I had test driven 30 years ago in front of Enzo Ferrari at Modena prior to racing it at the Italian Grand Prix. To be reunited with this car at Goodwood was pretty special for me.

It's real racing at the Revival and you do push it to the limit. Any driver who gets into an historic car before a high speed race does it with a certain amount of reserve: How well has the track and the car been prepared - awareness of other drivers on the track. The owner may say 'I drive it flat out' but their interpretation of 'flat out' and mine may be totally different.

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