Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Car Porn

Definition: Any type of media which exhibits particularly excessive depictions of cars.

I know this is a blog about motorcycles, but as I really enjoyed something a few days ago relating mainly to cars, I am going to let it sneak onto here. 

Okay, deep breath and look at some cars.... and planes .... and girls..... and okay, a few bikes too......

For the past few years I have wanted to go to what is (mainly) a car event called the Goodwood Festival of Speed. This however has not been possible as I either have something else planned, been away, forgot, or some other reason has prevented me from attending. That was until last Friday and what can I say, but WOW!  With my cousins Dean and Mark, we went to the Goodwood FOS for the first time, and loved it.

This is an event that lasts three days and is essentially a celebration of speed, featuring historic motor racing vehicles from about 1910 onwards and is held in the grounds of Goodwood House, West Sussex, England. The main focus of the event is on cars, but there are motorbikes there as well taking part. About 150,000 people attend over the three days.

To give you an idea of how important the event is, this is a sculpture next to the historic Goodwood House. It is a permanent metal sculpture depicting a car. Look very closely and see how small the people standing next to the sculpture look.  It is enormous!






















What is unusual about the Goodwood Festival of Speed is the fact that the vehicle displays are MOVING. This is not just a static exhibition of vehicles all neatly parked in rows, but doing what they were designed to do – drive on a track. It is so much better to see, hear, smell and feel the vehicles moving rather than just look at them stationary.

The track is just over a mile long and climbs up a hill. There is also a rally stage track, set in the forest at the top of the hill.

The vehicles taking part are worked on in a tented paddock area that you are able to walk through, look at the cars and talk to the mechanics and drivers. This allows you to see the vehicles close up as well as running on the track. A few photos from the paddock area....

This is the Team Renault tent, stuffed full of F1 racing cars....



















A Williams F1 car....






















A McLaren-Mercedes MP4-23 F1 car from the 2008 season, less it’s wheels....



















From 1983, this is one of my favourite cars, a Lotus-Renault 94T. The John Player Special livery was around for many years and was hugely well known for the black cars with gold writing....



















A stunning Lotus, in the classic green and yellow that brings back so many boyhood memories. This is a 1963 Lotus-Climax 25, 1.5 litre V8....






















Racing cars are very temperamental and preparing them to run in a cramped space must be very challenging....




















Some of the cars are just pure art and sex, all rolled into one glorious shape, ready for the eye to behold....


























There were probably 80 bikes at the FOS. This is an Italian Gileria....



















Shaws Harley-Davidson recently built this custom bike based on a Night Train. Roland Sands, the American racer was at Goodwood to ride this bike....



















No racing event would be complete without some eye candy....




















We had bought Grandstand seats, allowing us to move freely throughout the course and sit in any of the grandstands. This is the view of one of the main seating areas with the main Goodwood House opposite....



















There were many different categories of cars entered. This is a 1986 Ford RS 200 rally car....



















The classics warrant the same amount of attention from the spectators as any other of the car categories....



















A 1931 Duesenberg ‘Cummins Diesel Special’. Built by Clessie Cummins, this was the first diesel car to race at Indy. It qualified last at Indy in 1932 but finished 13th after running the 500 mile race non-stop. This is being driven by Eddie Cheever....



















1965 Lotus-Ford 4.2 litre V8 on track. The noise this car made was wonderful....



















The cars go past so regularly it is difficult to work out what they all are. I have no idea what this is....


















This 1957 Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser was driven by the legendary Fangio at Indy in 1958....













A 1951 4.1 litre but only 4 cylinder (just imagine the size of the pistons) Stevens-Offenhauser ‘Jim Robbins Special’....
















This next car is very unusual as it has a gas turbine engine. It is a Lotus-Pratt & Whitney 56 STP Special, built in 1968 and has 4-wheel drive to cope with the huge amount of torque the car develops. It sounded just like a jet plane....



















I love the cars from this era. This is a Lotus-Cosworth 49B. This was the actual car that Graham Hill won the 1968 Formula 1 World Title with ....


















There were many Indy cars running on the track. This is a 1985 2.6 litre turbocharged March-Cosworth 85C being driven by Emerson Fittipaldi....














A Lotus-Cosworth from 1981....
















Not sure, but I think this is a Marlboro McLaren-Honda, from around 1990 or 1991....


























A Williams-Renault FW14B from 1992....


























The March-Cosworth, on track....



















No car event would be complete without a Ferrari. This one is last years F1 Ferrari F10 2.4 litre V8. It was wonderful to see it at Goodwood....




















Probably my favourite car at the whole event, this is the McLaren-Mercedes MP4-23 that Lewis Hamilton won the 2008 F1 World Championship with. The noise it made was just music....




















Another classic contemporary racing car, the 2005 Red Bull-Cosworth RB1 being driven by Mark Webber....























This is Mark Webber, just before his drive....






















As well as running the racing cars on the track, other events take place there. I don’t know his name, but this is a guy breaking the world distance record for two-wheeled driving in a car....






















Stunt bikes as too....
















My cousins Dean and Mark. Mark is on a month long visit back in the UK from New Zealand where he lives. It was great to spend time with them both....



















The Red Arrows is the aerobatics display team of the Royal Air Force and they performed a terrific display to entertain the crowds during a break from the driving....
















































































































We wandered around the huge static display area, where there was far too much to see in just one day. This is the bonnet piece on a classic Alvis....






















A fun-looking scooter....


















Yours truly, astride a Norton Bonneville....






















One of the Krazy Kustoms bikes. I can’t imagine why I took a picture of this bike....



















A huge display of two-wheel riding was taking place, with many different types of bikes being used....


























Dougie Lampkin, seven times World Trials Champion, showing off his skills....




















I am not sure I would want to try this....






















There were even BMX bikes. What these guys could do was amazing....



















































What the heck?????? This has a proper number plate, so can be driven on the road....




















As if that wasn’t enough to take in during just one day, we then went to check out the rally cars. This was loud, fast, scary and very dusty....


























































































































Finally, my Cousin Dean taking a picture....



















What a fantastic day we had. I will certainly be going back to the Goodwood Festival Of Speed many times in the future and I intend to stay for more than just one day next time!

13 comments:

Webster World said...

NASCAR is nothing to real racing. And the eye candy "YES!" I remember seeing Jimmy Clark on I 80 in the 60's and feeling like I met him in person cause he waved at me.

Radar said...

OMG, I think you just found heaven on Earth!

Charlie6 said...

Wow Gary, that's a great event to attend.

Very nice pictures of the Red Arrows, were they that close to you or did you have a telephoto and a very steady hand?

Lovely eye candy as well....nice of you to have her lay on the motorcycle in order to add to the motorcycling content of this posting.

dom


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

B.B. said...

Wow! How much excitement can you pack into one day! Looks like a lot of fun!

bobskoot said...

Gary:

what an exciting day this must have been for you, with all that eye candy in every direction, and all the sweet noise of those revving engines. I can't imagine being there and seeing the real thing instead of a photography

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

Allen Madding said...

suddenly I am craving a Monster Energy drink. hmmm

-Peace

Geoff James said...

What an awesome event Gary - there's some fantastic machinery there, not to mention eye candy :-)

It was on the TV news over here too as the NZ Hulme supercar was being demonstrated there.

Diesel Performance Parts said...

Looks like you took a lot in for one day. Great pictures!

Canajun said...

Wow, what a lot to pack into one event. Great pictures (including the custom bike - what colour was it again?)

irondad said...

Wow, I'm on sensory overload just from the post. Going to have to go in person.

Awesome job on the photos!

I think Mario Andretti won his first and only Indy 500 in a turbine car with four wheel drive in 68 or 69. I remember it being a bit controversial at the time.

Anonymous said...

The 1931 Duesenberg Cummins Diesel Special was acutally being driven by Jarrod Krisiloff

Gary France said...

Webster – I can so relate to what you said about Jim Clark. I would love to have met or even seem him. NASCAR is okay, but I prefer F1 as it is both more international and has more challenging circuits.

Radar – It was pretty close to HOE!

Charlie6 / Dom – The Red Arrows were reasonably close, but yes, I was using a telephoto lens to get those shots. It was pretty tricky as they were flying so fast, but I took many shots and was lucky with a few! I would like to take the credit for laying her on the bike, but she was actually already there!

B.B. – Yep, so much excitement. Remember when you did something exciting as a kid and then went to sleep thinking about it? That was me at the end of this day!

Bob – You would have loved being there! The senses were alight with all that was happening in just about every direction, even up!

Allen – I totally understand what you mean!

Gary France said...

Geoff – I didn’t know which way to look some of the time – should I look at the curves on the track, the curves on the cars, or the curves on the eye candy. Tough choice!

DPD – It was quite a day!

Canajun – There was a custom bike? I didn’t really notice it!

Irondad – LOL. There was a lot to take in during one day – whichever way I looked there was a great car, or bike.... Heaven! The turbine car was, well, a little odd, so I am not surprised it caused controversy at the time.

Anon – Thanks for putting me straight. It was hard to keep up with who was driving what. That Diesel car was very special.