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RAY MASSEY: showstopper summer of motoring events across the country

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There’s nothing like an prolonged Bank Holiday weekend to place the nation within the mood for a summer of motoring fun. 

And for fans of motor cars past, present and future, the Platinum Jubilee raises the curtain on a stretch of sensible motoring events until early September. 

And let’s not forget the myriad local events and fetes in towns, cities and villages, like my very own, where a small automotive show of classics can be a focus. 

Glorious: Goodwood hosts the Festival of Speed (primary) and the Revival (inset)

STATELY CLASSIC 

The Goodwood Festival of Speed happening later this month (June 23 to 26) is by far the largest motoring event in Britain. 

Held within the Duke of Richmond’s stately home estate near Chichester, West ­Sussex, it began on June 19, 1993, when the then Earl of March followed his dream to revive the spirit of the post-war motor racing at Goodwood begun by his grandfather Freddie March from 1948 to 1966. 

Because the Duke says: ‘In the beginning of the Nineteen Nineties, while immersing myself within the business of the estate, I envisaged how we could achieve the return of racing cars.’ 

Those early revivals were spirited, if a bit ramshackle, with straw bales up the long drive past Goodwood House. But my the way it’s grown, now attracting greater than 210,000 spectators over 4 days. 

The Duke’s recollection of the inaugural 1993 event gives a revealing insight: ‘That opening day passed in a blur. 

‘Still a lot to do, but we had a paddock stuffed with stunning cars and, once I looked out my window very first thing that morning, I saw people pouring in. This was happening, the fans had responded.’ 

Impressive: The Goodwood Festival of Speed is held in the Duke of Richmond's (pictured) stately home estate near Chichester

Impressive: The Goodwood Festival of Speed is held within the Duke of Richmond’s (pictured) stately home estate near Chichester

But things have modified, he said: ‘Preparing the park for that first Festival was not the massive task we see today. Once Nick the shepherd had rounded up his sheep, we set about making the park ready for Goodwood’s first motorsport event since 1966. 

‘Using our own people from the racecourse, farm and our repairs and maintenance crew, we built a rudimentary start-line gantry, lined the track with rope and straw bales, and brought in marquees in case of bad weather.’

GAINING MOMENTUM 

But things moved fast. Five years later in 1998 motor racing did indeed return to the Goodwood Circuit with the inaugural late summer Goodwood Revival, with cars from the period and all visitors in period dress from the Nineteen Forties, Nineteen Fifties, and early Nineteen Sixties. 

One never-to -be -repeated highlight was the sight of a vintage Spitfire (piloted by Ray Hanna) barnstorming down the pit-lane starting and ending straight below the peak of the spectator stands, prompting a warning from air traffic controllers. 

Preparations at the moment are well in train for next 12 months’s Goodwood events which mark three significant milestones; the thirtieth anniversary of the Festival of Speed, the twenty fifth anniversary of the Revival, and 75 years of motorsport at Goodwood since 1948. 

For this month’s Festival of Speed, highlights include visiting automotive firm stands with the most recent models, watching cars race up the hill and drive off-road, visiting the Supercar Paddock, and ‘Electric Avenue: The Road To 2030’ with experts from BP Pulse and the AA. 

Scramble!: The Spitfire which pilot Ray Hanna famously flew at low level down Goodwood’s pit straight at the inaugural Revival event in 1998 – earning a warning from air traffic controllers and huge cheers from the crowd

Scramble!: The Spitfire which pilot Ray Hanna famously flew at low level down Goodwood’s pit straight on the inaugural Revival event in 1998 – earning a warning from air traffic controllers and big cheers from the group

There’s also the prospect to road-test electric cars from manufacturers including BMW, Ford and Kia. British Volt’s Concept Paddock will showcase cutting-edge electric vehicles in pre-­production. 

For many who love dressing up, the Goodwood Revival follows from September 16 to 18, with real-life horsepower on the Qatar Goodwood Festival — popularly often called Glorious Goodwood — sandwiched between in late July.

WHAT ELSE? 

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in Hampshire has exhibitions planned throughout the season and beyond, with greater than 285 cars. 

In addition to a ‘Bond in Motion — No Time To Die’ exhibition running until November, there are features on the World Of Top Gear, On Screen Cars, and rides on a ‘skytrain’ monorail. 

The estate also has grounds to explore, an adventure play area and the prospect to find life ‘upstairs and downstairs’ in Palace House. 

The British Motor Show runs from August 18 to 21 at Farnborough International in Surrey. Last 12 months’s was the primary in 13 years and attracted greater than 47,000 visitors. 

This 12 months’s will again feature latest, used and classic cars, supercars, driving displays and marketplace sellers, with the halls and outdoor areas. Paul Swift’s stunt team can be performing amazing feats including two-wheel driving.

CarFest was arrange in 2012 by TV and radio broadcaster Chris Evans and this 12 months will again bridge the North-South divide with two events mixing cars, pop music, food and family fun. 

CarFest North takes place at Bolesworth Estate, Cheshire, in July with music from Richard Ashcroft, Ronan Keating, McFly and Natalie Imbruglia. CarFest South at Laverstoke Park Farm, ­Hampshire, in August includes performances from Rag’n’Bone Man, James Blunt, Paloma Faith, and Kaiser Chiefs. 

It’s aiming to boost greater than £3 million for UK kid’s charities, having raised greater than £20million over the past decade.

Bicester Heritage is organising a series of ticket-only Scrambles for automotive enthusiasts and owners across the 12 months — the following one is on Sunday, June 19 — at this evocative former RAF base which is being rapidly revamped to turn out to be an revolutionary centre for specialist automotive firms and motoring events. 

MotoFest Coventry over the weekend of September 10 and 11 gives Britain’s ‘motor city’ or Mo’town the prospect to have fun the automotive just after its 12 months as UK City of Culture ends.

It also has the Coventry Transport Museum (­transport-museum.com) and you possibly can pop into the fabulous British Motor Museum (­britishmotormuseum.co.uk) at Gaydon, Warwickshire.

Three of the poshest motor shows are also happening this summer.

The London Concours (­londonconcours.co.uk) from June 28 to 30 will have fun the UK’s glorious motoring past with a set of rigorously hand-picked pre-war cars assembled on the lawns of the Honourable Artillery Company in the center of the City. 

The sibling Concours of Elegance (concours of elegance.co.uk) at Hampton Court Palace, Surrey, from September 2 to 4 features 60 rare cars from around the globe — many never before been seen within the UK. 

Salon Privé tickets (salonpriveconcours.com) went on sale this week for the upmarket automotive event at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, from August 31 to September 4. 

Glad motoring. 

Dates on your diary 

A grand day out: Events are taking place across the country throughout the summer

A grand time out: Events are happening across the country throughout the summer

Goodwood ­Festival of Speed

The annual jamboree of all things fast on 4 (and two and three) wheels is held on the Sussex estate from Thursday, June 23, to Sunday, June 26. 

Goodwood Revival

Friday ­September 16 to Sunday ­September 18 (goodwood.com). 

National Motor Museum

Exhibitions and events through the summer at Beaulieu in ­Hampshire (beaulieu.co.uk). 

CarFest North and CarFest South

The northern event takes place at Bolesworth Estate, Cheshire, from July 22 to 24. For the South, the event is being held at Laverstoke Park Farm, ­Hampshire, from August 26 to twenty-eight (carfest.org). 

Bicester Heritage

Ticket only Scrambles across the 12 months — the following on Sunday, June 19 (bicesterheritage.co.uk). 

London Concours

June 28 to 30, City of London (london concours.co.uk). 

British Motor Show

August 18 to 21 in Farnborough, Hampshire (thebritishmotorshow.live). 

Motofest Coventry

Weekend September 10 and 11 (coventrymotofest.com).

Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional

Saturday July 30, Lincolnshire (hagerty.co.uk).

 

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