Being a petrol head everyone knows the name Goodwood. I always wanted to go there but never had the time. I live in Lincolnshire and it’s about a 428-mile round trip for me. This year though was finally my year. I had been invited to go down and visit the event on the Sunday by a friend who was exhibiting there, I’ll come back to this shortly.
That was it I was set and decided. Finally I was going to go. I managed to sweet talk my sister and brother in law, who live in Windsor, so had access to their apartment whilst they were away. This meant my trip now became a lot more manageable and I transformed an almost 9 hour round trip into a 3-day trip making things easier.
Leading up to the event I was extremely excited. I didn’t know what to expect so I started doing my research. Low and behold everywhere I looked people made an effort to dress up for the event. I couldn’t be the odd one out standing there a sore thumb. Therefore I looked through all the clothing I had and planned something to wear for the day. On the Saturday I got everything packed up, including most of my camera gear as I didn’t have a clue, what I’d need, said goodbye to my better half and started my journey south. I wanted to get there in good time the next day ready for gates to open and avoid getting stuck behind big crowds. A 5 am alarm was set so I could sort myself out in the morning. I promised myself I’d have an early night. Well………. that early night didn’t happen. I ended up sitting on the sofa watching a film till gone midnight.
I eventually went to bed and as I said 5 hours later my rather loud and annoying alarm started shouting at me. Crawling out of bed regretting my late night I started getting ready and eventually got in my car and headed further south. Unsure of where the event was I had my maps on. When I was about 20 minutes away from the circuit there appeared in front of me appeared a lovely little red MGC GT, a nice example as well from what I could tell. I thought they’ve got to be going to the revival so I followed, still keeping my maps on just in case. Sure enough this cute little red MG took me straight to the car park.
As soon as I got out of my car I popped on my flat cap, courtesy of my Grandpa, grabbed my bag and headed over. I had to wait a little while until my friend dropped off my ticket at the ticket collection gate. In the meantime I was offered a seat in one of the volunteers buggies and had a good old chat with him. I can’t remember his name but he was a great guy who had volunteered for the whole event. His full time career was a firefighter. We shared stories and then in the distance we heard a deep rumble. We both became silent and a couple of seconds later we watched in awe as three Spitfires were doing circuits in the air over the grounds. What a start to the day. After some time had passed I said goodbye to my new acquaintance and headed into the event.
It was magical, a fantastic display of some beautifully made cars. People were sharing childish humour with an old AC Cobra doing doughnuts on the dew-covered grass. I was struggling to keep my jaw off the ground after seeing some fantastically kept classics that were for sale. If I had the money I’d have taken a lorry load of cars home with me. The guys at Windsor Classic were the ones who invited me along, so that’s where I had my hub for the day. The whole family were amazing and made me feel so welcome and part of the team. We chatted for a while and then it was time to put my cameras on and start shooting; taking my first shots at the Windsor Classic stand.
Stunning Ford GT40 for sale
They had some of the most pristine Land Rovers I’ve come across so far. The depth and detail of restoration that goes into them are most impressive. The pride and passion that the whole team has when rebuilding these vehicles just speaks volumes, which is clearly evident when looking at the cars. No bolt is left untouched. Every detail they put in is stunning. The rear Land Rover plate is changed to a new Windsor classic Land Rover plate. Custom cam covers have been made, which Richard who is the owner got so excited about he sent me pictures of them on the day they were installing them. They are made with class and style in mind staying true to the old school look of the cars. No modern hi-tech stuff crammed inside or anything like that. Old school gauges, dials and steering wheel set the tone inside. The seats are reupholstered with their logo embossed into the seat and if a leather steering wheel is spec’d then the logo is embossed on it.
After shooting with them for a while it was time for coffee and to head off into the unknown.
After taking wandering over to trackside and never having been at the event before I didn’t know what my ticket gave me access to. I approached the paddocks and confidently walked up to the entrance. I presented my ticket but was turned away. I was most disappointed because for me that’s where all the action happens. None the less I wasn’t going to let this get In the way. Going around the perimeter I shot what I could, keeping my eyes open for anything that was going on. Suddenly the place came alive with engines being awoken and coming to life. I stood near one of the exits for the cars and watched as they left one by one. The sound quickly attracted the attention of everyone around so it became a battle to get where I wanted to, in order to take my shots. After working out their route it meant I could start to plan my frames. It was amazing.
The whole atmosphere was addictive with all senses being stimulated. The sound and smell of these old beauties being fired up and running, engines revving, fumes being released and people jumping into action. No matter where you looked something was happening. As quick as it all started it ended with the vehicles leaving the paddock and heading to the track.
After I captured a good number of shots I headed back over the road for some lunch and a little sit-down and the chance to have a proper catch up with the Windsor Classic team. On my way over I thought I’d have a look at the cars on offer for sale on the day. If only I had the money my 2008 Audi A3 would’ve been left at the event and I would’ve driven away with a classic of my own. Unfortunately, though, this was not a possibility. One can dream though.
The rain started to make an appearance I went to the Bonhams tent to see what they had on auction. It was a struggle to keep my jaw off the ground, once again. So as to stop myself from drooling, I had to leave. Maybe one day.
With the afternoon approaching I wanted some more of the action, so I went back again to the paddocks. E-Type Jaguars and AC Cobras were soon to hit the track. It was electrifying. The sounds of the naturally aspirated V8’s and V12’s was stunning, shaking your organs and pressing pause on what you were doing. I couldn’t just stand and stare because I needed to capture these moments. The place was full of smiles and laughter from men, women and the children they had with them. Everyone was there for the same reason. Their love for cars and motorsport.
I managed to catch some of the racing saw thousands of pounds worth of classic cars being used for what they were once made for, with drivers pushing them to their limits. The previous drizzle had made the tracks greasy. It was a battle of man and machine. Some weren’t so lucky and lost control either sliding out onto the grass untouched but others made acquaintance with the barrier. I’m pretty sure that brought a tear to my eye.
The whole day was truly spectacular and I felt very privileged to have been invited to such an event. I’m sure there may have been many things that I have omitted in this piece but everyone's experience is different and it’s one you need to live.
Finally, to wrap things up I want to say one last massive thank you to the Windsor Classic team. Without them I might not have gone and put it off for another year owing to the travel required to go. If you have a moment please look them up and see the work they do. It will be well worth it.
The team and more
All images for this article were taken by VBS Photography. Instagram: @VBS_Photographer Facebook: VBS Photography. Windsor Classic Instagram: @windsor_classics