Goodwood Revival

For the owners, drivers and spectators the Goodwood Revival is a special moment in the calendar. Everyone present this weekend has invested something. Financially or emotionally, it makes little difference. Just as some of the cars are invaluable, so too is the atmosphere, created by all those prepared to truly immerse themselves in winding back the clock. The authenticity that sets Goodwood aside from other classic car events is a value appreciated by Rolex, a supporter of the Revival since 2004.

This evenings 90-minute that will run into the twilight hours, the Freddie March Memorial Trophy, rekindles the Goodwood Motor Circuits historic tie with endurance racing. The original Nine Hour race held three times in the 1950s, and on each occasion won by an Aston Martin, fully reflected the spirit of Les 24 Heures du Mans with drivers sprinting to their cars before the start. Tonights 32 car grid features Jaguar C-types, Aston Martins, and a pair of Austin Healey 100S the car made famous by Stirling Moss, who so nearly won in a prototype at Sebring (from where the S is taken) in 1954.


One of the Austin Healeys will be driven by Stuart Graham, a career motor racer invited once again by Goodwood host, the Earl of March, to drive some exotic cars from the pre-1967 era at the Revival. Goodwood is a brilliant circuit and it is a privilege to be invited to drive here, said Graham, who differs from most of the drivers at Goodwood having started his career on two wheels, motor cycle racing.
Hardly surprising as Grahams father, Les Graham DFC, was a star British motor cycle racer of the post- World War 2 era.

My childhood was inevitably hinged around motor cycle racing, explains Graham. Dad was a legend in his racing career, and the seeds of my love of competitive sport were sown in that early period of my life. Les Graham sadly suffered a fatal accident during the 1953 Isle of Man TT, but at only eleven, the young Stuart was already committed
to a career in motor sport.

His two-wheeled racing started in 1961; he became a professional in 1966, but then quit motor cycle racing in 1970. After a pause he moved to racing on four wheels including a Chevrolet Camaro in the British Touring Car Championship and at a number of endurance races, where his best result was a third place in the 1976 1000km race in Kyalami, South Africa.
The 1955 Austin Healey 100S Graham is driving belongs to Robert Waterhouse, who inherited the car from his father also here this weekend and very much part of the team having brought the car down from its home in Cheshire. My father used to watch this car being driven by Dick Protheroe in the 1950s, explains Waterhouse. It took some time before he plucked up the courage to buy one, but, in the late 1980s Dick Protheroes old car was up for sale and my Dad had to have it. It had been in a museum in Australia for ten years and was in great order. We got it right and eventually went racing with Gerry Marshall, who drove it at the 40th Donald Healey Memorial Trophy Race at Silverstone.

For the Waterhouse family Goodwood is extremely important: This is it really for the car. I do an occasional hill-climb or a sprint and a Le Mans race, if it suits our class of car and its age group. But Goodwood suits it and period-wise the car looks as it did in 1955, the panels are original, seats havent been reupholstered, all the clocks are the same.
It is a very, very original car, so we expose it at an event like this only with very experienced drivers that we feel are safe enough. Unfortunately, its value has got to a point where you really dont want to ding it, continues Waterhouse. Graham, a family friend, and will be partnered in the Austin Healey 100S by former Formula 1 ace and Les 24 Heures du Mans winner (1970, Porsche 917), Richard Attwood. Dickie is a great friend of Stuarts, so were very glad, honoured, to have him on board because hes super-good, and, hes just like Stuart, easy-going, very accomplished and at the tender age of 70-something he is still on the case, said Waterhouse.

It is a very, very original car, so we expose it at an event like this only with very experienced drivers that we feel are safe enough.

          Robert Waterhouse, Owner of the Austin
          Healey 100S, 1955

Waterhouse confesses that it will be a nerve-wracking moment when the cars line up this evening. He and his team, including mechanic Paul Walmer, have invested time, energy, and passion in the car. As an owner he loves being a part of the Goodwood Revival, but admits he feels responsible for both the car and its drivers. While he relishes podium finishes and has even enjoyed a win here with Graham four years ago, he admits that really: we just want the car back straight.

Yet, if one was ever seeking proof of the Revivals elevated position in the world of motor sport, perhaps Waterhouse is able to sum it up best in a most personal manner: Goodwood is a unique environment for our car and I feel it is home for it. Theyve wound back the clock and we havent wound the clock forward. Were into originality. Goodwood really is the event for it.