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Goodwood FoS 2015: The Best Kind Of Wood


If this car on the Peugeot stand is property of Peugeot UK then somebody there has an excellent sense of humour. This is the kind of thing I like to see.

Moreover, the fact that this car is on the Peugeot stand at all is a mighty reassuring sign. This is a 309 GTI, a Goodwood Editon, one of the very last off the production line, a kind of celebratory run-out model. OK, the Goodwood name is coincidental to our current location and so that might be why it’s here. But I like to think of it as a display of Peugeot not forgetting where they came from.

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Goodwood FoS 2015: The Size Of His Toys


The theme of Honda’s 2015 Goodwood stand was extremely cleverly conceived. Or I might be reading far too much into it.

Having their 2015 offerings all packaged up as 1:1 scale models -should I have posted this as a Diecast Delight?- they have created a playful, fun-to-look-at display. Big toys. Excellent. But the subtext, which was either completely intentional and I need to drink more coffee and wake up a bit, or I’ve stumbled upon it by accident, could well be about separating the men from the boys.

Especially when there’s a particular toy which everybody with the slightest hint of a gasolinical inclination has been anticipating For Ever. It’s known by three letters which mean so much.

N S X.

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Goodwood FoS 2015: Ford GT- A Glass Case Of Emotion


Talk about forbidden fruits. Look, don’t touch. Mitts OFF. Leave it! Not happy.

I want to gaze longingly at it with unimpeded vision. I want to follow every undulating contour with my eye until it waters. I want to place a palm on one of its curves, then run it gently but assertively along until it slides out of view into that special hole. I want to be inside, turn her on and feel a pulse from the other side of the leather. I want to bring that beat up and unleash a groan of pleasure from both her and me, and probably at exactly the same time.

The Ford GT.

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Goodwood FoS 2015: The Art Of Noise


Ladies and Gentlemen…. The Napier Railton. It is machinery like this which forms the very bedrock on which our total commitment to The Car is based. It’s only because of the work of clever chaps in oily overalls decades of years ago that Motorsport- and consequently fast cars- ever became a thing. We thank them.

We also thank Fiat, for building a car in 1911 with a 28.4 litre (1734 CID) four cylinder engine. And we collectively thank our chosen higher forces for the fact that we can see, hear, smell and feel their presence today.

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Goodwood FoS 2015: The Bird Is The Word


Bird has always been the word. T’bird, Superbird, Blackbird, My Bird, Doing Bird, giving the bird; In every single one of these applications it’s equally life-changing. And we didn’t even really need The Trashmen to tell us.

The Plymouth Superbird is probably my favourite of them all. So, when I walked around a corner in the paddock at Goodwood and Richard Petty’s #43 machine damn near ran me over, I felt like I’d been chosen by God. It would have been a noble way to go, really.

Fortunately I managed to capture the whole event on video.

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Goodwood FoS 2015: Mustang. Feeling A Little Horse


The UK has been gripped by Mustang Fever for a little while now. So much so that, well, it’s almost become a little bit boring. When I’m wandering down a cobbled street and I hear the thunderous reverbulations of a stateside V8, I get all anticipative. Whassat? Roadrunner? GTO? Cobra?

Nope. It’s always some guy in a 2008 Mustang with the loudest exhaust he could fit. Specialists all over the UK have been busily marketing imported Mustangs to Enthusiasts Of Loud Cars for several years. The plentiful nature of such beasts the other side of the pond no doubt translates to Serious Profits. Thing is, until very recently that was the ONLY way you could get a Mustang in the UK. Well, Ford have been showing right hand drive Mustangs for at least a year, there was one here on their display in 2014. Yet I’m still not 100% sure you can actually march into your local Fordmonger and buy one.

And a bigger question than that: Why haven’t I driven one?

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Goodwood FoS 2015: Why Jaguar Taking Us For A Ride is a Good Thing.


Jaguar used to be a very stiff-upper-lip kind of company. Rightly proud of their past, their heritage, but quite often a bit backwards in moving forwards. They would do things a certain way. The Jaguar way.

And it was fine. Jaguars sold pretty well, because they were pretty good. And the “R” models were pretty formidable. But they didn’t exactly have their fingers on the pulse. Jaguars were nice enough cars, but would they have been better if the brand values were stretched a little?

Well, TATA thought so, and on the basis of the Jaguar Land-Rover stand, they’ve proven that they judged what Jaguar should stand for absolutely perfectly.

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Goodwood FOS 2015: March Of The Supercars


For a lot of people, including me, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is about escapism. It’s about leaving the hideous, stressful, jammed and potholed roads and watching people burn rubber. It’s also about coveting thy neighbours goods. And when the goods are this good, it’s difficult not to.

The parade of cost-no-object exotica that we get to enjoy at Goodwood every year is not intended to provoke envy but to allow us mortals to enjoy them vicariously. It’s funny, if we saw somebody luridly fishtailing his Aston from a standstill we’d probably think “asshat”. But do it here and you get a loud, spontaneous cheer. And long may it stay that way.

There now follows a lengthy photostream of expensive cars being grievously abused for the benefit of onlookers.

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Goodwood FOS 2015: I now TOTALLY GET the new MX5.


Photographs are garbage. Sorry, photographers, you’re all wonderful people, but life happens in Three Dimensions.

In an image you can see the language behind a design. You can decide whether, in principle, you like it. Just like skim-reading a book, you can get the gist of what’s going on with a single glance. Of course, the better the photo, the more information you get, and the better you can appreciate the details, but you can only see something from the same perspective of the photographer. Stop me if I begin to state the obvious.

When I saw the photos of the New MX5 I was all, like, “Oh”. But now I’ve walked around it, touched it, been inside, I’m all, like, “Mmmm”.

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Goodwood FOS 2015: An Exhibition of British Muscle


Well, since we’re here in ultra-rural Sussex which is about as British (more specifically English) as it gets, I thought we’d have a showcase of some of the plummier, more dentally challenged, limier racers to be seen at This Year’s Festival of Speed.

Y’all keep having it shoved down your throat Some of you already know that one of my cars is a Rover. I have a particular love of the marque and always loved it from its tragic but inevitable extinction, back through the wilderness years and, ultimately to the time when the Rover name actually meant something. So we start with the P6 Racer, which is kind of like seeing your grandfather benchpressing 200 pounds.

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