Goodwood Soft-tops Breakfast Meet

Sunday 1st June was a wonderful fresh and bright day and ideal for a run down to Goodwood from Essex. Leaving Chelmsford at 5:30am, the road were extremely quiet and took me just 2 hours to get to the location. Even driving with cruise control at 70 mph was pleasant and saved fuel as the computer on my XK8 convertible was showing 30 mpg.

On arrival, there were already loads of cars already parked up in front of the pit straight. Goodwood staff on the gates tell us that within the circuit there were as many as a thousand cars and over 8,000 people, with a further 3,000 vehicles parked outside the gates, making this the most successful Soft Top Sunday ever. I was directed with others to the rear paddocks where again loads of convertible cars were parked. I parked up and then headed for “breakfast” which consisted of a bacon roll and mug of tea. That then set me up for the day.

Wandering around the paddock, I was able to see some really exceptional cars. A 1950’s BMW, Toyota MR2s, Honda 2000s, Porsches, muscle cars, Triumph Stags, a few Jaguars: XK8s, F-Types, E-Types and the odd XK120/XK140/XK150. It was a brilliant day to check out the opposition.

After checking out the paddock I wandered onto the track in front of the pit straight. What a line up there! A Daimler 250 two door convertible, a lovely 1970/80 white Rolls Royce Corniche, Bentleys, old and new, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, a Pagani Zonda, Ferrari’s by the dozen – of course – a lovely assortment of Austin Healey 3000s. After checking this area out, there were more heading down to the right hand first corner (not sure if the corner has a name, but I am sure it probably has). On the way down, again there were a lot of special cars, such as a couple of Lamborghini Silhouettes, a Jensen Interceptor Mk III convertible, a couple of BMW Z8s (current values at between £100k – £150k!!!!), some BMW Z1s, and a rather special Ferrari Smart Car. Yes that’s right!

If it hadn’t been for my poor feet, I would have walked for England, but having purchased some new shoes a few days before, I forgot they need to be ‘broken in’ and I suffered as a result. A blister the size of England on one foot. I was in agony, so had to give in. What a day though.

If you haven’t been before watch out for it again next year and if the weather is as good as it was this year, then it is well worth a visit. But make sure you wear usable shoes.

Doug Warren