Color slowly fades from sunset at the Goodwood Motor Circuit like an aging photograph.
The sun sets low on the southern England horizon like the high desert. Bright yellows edge toward a brassy orange, tip toward a sultry red, and effortlessly disappear from the day.
The pits and paddock drip with spotless Ferraris dressed in red, curvy McLarens in midnight blacks and fiery oranges, and the sheen of cream-colored Austins and Jaguars in spectacular British racing green.
It’d be a sight to behold on its own if the sounds weren’t even better.
Goodwood is the home of the annual Revival, a festival of our dreams—if we all dreamt in oversaturated tones and mellifluous V-8s. It’s the place where old cars race to make new memories. It’s loud. And greasy. And smelly. And beautiful.
I’ve been lucky enough to walk through the saturated colors of our dreams three times.
2018 Goodwood Revival
The Revival is the kind of gathering that gearheads swim upstream for weeks to find instinctually, smelling the sweet exhaust through dense morning England fog, pouring through the south of England’s gateways like nearby Portsmouth, and filtering through the gates.
We meet, smile, smell, die, and are reborn every day.
Each year, the event sells out and attracts thousands of people from southern England and across the world wind through the wooden outdoor garages. Gazing at the stalls, aping the engines as they roar and rev, perpetual smiles fill the still-active circuit to the brim.
Children hear the call.
I walk through the paddock on an uncharacteristically warm English Saturday, listening to the gasps of kids piggybacking on top of parents’ shoulders.
“What kind of car is that, daddy?” one girl asks.
“It’s a McLaren-Chevrolet, honey,” he says.
“What’s a Mack-LAREN?”
She wants to know.
The beginning is a parent’s endearing exhale and the end sparks decades of stories and conversations between parents and their children.
It begins here. And it repeats every year. It has for 20 years now.