A letter from England…

From Norm Thomas:

Hi folks. I’m an ALFA Inc club member but haven’t yet had the chance to meet any of you in person. I live in Tellico Village near Knoxville and own a 1976 Series Two Spider. You can see me with my car on the club website. I spend about 4 months of the year in England, where I have a home near Liverpool (where I and my wife Elaine were brought up). Ironically I always seem to be away when ALFA Inc holds its events, but I’m sure I’ll get to meet you all before long.

While I’m in the UK I try to get to as many classic car and historic motoring events as I can. This weekend I’ll be at Donington where the Scuderia Portello from Italy is entering a number of its historic Alfas. Later in the month I’ll be at Stanford Hall for the Italian Car Day – a great event with all Italian marques represented.

I thought I’d share with you some information about events that are held each year at Goodwood in the South of England. Goodwood holds two major events each year and they are two of the biggest and most important classic and historic car events in the world. The first, in July, is called the Festival of Speed. It is a massive collection of activities centered around Goodwood House. The competitive element is a hill-climb up the course that winds up alongside the house and is quite narrow in places. Cars as varied as veteran vehicles from the turn of the 20th century and Formula One cars from a hundred years later are timed up the track, one at a time. The event is so popular that attendance has to be capped – at 150,000 people each day, would you believe.

The second major event each year is held in September and is called the Goodwood Revival. It features the Goodwood racing circuit rather than the hill-climb course and features two days of circuit racing for historic and classic cars and motorcycles. Eligible vehicles are those that would have competed in the circuit’s original period of 1948 to 1966. Many of the cars are raced by their original drivers such as Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart. A feature of the Revival is that attendees are encouraged to attend in period clothing of the fifties and sixties. One of the features of this year’s event will be race for at least 6 of the famous pre-war “Silver Arrows”, the Mercedes and Auto Union grand prix cars that dominated the sport (though Nuvolari’s Alfa beat them at the Nurburgring!). I’m hoping to be there.

I was lucky enough to attend the Festival of Speed in 2010 as a guest of Alfa Romeo UK – based on interest I showed in buying an Alfa Giulietta in the UK. I was running a Mini Cooper at the time. Each year Goodwood features a specific marque and, as 2010 was the 100th year anniversary of Alfa, the company was featured heavily throughout the event. Many Alfas were on display at different themed exhibits, and many raced against the clock on the hill-climb course. In front of Goodwood House was a massive sculpture in red tubular steel based on the Alfa cloverleaf. From it were suspended two Alfas – a P2 Grand Prix car and a 8C Competizione. Some pictures out of the hundreds that I took are shown below.

Ciao, Norm

Webmaster note: Photos in gallery compliments of Norm Thomas at Goodwood.