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"Goodwood Festival of Speed" - Richard Sutton, Nick Mason and others Print E-mail

Published by Harper Collins, 2004

Goodwood Festival Of Speed book
Goodwood Festival Of Speed
by Richard Sutton and others, 2004
As we mentioned recently, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason has put down his drumsticks and picked up his pen yet again, contributing to the new "Goodwood Festival of Speed" book by Richard Sutton, which was published by Harper Collins at the end of 2004. We've had a good look at it, and here's our view...

Possibly one of the best classic car "coffee table" books, this large, glossy tome is a thorough look at a must-attend annual celebration of motor racing held in Sussex on an Earl's estate.

The Goodwood Festival Of Speed is held annually, and gathers cars (and bikes), drivers, and enthusiasts from all over the world, celebrating motor racing from the very early days, through to the very latest F1 cars. It is held in the grounds of Lord March's estate, near Chichester, Sussex, in the south of England, and has static displays, demonstration runs, and timed runs, up the hill past Goodwood House. More information on the event can be found at the website - look in the Motorsports section.

This book takes a fascinating and absorbing look at all aspects of the festival, from motoring to social, in the text and over 600 glorious pictures throughout. It also uses the thoughts of numerous drivers and celebrities, all giving their own unique take on "the show". The contributors range from established racing drivers such as David Coulthard, Juan-Pablo Montoya and Jenson Button, through to "showbiz" pundits such as Rowan Atkinson, Jay Kay, and, of course, Pink Floyd's Nick Mason.

The enthusiasm and passion for this unique event on the motor racing calendar comes out clearly from each contributor's section.

The large format, 320 page hardback book starts with an interesting look at the genesis of the festival, with Lord March's first faltering steps driven purely by the desire of put it on, aided and abetted by a core group of fellow racing enthusiasts - amongst them Sir Stirling Moss, John Surtees, and Nick Mason - all doing their best to launch the first festival and raise sufficient press and sponsor interest. This core group has remained faithful to the festival, making their own contributions each year and helping to ensure the foundations of the event.

Come the day of the first festival, back in 1993, and the book relates: "Nick Mason's BRM V16 wrenched the morning of Sunday 20th June into life with a wall of sound as the Pink Floyd drummer blasted up the hill. There were tears in the eyes of the older generation and the younger ones punched the air as the V16 screamed through the gears past Goodwood House. Magic."

Nick, in action kicking off the event, is shown in a great picture at the rear of the book.

Those with a passing interest in cars will be swept along with the boundless enthusiasm of all the writers within. All seem to agree that it is the clear highlight of their motoring year. Many express how it feels to participate, giving a good flavour of the feelings, emotions, and techniques involved in the Hill Climb in front of thousands of enthusiasts.

Nick's own passage takes up a page and a half of this large book, and is bolstered with additional page space devoted to some great pictures of Nick at the event. In particular, there is a lovely full page study of Nick in the cockpit of Gilles Villeneuve's 1978 Ferrari F1 car. Nick's participation in the event over the years is covered through the book, and mention is also made of the late Steve O'Rourke, fellow racer and manager of the band for the majority of their professional career.

Nick relates his Goodwood history, from the early days with his late father Bill (a renowned motor racing film maker), he talks of why he thinks the festival is so special, and shares anecdotes relating to his and his family's participation over the years. It is testiment to the quality of the event that Nick has attended ten of the eleven years so far staged, with 1994 being reluctantly missed due to being on tour "which was a passable excuse, and even then I did send a car along in my place". Over the years he has driven up the Goodwood Hill in cars from virtually every era of motorsport - from a 1901 model to present day vehicles.

The final part of the book, headed with a great double page picture of Nick in action on track in his red Ferrari 250 GTO, is titled "The Entries", a record of all the cars and motorcycles entered for the festival between its inaugural year of 1993 and the tenth anniversary festival of 2003.

A wonderful book, steeped both in motoring history, and great enthusiasm for a unique and unmissable event. And a fair amount of Nick Mason's antics are included for good measure... After reading this book, you will understand why many people travel from all over the world to attend this motoring mecca. Long may it continue!

Our thanks to Sarah at the publishers, Harper Collins, for her help. Orders for this book are now being taken through these special links: US/International, Canada, UK/Elsewhere, France, or Germany.

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