He has a point. Admiring beautiful racing cars is practically a sport in itself at Goodwood, the historic estate in the south of England that has been owned by the Duke’s family for over 300 years. With a famous race track converted from a Battle of Britain airfield, Goodwood today plays host to three world-class automobile showcases: the mammoth high-octane gathering that is June’s Festival of Speed, the vintage-themed Goodwood Revival, and the IWC-sponsored Members’ Meeting, which took place this year over a snow-covered weekend in March. Originally for members of the British Automobile Racing Club, the Members’ Meeting is now for members of Goodwood’s own Road and Racing Club and, in limited numbers, the public.
“The Members’ Meetings used to happen three times a year, and they were very basic, grassroots-style events,” explains the Duke. “They started in 1948, which is why we call this one the 76th. It’s much smaller than the other events here and very non-commercial: the drivers hang out with the punters, there’s no hospitality and it’s all pretty relaxed. But the cars are magnificent.”
Of course. From old tin-tops and touring cars to classic GTs, vintage motorcycles to antique Formula 1 cars, a tour of the paddock throws up a panoply of glorious machines from the world’s greatest makers, past and present. That’s if you can make them out through the epic blizzard that swamps Goodwood throughout the weekend.
“I’ve been speaking to Stig Blomqvist [the Swedish former World Rally Champion] this morning about how to drive in the snow,” the Duke admits. “It’s not ideal, but we just get on with it – you can’t manage everything.”