First published April 2015.
Easter Monday at Goodwood, 1964 – by Nigel Raeburn.
In the 1960s I used to spectate at top-level UK motor race meetings quite a lot, before I got deeply into rallying. Like all my motor sport it really got underway while I was at university and I can clearly recall my first visit to a race circuit – it was Snetterton and on the first visit I marshalled at a sprint in 1962 – I remember what a special feeling it was to stand in the middle of the track and feel a twinge of excitement at what was then a totally new environment for me. My first actual race meeting was also at Snetterton – it was a Formula One non-Championship race in very wet conditions – it was probably 1963. Another early memory from Snetterton is being mesmerised by Chris Craft’s orange Ford Anglia cornering at Riches corner – very dramatic and impressive.
I have just found in my archives the programme for the Easter Monday meeting at Goodwood in 1964. The main event was the News of the World International Trophy Race, organised by the BARC and the programme cost two shillings and sixpence. I remember I attended with one of my university motor club friends with his father who was a director of Castrol and we travelled to Goodwood in his Jaguar 3.8 saloon. I think we even had grandstand seats!
Reading through the programme brings back lots of memories of those great years of racing. There were 5 races – F3, Saloons, the main race for F1 cars, Grand Touring cars and Sports cars. Total entry was about 134 cars. The lap record at the time was shared by John Surtees and Stirling Moss. There were so many famous names among the entries.
In the F3 race (1000cc in those days, mostly BMC or Ford engines) were Jackie Stewart, Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, Piers Courage and Chris Irwin among the 27 entries. The Saloon race included Ford Galaxies, Jaguar 3.8s, Lotus Cortinas and Mini Cooper Ss – 28 cars in all. Drivers included Jack Brabham, Jack Sears, Jim Clark, Frank Gardner, Chris Craft, Jackie Stewart, John Fitzpatrick and Warwick Banks.
Then for the 100 mile International F1 race we had 18 entries from teams including Team Lotus, Owen Racing Organisation (BRM), Brabham, Cooper, BRP, Rob Walker etc. and drivers Jim Clark, Peter Arundell, Graham Hill, Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, Innes Ireland, Jo Bonnier, Mike Hailwood and Chris Amon. How competitive it must have been with so many drivers of such high calibre. The front row of the grid was Hill, Clark and Brabham. I don’t know who won. The winner got a trophy and cash prize of £350!
The GT race had an entry from Maranello for Graham Hill in a Ferrari 250 GTO, and there was another GTO for David Piper. There were Jaguar E-types including one for Roy Salvadori, Aston Martin DB4GTs, a Willment entered AC Cobra for Jack Sears, a number of Elvas and Lotus Elans and the Dick Jacobs entered MG Midgets. Finally the Sports car race (mainly Lotuses, Elvas and Lolas) included Jim Clark, Tony Lanfanchi and John Whitmore.
Note how top drivers took part in several races in one afternoon – for example three for Jim Clark. Rallying connections? – well Paddy Hopkirk was down to drive a Cooper Car Company entered Mini but did not start and John Sprinzel co-entered two cars in the GT race. Sidney Allard held the lap record for racing cars over 5 litres.
It’s just as interesting to look through the adverts in the programme. Who remembers Dunlop C41s? How about a new ‘Cortina developed by Lotus’ for £1100? Jim Clark was endorsing Scalextric. Esso’s advert asserted the petrol at your local Esso station is exactly the same as that which has won so many World Championship Grand Prix races – maybe that should be implemented again today?
So, which would you rather attend – a meeting like this 1964 Goodwood one or the 15 car 2015 Australian Grand Prix? No contest!