by Ed McDonough
European Editor of Vintage Racecar
Motor Racing Historian, Journalist, and Author
As a motor racing historian, I spend a significant amount of time
searching for first hand accounts of what happened at various times
during the past hundred years. While a great deal of history of
“our” sport has been recorded in writing and photographs, it has
to be remembered that the larger share still remains in peoples’
heads... and in their lofts!
One of the best things I ever hear is when someone says “I found
this box of old racing photos my dad took at Goodwood”... or Silverstone
or Le Mans or any number of other racing venues. As an author, I
have always thought it a bit special to be able to use accounts
or photos taken at some obscure race meeting in the ’50s. There’s
something interesting about using the photo a fan took of a driver
fifty years ago and kept for all that time. Sadly, those photos
and people are beginning to be in short supply.
It’s good fortune, then, that enthusiasts like Peter Redman are
still around, and that they hung onto their own memorabilia, and
collected more. And Peter has the added fortune to be able to convert
his memories into drawings that somehow capture that bit more than
The resurrection of the Goodwood circuit and the Festival of Speed
in recent years have sparked a number of written accounts of racing
at the Sussex circuit. There are some quality professional books
on Goodwood now, but there still is nothing quite like hearing the
experiences of the people who were there “on the day”. The race
reports will never capture what happened round the back of the circuit
when Roy or Stirling spun and went to talk to the crowd at the fence,
or what the mood of the spectators was about parking facilities
of the day, or how thousands had to manage with one or two loos!
The raw data of history is always important, but the “feel” and
subjectivity of it is just as significant, perhaps more so.
Peter’s photos, drawings, cartoons, and recollections bring back
the reality of the post-war Goodwood days. This is a modest book
in size and scope, but it has that “I was there” feeling. Motor
racing history will be safe as long as we continue to have access
to the reality of the “good old days”
Foreword by Willie Green
Historic Racing Car Driver for more than 30 years
Fifty years ago when I was at Prep School, there were three or
four of us who would listen to the radio reports of Le Mans and
various Grand Prix. We are still in touch today, but it never occurred
to me that one day I would not only drive the actual cars that we
were listening to but also get to know most of the drivers that
Regrettably there were so many fatalities in those days, the circuits
were not the anaesthetised “Go Kart” tracks we are presented with
nowadays; the spectators didn’t need binoculars and on occasion
even became part of the action.
Looking at the photographs in this book will transport you back
to the days when motor racing was a “sport”, a real hobby and heroes
were available in the paddock. Racing cars were brought on the back
of old trailers and teams would even help the opposition!
Goodwood remains the only circuit whose profile remains almost
the same as the original layout. Though the chicane is now tighter,
with the original high speed corners the Earl of March has more
than recaptured the Spirit of Goodwood with the Revival meetings.
Enjoy it while you can; remember that it was closed in 1966 because
it was too fast and I have personal experience that most of the
“original” cars now have at least 25% more power. Happy memories.