Revival pitlane set for 1950s Silverstone makeover

Goodwood Revival’s tradition of painstakingly dressing the pits to honour a historical landmark continues this year by paying homage to Silverstone’s 70th anniversary

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At this year’s 20th anniversary Goodwood Revival (September 7-9) the traditional Goodwood Motor Circuit's pitlane will be transformed into early 1950s Silverstone, to celebrate the Northamptonshire circuit’s 70th birthday.

In 1948 Silverstone hosted its inaugural event, the RAC International Grand Prix. It was Britain's first major motor race after the Second World War and also the first race of the ‘modern’ Grand Prix era.

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The latest Goodwood Revival is taking place this year in early September, less than a month before the date of the inaugural British GP at Silverstone. Given its closeness to the landmark anniversary, Goodwood will set-dress its pits as early 1950s Silverstone to honour the landmark, installing special signage to help recreate that era.

The tradition of ‘themed’ pits at Goodwood Revival stretches back to in 2012 – when the pits housed 10 Silver Arrows and Auto Unions – and are now dressed each year to mark key points and places in motorsport history.

Despite now being an annual feature, there was originally no intention to turn it into an annual undertaking.

‘It was always viewed as a one-off,’ said Peter Russell who is in charge of the pits and their transformation. ‘We’d invested quite a lot of money so after the Revival that year we wondered whether we could get another bite at it. Some wanted them to come down, some wanted them left. After months of discussions, they were left in place and were used the following year.’

In that following year of 2013 the themed pits took visitors to Le Mans in the 1960s with a selection of GT40s, in 2014 they recreated the 1954 Monza pits with Maserati 250Fs in celebration of the car’s 60th anniversary and in 2015 it was Sebring in 1965, filled with all six Daytona Coupes.

By 2016 it was Reims, filled with 3-litre Formula 1 cars, and then last year the pits were dressed as the 1957 Nürburgring in honour of Juan Manuel Fangio’s famous victory that year. Fangio’s two sons dropped in unannounced to see the pits.

‘With the themed pits,’ continues Russell, ‘you’re not doing a complete like-for-like – you’re trying to give an idea, a flavour of a certain place at a certain time. For example, Le Mans: you have the iconic buttresses, but the building was three or four stories high and we can’t do that. You’re aiming for something that, when someone looks at it, they think “Ah yes, that’s Monza” or “that’s Reims”.’

Images courtesy of LAT Archive

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