America will be getting its own Goodwood Revival possibly as early as next year. Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance founder Bill Warner is teaming up with Goodwood patriarch Lord March to create a motorsports event fit for our friends across the pond.
Those who attend the U.K. event know that it is not just vintage racing. The Goodwood Revival is about recreating the entire atmosphere from the heyday of post-WWII competition. Attendees are strongly encouraged to dress in period-correct clothing as they are surrounded by everything from fairgrounds to aircraft that are a time capsule of the 1950s and 60s. While we already have some events like the Monterey Motorsports Reunion and The Hawk that provide quality vintage racing, these are missing the feeling that comes with the pageantry and planes.
To pull this off in the USA, the event is looking to take place late in the fall when Europe has buttoned up for the season and will be happy to come over here. Warner has strong ties to Fernandina Beach with the Amelia Island Concours, and the city council has thrown some support behind the Goodwood-style idea. The northern Florida beach town seems like an ideal area to hold the race event as the lightly used municipal airport has multiple runways where a racecourse can be mapped out while still leaving one runway open to vintage aircraft. Also, this facility meets another requirement as its close proximity to luxury resorts can accommodate the well-heeled participants. Even with this much going for the area, there are rumors that other warmer Florida venues such as Daytona or Palm Beach have not been ruled out.
There are still plenty of hurdles to get over before this event can take place next fall (i.e. the FAA needs to give this one its standard proctological exam before approval.) Plus, part of the allure of the Goodwood Revival is connecting with the facility’s history of motorsport, something the Fernandina Beach Airport is lacking.
Regardless of the concerns, this vintage race has our support. Not only will it bring some much needed Goodwood magic to vintage racing over here, but also it will finally give north Florida a proper sister event for Gatornationals (those from the area can laugh now.)