Visitors to this year’s Goodwood Revival (September 8th-10th) may be fooled into thinking that they have stepped back in time into a typical late 1950s Italian street scene, rather than the famous West Sussex motor circuit, the home of Britain’s first post-war public motor race meeting in September 1948.
Goodwood will be marking the 60th anniversary since the launch of the now-iconic 1957 Nuova Fiat 500 - the diminutive rear-engined four-seater passenger car that helped to put Italy on wheels post-war - with a display and lively circuit parade of more than 120 examples of these cute Torinese city cars each day.
With a sea of green, white and red Italian flags fluttering in the breeze, a real taste of Italy will come to the 2017 Goodwood Revival, with Italian fashions and flavours of the period complimenting the display and daily opening-parade of the Fiat 500s. On the track the Fiats will be joined by a handful of other Italian vehicles of the period, to resemble more the 1950s movie Roman Holiday than the Goodwood Revival.
Gentlemen in sharp high-waisted Gregory Peck-style suits, and ladies modelling the Audrey Hepburn pleated dress and chiffon scarf look will add to the Italianate spectacle, as will the beeping Fiat horns and youths enthusiastically riding their Vespa and Lambretta scooters between the 500s to add to the general traffic chaos on the track.
The Fiat 500s descending on the 2017 Goodwood Revival will include the regular pre- and post-suicide door production models with their flip-back sun roofs, as well as the more practical Giardiniera estate variants, a few sporting Abarth derivatives, and even the occasional coachbuilt model, such as the open-topped Ghia Jolly beach car.
The Revival’s homage to 60-years of the loveable rear-engined Fiat follows on from the popular concours class of 500s and its derivatives on the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ lawn at this year’s sell-out Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard a few weeks ago. This proved to be a real crowd-pleaser, the Fiats attracting more attention and photographers than many of the more exotic multi-million dollar Ferraris, Maseratis and Aston Martins sharing Cartier lawn space with them.
Friday and Sunday tickets are still available from the Goodwood Ticket Office.