Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019, Meeting my Motorsport Hero!
I’m sure loads of you have attended the Goodwood Festival of Speed over the years, I actually went to the very first one way back in 1993, it was almost like a garden party back then, and I have been going on and off ever since and have seen it grow massively over the years and it is still an incredible event to attend. Now I wasn’t going to go this year but a couple of weeks ago I read that a particular car was going to be there, now I was sceptical if it would be the actual car as it was also supposed to be paraded before the start of Le Mans this year but that was actually a replica, I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to this particular car, but I really didn’t want to risk missing this car coming over to the UK, I was actually planning to go out to make the trip to see it is it’s normal museum residence in the states so this actually seemed to good to be true.
But anyway I got there Friday morning at 7am and started my hunt, it isn’t easy trying to find one car amongst thousands at the biggest car gathering in the world, but after a couple of hours I saw those iconic Gulf Colours out the corner of my eye, I rushed over to the car and to my amazement it was the actual Ford GT40 Chassis Number P/1075, I actually really couldn’t believe that I was standing next to such an iconic car and it was just sitting there with no security and to be honest most people probably didn’t realise the significance of this particular GT40.
I have seen it read many times that it is considered the most valuable race car in the world today and as I mentioned it normally resides in the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit where I was planning to go to see it so I really never thought such a piece of history would be in the UK and be so accessible, I guess that is the power of Goodwood, So why is it so special? Well basically it is the only car to win Le Mans on 2 consecutive years of 1968 and 1969, I guess most car enthusiasts will know that Ford was in talks to buy Ferrari and when they fell through Henry Ford made it his mission to beat Ferrari at LeMans which he did for 4 consecutive years from 1966 to 1969 with the GT40, actually there is a big Hollywood film coming out later this year about this story, anyway not only is GT40 P/1075 remembered for it’s 2 wins it is also considered the winner for the greatest Le Mans race of all time in 1969 where is won by only 100 meters after 24 hours of racing, changing the lead 5 times on the last lap with the faster Porsche, you can view the video I took at Goodwood of Jackie Oliver discussing this incredible win below -
Finally another iconic moment of the 1969 race was that Jacky Ickx made a protest about safety at the start of the race, this was when the drivers used to race across the track to their cars and speed off without doing up their belts til they got down the Mulsanne Straight to get a quick start, so Jacky walked slowly across the track, climbed in, did his belts up then left the grid in last place and as it happened there was a big crash on the first lap where John Wolf was killed as he hadn’t done up his belts to get a quick start, so in the end with Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver behind the wheel they fought their way from last to win with Ickx crossing the line by the smallest of margins after 24 hours, quite incredible.
Anyway it was an amazing day and a real honour to see P/1075 up close and personal, I probably looked like some weird stalker as I spent all day admiring the car taking loads of video’s and pictures and I really struggled to leave at the end of the day as the chances are it may never come back to the UK again but at 8pm I dragged myself away.
There are a few more video’s on our YouTube page below and probably far too many pictures below.
Jacky Oliver Re-United With P/1075 50 Years after it’s famous Le Mans win.