Chaparral cars animationThe Chaparral FilesJim Hall

Goodwood 1997 (part 1)

Pictorial report

For people who have never been at The Goodwood Festival of Speed it is difficult to make a proper imagination of this unique event. Lord March is the owner of a big castle and a big, very big piece of land. Extensive lawns and numerous chestnut trees form a typically English lush atmosphere.

But Lord March is a racing enthusiast. And he is dedicated so much that, once a year, he opens the gates of his manor to more than a hundred of thousand racing fans. He offers them an unforgettable weekend full of top quality, international, historic motor racing spectacle, including Red Arrows air display and all.

In 1997 I was one of the visitors. The weather constantly changed from sunshine to torrential rain. Within one day the immaculate mowed lawns turned into a mass of mud. No problem with Lord March. Following years more Festivals of Speed would take place again. A remarkable man.

Goodwood House and its nice surroundings.

Pinnacle of the event is the tarmac road on the estate that, with a little goodwill, could be described as a hill climb. One by one hundreds of precious racing cars and motor bikes run between old fashioned rows of hay bales. Driven by their owners (Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason for example) and often by top line drivers from past and present. At Goodwood you are likely to meet all time heroes like Jack Brabham, Chris Amon, John Surtees, Jackie Steward, Stirling Moss, Tony Brooks, Richard Attwood and Damon Hill driving Brabhams, Matras, Ford GTs, Vanwalls, Aston Martins, Jaguar D-types etc. You can go where ever you want (except between the hay bales and into the castle of course), touch the cars in the paddock, talk to the stars: incredible. You have to be there to believe it. Check for more details.

As I said, in 1997 I travelled to the festival because Jim Hall would be there with a selection of his Chaparrals. The best chance to date to see them live! From Friday early in the morning until Sunday late in the evening I was at the estate and enjoyed one of the best weekends I could ever imagine. I met Jim Hall, his mechanic Troy Rogers and world champion Phil Hill. They had the 2A, the 2F and the 2J at their disposal. Also, Richard Falconer was present with his restored Chaparral 1.

Enjoy my pictorial report of the event. Since this is a Chaparral related website I won't bore you too much with Porsche 917's, Mercedes W 196's and Indianapolis type Millers.

Let's start with the Chaparral 1, chassis #005, of Richard Falconer. It smoked like a Salmon.

2A in the paddock featuring the famous 66.

The 2F being serviced by Troy Rogers because the engine didn't fire up. The wing provided more than downforce as it was part of the improvised awning! Smart.

2F and some competitors under covers for the night. 2A with rain protection.

Veterans paying attention to the 2F: a spectator resembling journalist Dennis 'Jenks' Jenkinson and Phil Hill reunited with the car he drove during the 1967 season.

A bunch of former Chaparral competitors. From the left: a magnificent Cobra Daytona coupe, the impressive Scarab of Augie Pabst (who was present as well!) and a wild Grand Sport Corvette. WOW!

A trio of CanAm contenders: Chaparral's arch enemy McLaren, first CanAm champion Lola T70 and a Seventies' UOP Shadow beast.

The man himself: Jim Hall explaining the wing to a sophisticated couple. Hall's helmet and jacket on the 2J and relaxed as he was during the weekend. Hall was voted 'Man of the event' that year.

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