Clements gets a buzz out of Bumble

| 25 Sep 2012

In the past, the concept of a ‘Goodwood car’ has been anathema to me. The very idea that you would buy a vehicle solely to enjoy for three days in the year is so alien to the majority of the C&SC office – many of whom arrive at work every day in something that uses oil and fuel in roughly equal measure – that we have tended to sneer rather at those wealthy enough to enjoy this pastime.

This year, though, I think I’ve rather begun to revise that view. Actually, I’ll temper that: I don’t think I’d ever advocate using a classic so little, but I do understand the idea of a buying a classic that you can enjoy all year round, but that may also enhance the whole
Goodwood Revival experience.

And for me, that means seeing a car like mine in Goodwood’s hallowed inner sanctum, among the sideshows, in the paddock or, best of all, on the track. So the 2012 event was particularly special, because the St Mary’s Trophy race for classic tin-tops contained not one but two Z-type MG Magnettes, one ZB Varitone and the other a ‘small-window’ like mine, albeit a ZA.

I became an unashamed fan of ‘Bumble’, Julius Thurgood and Rupert Keegan’s fantastically liveried saloon – you’ve gotta love brown over beige with red wheels! – and was chuffed to bits when ace spannerman Johnno Hudson gave me a team badge to wear with pride over the weekend.

I’m pretty sure Port felt the same when he spotted a lovely AC Buckland or two dotted around the track giving the event a suitably ‘period’ feel – the kind of sight that spurs you on with a long-term restoration.

Even publisher Tim Bulley, the current keeper of Port’s old Land-Rover, was bubbling over at the number of Landies he’d seen doing sterling service by tugging various vintage racers into life in the paddock.

Which is why this year, after agreeing to let a friend drive me down in his modern drop-top, I hastily texted the evening before departure to tell him I’d changed my mind. Once you’ve taken part in the Revival Car Show, and found yourself feeling part of the event as your classic contributes to its overall magic, it’s never quite the same going in anything

Just – please – remember to use it more than once a year...