Fans – and rain – flood the first Goodwood Breakfast Club of 2012

| 5 Mar 2012

Goodwood fans kicked off the 2012 season with a strong and varied turnout of classics at yesterday’s Breakfast Club meet, despite the atrocious weather and freezing temperatures.

An Aston Martin DB5, Bugatti Type 35 and Ferrari 250 Lusso were some of the standouts at the first of Lord March’s monthly get-togethers for this year, while other star cars to line the straight and paddocks of the West Sussex circuit included a Renault Alpine A110, a race-prepared AC 428 Coupe and a couple of McLaren MP4-12Cs.

The event’s Tax Free Sunday theme attracted plenty of regulars, too, including Norman Finn who blasted down from Odiham in Hampshire in his 1964 Ford Lotus Cortina – which shares a garage 1965 Ford Mustang 289GT and 1977 Porsche Carrera 3.0. "It’s one of the last of the A-frame suspension cars and I bought it a year ago,” said Finn. “It was a known car in the register and too good to turn down."

Also flying the ’60s blue oval flag was Hambledon-based Dave Butler who brought his 1965 Mustang along. "It was converted to a right-hooker in Australia and has been up-rated with rack-and-pinion steering and a five-speed gearbox," explained Butler who's recently added 285/40 tyres. "The previous owner had the rear end ‘tubbed’ to accommodate a narrower diff so the wider rubber doesn’t show."

Other long-time fans of the historic circuit braving the water-logged roads included Keith and Jenny Durston, who turned up in their 1960 Austin-Healey 3000, which the couple from Peaselake have owned for four decades. "It’s always been my car except on days like this," said Jenny who’s helped Keith add more than 40,000 miles to the odometer since the pair restored their big Healey 25 years ago.

The six-cylinder Brit sports car was complemented by some Continental rarities, including a couple of Citroen Ami-6s, a Slough-built Citroen Traction Avant and a 1939 Frazer Nash-BMW Type 321 – one just 15 sold in the UK and the third from last built before war broke out.

Even more diverse was a seven-seater Plymouth Fury III, boasting sun-bleached paintwork thanks to decades of a sunny US climate, and an ex-Post Office 1946 Morris 8 van that Worthing-based John Clarke has owned for 37 years. “It was used a theme car at the Revival few years ago,” said Clarke who reckons you need plenty of time to go anywhere: “It’s only got an 800cc side-valve engine but once you get it going it’ll trundle along at about 45mph.”

Somewhat more luxurious was Keith Joy’s ex-South African Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I. His 1959 short-wheelbase example – one of 2238 built – is the last six-cylinder car produced by the marque.

The next Goodwood Breakfast Club meeting is on 1 April and features a Everything But the Car theme. See Goodwood Breakfast Club for more.