The Goodwood Revival is a three-day festival held each September at Goodwood Circuit since 1998 for the types of road racing cars and motorcycles that would have competed during the circuit's original period from 1948 to 1966. The first Revival took place 50 years after the 9th Duke of Richmond and Gordon opened the motor racing track in 1948, driving around the circuit in a Bristol 400, then Britain's state-of-the-art sporting saloon. Most people dress in period clothes. It is one of the world's most popular motor race meetings and the only United Kingdom event which recreates the golden era of motorsport from the 1950s and 1960s.
The festival acts as a showcase for exceptional wheel-to-wheel racing around a classic circuit, untouched by more modern developments, and relives the glory days of Goodwood Circuit, which ranked with Silverstone as Britain’s leading racing venue throughout its active years. Between 1948 and 1966 Goodwood hosted contemporary racing of all kinds, including Formula One, the famous Goodwood Nine Hours race, and the celebrated Tourist Trophy sports car race.
The festival includes Grand Prix cars from the 1950s and 1960s, sports and GT cars, as well as historic saloon cars and little-seen Formula Juniors. Many of these important historic racing cars are driven by famous names from motor sport past and present including Sir Stirling Moss, John Surtees, Sir Jack Brabham, Derek Bell, David Coulthard, Damon Hill, Gerhard Berger, Martin Brundle, Johnny Herbert, Wayne Gardner, Giacomo Agostini, Jean Alesi, Barry Sheene and Peter Brock, as well as celebrities such as Chris Rea, and Rowan Atkinson (as Mr. Bean) in 2009. For youngsters there is a pedal car race called the Settrington Cup, featuring Austin J40 pedal cars.
The restored circuit is unchanged from its heyday apart for from the inclusion of a chicane on the start/finish straight. Many visitors wear appropriate period clothing and no modern vehicles are allowed within the circuit perimeter throughout the festival, except for modern race fire and rescue vehicles. There are also theatrical sets that bring the past back to life, as well as many historic aircraft and displays.