How Rolex Is Fuelling A History Of Fine Cars
For more than 20 years, the Goodwood Revival has become a living time capsule, dedicated to highlighting the legacy of motor racing between 1948 and 1966.
Since its beginnings in 1905, Rolex has been a brand rich with history. Whether it’s the company’s creation of the first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch in 1926, the fact that every member of the first crew to fly over Mount Everest in 1933 was wearing a Rolex Oyster or, more recently, that filmmaker James Cameron descended into the Mariana Trench, the first solo dive into the deepest point on Earth, with a Rolex watch, it’s been involved in some of the human race’s most pinnacle moments.
But alongside these, Rolex is also closely tied to the world of motorsport, dating back to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s world land-speed record successes in the 1930s, when he surpassed the 300 miles per hour speed barrier. Since then, the brand has supported the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the FIA World Endurance Championship and, in 2013, became associated with Formula One.
That commitment to both history and exploration recently combined with the Goodwood Revival, an event honouring the legacy of motor racing between 1948 and 1966. Taking place at Goodwood Motor Circuit in the U.K. across three days in September, it strives to feel like a living time capsule. As a circuit, Goodwood was the spiritual home of British motor racing between the 1940s and 1960s, hosting classic races with some of the time’s most notorious drivers. The Goodwood Revival doesn’t want to just bring that back to life with the cars, but it also encourages all attendees to dress in fashions from the time.
“The Authenticity Of The Event Is Exceptional And Something You Will Always Remember Fondly” – Sir Jackie Stewart
“The Goodwood Revival is unique in the world of motoring — it is a collection of the finest cars in the most beautiful setting,” says Sir Jackie Stewart, Rolex testimonee and three-time FIA Formula One World Championship winner. “The authenticity of the event is exceptional and something you will always remember fondly. Rolex is very much part of the Goodwood Revival; the quality, immaculate detail, integrity and prestige perfectly align the brand with the [Goodwood] Revival.”
The event hosted a number of features focused on celebrating everything motor. Wheel-to-wheel races took place with pre-1963 closed cockpit cars, as well as motorcycles, touring cars, GT automobiles and prototypes from the past. Alongside that stood the Revival Car Show, featuring thousands of classic cars lined up for viewing by guests.
At the heart of the event, however, is the Rolex Drivers’ Club, which brings together aficionados and motor-racing heroes of all ages. For September’s event, four-time NASCAR champion and winner of the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona, Jeff Gordon, attended for the first time. Multiple MotoGP race winner Dani Pedrosa returned, as did Rolex testimonee and record nine-time winner of 24 Hours of Le Mans, Tom Kristensen.
“Goodwood Motor Circuit is very challenging,” says Kristensen, a regular to the event who competed again this year. “The circuit is fast, and the layout of the track equally so, requiring enormous concentration. It is a tremendous feeling driving an old-school circuit in vintage cars,” he says. “I always drive the track with the utmost respect, remembering the great drivers who have raced there.”