I love a lot of things about the Goodwood Festival of Speed. I love it that they’re daft enough to let me loose on the microphone during the supercar runs. I love it that I sometimes get to drive up the hill.

But perhaps most of all this year, I loved being in nice and early on Sunday morning, strolling around a very quiet Cathedral Paddock, which is chock full of pre-war and/or endurance racing cars.

Full report, plus pics, from the Goodwood Festival of Speed

There are no ropes, no barriers, so if I, you – any spectator – wants to get close to this myriad of priceless machinery, we can. Nowhere else on earth – no museum, no race meeting, no exhibition – offers such personal access to such a glorious array of cars.

Me? I went on the hunt to find some details, genius bits of 80-year-old engineering, I might borrow during my old Austin’s rebuild. There’s no higher quality inspiration than you’ll find at Goodwood.