We all set off for the Goodwood Revival on Friday, wondering how different it would be this year. After all, we reckoned, this event seems to depend particularly heavily on its corporate sponsors - and given that there’s a recession going on, aren’t such people in full retreat?
Given the trepidation, one of the special pleasures of Revival '09 was to discover that it was as wonderful as ever. There were indeed fewer corporate sponsors, but the comforting swell of car-loving private citizens from all over Europe - and of people who wouldn’t miss this fixture for anything, even the implementation of entry fees - entirely made up for it.
Besides, it soon became clear that there are still plenty of people for whom a recession means nothing: at the Bonhams classic car sale, someone paid £15,000 for a child’s pedal car styled like at Aston Martin DBR2, around 50 per cent more than the auctioneers’ estimate. (The only thing wrong with the Bonhams Revival sale, actually, was that yet again it contained very little to give the ordinary old car lover hope. This auction firm, perhaps understandably, is tending to concentrate exclusively on cars with amazing provenance and eye-watering prices, thus encouraging many of us ordinary people to walk past its vast marquee without bothering to look inside...)