In our recent review of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, we questioned the direction the event has gone this year. But one thing that remains is the inspiration to be found in the paddocks.
Prior to running a full photo gallery, we thought we’d highlight some favorite details, graphics and forms in a short photo-based essay.
It was close-ups of elements such as those to the left – intricate metalwork, fasteners, fuel caps and naca ducts – that we found pouring out of our cameras post-Goodwood.
Detailing remains a fine art in modern automotive design, but many of the handcrafted or unique elements of the pre-war racecars and Carrozzeria specials celebrate qualities and skills that modern auto design techniques and regulation has seen us lose.
Among highlights were the jewel-like wing of Carrozzeria Touring’s crest on the back of the Style-et-Luxe winning Ferrari 340 America, the ghost-like picture quality of the GT40’s hood, and the depth of detail in the rear lamps of the Dymaxion – standing out against the green coachwork. Look closely at the orange indicator lenses and there’s a directional arrow marked out inside.
Smoking may have lost its cool, but staring at the Camel and Gitanes-emblazened Formula One cars of the 1980s, its hard to deny that modern racing graphics lack something present in the pre-smoking ban era.
It’s also incredible to roam Goodwood’s paddocks and see how many graphic racing liveries – many designed in the 60s and 70s – still look fresh today. These graphics and logos have refused to date, whereas some of the formal resolution and graphical aspects of the vehicles themselves have.
Away from the well-known Gulf-liveried Porsche 917Ks and Martini Lancia LC2, the simple blue and white graphics of the Matra-Simca MS670B illustrated the power of simple block colors to visually arrest, and to highlight visual elements of the car – note the shark’s mouth, depicted by a white ring.
Mazda’s 787B was another highlight, while it was easy to miss the tiny ‘For Pedro’ script written above the naca duct on the hood of the aforementioned Porsche 917.
As with details, the longer and harder you looked, the more you were likely to be rewarded.
The relationship between the above graphics and the forms of the car could occupy a designer’s mind for a full day alone when wondering around the Goodwood paddock. But beyond race, endurance and rally cars, many of the Concours and one-off Carozzeria cars present forms of quite pure elegance and beauty.
Where else can you compare the – superficially quite similar – rears of the world’s only Alfa 6C aerodynamica and Jaguar XJ13 at close hand, than Goodwood? Or see the sharp, curled rear fins of the first BAT car.
What’s clear is that, regardless of your interest in racing, driving and all things speed, there is much still to see, to inspire, and to take back into the studio from just the static cars alone.
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