Spitfires rule the airwaves at Goodwood Revival


£164k for a Ferrari Dino. Give or take £300, that was the hammer price for one of the cars named after Enzo's son at Bonhams' auction at Goodwood last weekend.

Our eyebrows arched a little at that one, we have to admit. Okay, it's relatively sought after, but a 250 GTO it ain't. However, like many things on sale at the Revival, you sense prices tend to get hyped because it is Goodwood. A tray of Lord March's own organic chips washed down with a glass of Pimm's (half pint) was an eye-watering £8.40.

On to the main event and the Revival was as enthralling as ever – with sell-out crowds a reflection of its increasing popularity – and given extra frisson this year as the festival celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Spitfire with a number of air displays climaxing with a unique flypast of 10 of the aircraft – thought to be the highest number seen in the skies above Goodwood since its former incarnation as a World War II airfield.

Goodwood Revival 2011

Goodwood Revival 2011

To be able to get so close to these and many other historically-significant aircraft is a key characteristic of the event, billed as one of the world's biggest historic motor racing meetings.

The Revival is far more than the on-track action although watching the likes Derek Bell, Tom Kristensen and Sir Jackie Stewart in period cars is not to be sniffed at either.

Cars worth millions were to be found either racing or at the Earls Court Motor Show re-creation, as well as alongside the afore-mentioned Dino at Bonhams and out in the surrounding fields where modern machinery rubbed shoulders with hundreds of classic and other exotic vehicles. It's easy to spend hours ambling through the car parks before even setting foot in the circuit itself.

However, it was the spitfire celebration that really caught the spectators' imaginations. Delayed because of heavy downpours that made the racing in Sunday's RAC TT Celebration race particularly interesting for the drivers, the Spitfires scrambled during a break in the clouds and circled the circuit to the wonderfully evocative sound of 10 Merlin engines. Now, that was worth the entry fee on its own.