The Goodwood Revival is not only a great race meeting but it’s also a wonderful gathering of a fantastic collection of classic road cars. You will see virtually everything you could ever want to see either in the classic car park (or the ordinary car parks) or in the paddock. The expression you hear most is ‘good heavens, I haven’t seen one of those for years.’ You get almost blasé about E-types and Aston Martins, even ACs, Austin Healeys, TRs etc.
I usually take a Facel over the weekend as it’s very easy for me living close by, but apart from a visit to the nearby Sainsbury supermarket on Wednesday in the Facel 11, I’m afraid to say that the need to transport more than two people – which despite their four seats, most Facels are completely unable to achieve – meant that I couldn’t take a Facel. Thankfully, others were there…
Adam Sherring blew up one of his other cars earlier in the week so he took his two HK500s on Friday instead which more than made up for my absences. The pic showing the pair of them appeared on the Goodwood Road Racing Club website so they gained some good publicity. (After this piece was originally published, on Monday night I saw Dario Franchitti’s piece on Goodwood-the Classic Cars on ITV4 and it started off with Adam and his party and the Facels – more great publicity!)
But we couldn’t really rival the Facel FV2 which was on display on the EZ Electric Power Steering stand near the Bonhams tent. I had been told by my nephew who was driving his ailing Land Rover Series 1 as part of the event’s taxi service that there was a Facel 11 for sale somewhere but I’m pretty sure that it was actually this FV2. It had been brought over by the parent company from Holland and had been fitted with the company’s electric power steering system which has been very thoughtfully designed with classics in mind. As you can read here http://ezpowersteering.nl/25/170/EZ_ELECTRIC_POWER_STEERING.html (don’t forget to click the Union flag at the top of the page) this is an electric system which ticks many of the boxes, being adjustable to your own desires – the weight of steering you want, for instance – and also hidden, working with the existing rack, for instance. I was able to sit in the FV2 and see how the weight increased with the amount of lock. Of course, I wasn’t able to drive the car but there are English articles reproduced on the website which act as testimonials and are encouraging for anyone considering fitting the system. They also offer reproduction Bakelite steering wheels in a slightly smaller size.
Only 30 FV2s were actually produced, so this is a very rare car, even more so as it’s one of only six original automatics of which maybe four still exist, chassis number 56-056. It looked in mainly superb condition in its original black exterior, now with red interior, although I noticed slight damage to the driver’s window top rail which may have occurred on the trip but otherwise it looked wonderful and was for sale at €152,000. It had attracted lots of people onto the stand, including a Frenchman who worked for Facel at Dreux and lots of the aforementioned ‘cor, I haven’t seen one of those for ages’, former owners or friends of former owners. The presence of the Facel at such an event does just what it is meant to do: attracts more people to the marque and more interest in the cars.
The UK agent for EZ Power Steering is Mike Waters at Unit 12, Mannings Yard, Exeter Road in Dawlish, Devon and he can be reached on 01626 862804. He’s even considering a Facel purchase himself – I hope having one on the stand and the interest shown in it will convince him to go ahead!
(As well as the cars mentioned above, I have since seen on the French site that there was also an ultra-rare Paris-registered FV1 in the car park, which I didn’t see, so thanks to d.wilde for that information.)