Goodwood’s 76th Members’ Meeting wasn’t exclusively for gleaming retro race metal (such as the eight Porsche 904s in the Ronnie Hoare Trophy) or for the hordes of pumped up Group 5 cars we fawned over in part one.
New for the 2018 event, the Bolster Cup was anathema to the usually perfectly-polished West Sussex motor circuit and was all the better for it!
Named after John Bolster (who built the infamous wood-framed, twin-engined hillclimb ‘Bloody Mary’ car), the race featured a myriad of home-built specials of a pre-war style.
Some, like the Pacey-Hassan Special Bentley, were genuine 1930s racers that roared around the outer circuit at Brooklands “back in the day”. Others, like the diminutive (and exceedingly Spartan) Hornet Racing Special – a true successor to the ‘Bloody Mary’ bloodline – are more recent interpretations of the pre-war special aesthetic and spirit.
The result was a race with a breath-taking variety of automotive oddities, from single-seat Bentley specials (including the increasingly smokey blue example of eventual winner, Tim Llewelyn) to diminutive Austin 7 and Morgan Aero three-wheelers.
Adding to the incredible variety were a number of crazy contraptions, including Tom Walker’s indecently rapid (and regularly-flame-spitting) Amilcar Hispano, powered by a 12-litre aero engine dating from 1919!
“The entire spectacle was shrouded in a slight blue haze of Castrol R smoke”
The competitors themselves – many who race regularly with the Vintage Sports Car Club – were just as unique as their cars, regularly working into the snowy evenings over the 76th Members’ Meeting weekend to keep their awesome machines in fine fettle.
A walk through the paddock would allow you to find some oil-smeared mechanic bent over a Bolster Cup car, removing the gearbox (or some other recalcitrant component) all in the name of “regular maintenance!”
In the race itself, David battled with Goliath throughout the field, with the entire spectacle shrouded in a slight blue haze of Castrol R smoke. Thankfully, none of the big Bentleys accidently ran over any of the low-line Morgans.
Despite a breadth of machinery that would shame a Red Bull Soapbox Derby, the Bolster Cup was one of the most fiercely-contested races of the 76th Members’ Meeting too, with the top four separated by just under six seconds as the chequered flag fell.
With such entertainment provided on and off the track, we just hope these pioneering pre-war specials make their return to the hallowed Goodwood tarmac soon.
If you haven’t already done so, make sure you check out our gorgeous gallery of Group 5 goodness from the Goodwood 76th Members’ Meeting.