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Homepage. This page: The Dodge makes a return visit to the Goodwood racing circuit, 60 years after its last.

The Dodge returns to Goodwood in 2015.

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Since first finding the Dodge, back in mid-1995, the long-term ambition was not just to see it restored, but also to take it to many of the motor racing venues that it regularly frequented, in the years following WW2. At that time, Dennis Poore - the transporter's post-war owner for many years - lived in Rownhams, Hampshire, a few miles to the north-west of Southampton. The family's estate was located where the Rownhams services on the M27 now resides. Due to its location, Goodwood was Poore's local motor racing circuit (he raced at the first meeting in 1948), and the Dodge attended many events there from the late 1940s, through to 1955. 1955 was the year that Poore co-drove the winning Aston Martin DB3S in the Nine Hours race at Goodwood, shortly before retiring from motorsport for good. The Alfa Romeo 8C-35, the Dodge's usual cargo, and all his racing effects, went into long-term store.

Invite to Goodwood.

In 2011 the lorry attended Race Retro, with a return visit to Donington - where I first clapped eyes on its decaying remains - occurring in 2012. A few local vehicle gatherings were also attended, but the aim of re-visiting a former haunt remained outstanding. In February 2015 though, an email arrived out of the blue, enquiring whether I'd be interested in taking it to the Goodwood Revival, in September. The opportunity to take the Dodge back to Goodwood, and park it back in the paddock where it was once a regular sight, wasn't going to be passed up, especially as it was 60 years since Poore had last raced there, and 20 since I had first stumbled across the Dodge.

Preparations.

During the following few months, plans were drawn up. The Dodge would be transported to the circuit, and the company used for its trip to Race Retro, was booked. Over several weeks in August, it was given a comprehensive clean, and a few in-period goodies to display inside the truck were gathered together. Polishing of the exterior was attended to on and off over a period of two weeks, and a number of other small jobs tackled.
Cleaning the transporter prior to Goodwood
A conical fire extinguisher, produced by Minimax in the 1950s and found on ebay a couple of years earlier, was tidied up and installed behind the cab. An information board, giving a potted history, was also put together. The owner of a local yard was also approached, and he readily agreed to us using his premises for loading and unloading the Dodge. Plans were coming together nicely.

Collection day.

Wednesday 9th September dawned bright and cheery. Just after 8am, I (accompanied by our 7yr-old prior to school) drove the Dodge to the local yard, where it remained for most of the day, until the transport company arrived. The light was beginning to fade, and the loading was completed in darkness. The driver headed off at about 10pm, while I retired to bed, ready for a 3.30am start the following day.
Loading up in the dark

Arrival at the circuit.

I arrived at the circuit mid-morning on Thursday 10th, while the truck landed at about 1.30pm. Unloading on the pit straight went without a hitch. By this time I'd established the intended display location, so the short drive from the circuit itself into the main paddock, was undertaken - quite a satisfying moment if I'm honest. The Dodge was back to its spiritual home. This felt especially appropriate, as both the circuit and the lorry had seen prior service with the RAF in WW2, as an operational airfield and aircrew bus respectively.
Arrival at Goodwood

Into the paddock.

Setup in the main paddock was in full swing by the time we arrived. A Morris, re-creating a works' BMC transporter of the 1950s, was delivering its cargo of a single-seat BRM. We waited for that delicate operation to be completed. Also, Winston Churchill's Land Rover had to be moved slightly, before I could park up finally. This gave me time to take a few snaps, in suitable company within the paddock.
In the paddock
A large number of pre-war ERA cars were in attendance. In the foreground here, R5B - "Remus" - originally Prince Bira's racing mount.
With ERA R5B Remus
The chance to take a picture of the Dodge alongside the BRM, now removed from the Morris' care, was taken. While the BRM was built after the Dodge had retired from use, they still looked well together.
Parked alongside a BRM in the Goodwood paddock
The positioning of the Dodge, alongside front-engined grand prix cars of the 1930s through to the 1950s, was appropriate given the era it was used in. Here, a pair of Maserati 250Fs, both modified in period from the factory's original design.
Maserati 250F x2 at Goodwood
Inside the Dodge, a selection of old tins, tools, and motoring-related items were displayed. As Notwen Oils was one of Poore's key sponsors in the 1950s, a number of tins and oil pourers relating to the company, featured. The old wooden steps in the foreground, were used as a stand on which to display the information board.
Inside the truck
The old-style trade plate, on which the Dodge was originally driven, is now screwed inside the rear door. This enabled it to be driven without a governor fitted to the carburettor, and circumvent the 20 mph limit that applied to commercial vehicles at the time.
1950s trade plate

Photos taken Friday - Sunday.

Two transporters were displayed in the main paddock, the Dodge and the Morris.
The Dodge and Morris transporters together
The number of spectators attending the event over the three days it runs for, was quite staggering. We'd not been to this meeting since 2006 (a brief write-up of which was added shortly afterwards to OCC, link), and its size was something to behold. The effort that goes into the event, by both Goodwood and the many trade and private exhibitors alike, is truly impressive. I uploaded 130 photos of the event to the forum, shortly after we returned home, link to photos.
Crowds of race-goers
Sat on chairs behind the truck, we were able to not just watch the world go by, and answer questions, but also watch the air displays. The photograph below captures a P40 as it flew by. In the foreground is "Hairy Canary", a bright yellow AC Cobra.
Air display
There were plenty of interesting cars in attendance. Here, an E-Type receives a little TLC, while in the background an Aston Martin DBR2 heads out to the assembly area.
Jaguar E-Type
The sun was getting low, and the crowds had disappeared, when the following shot was taken on the Saturday evening.
Paddock in the evening

Time to head home.

All too quickly Sunday evening arrived, and display items were packed away in the back of the Dodge, ready for the return ride home on Monday 14th. It had been a very enjoyable and interesting weekend. All that remained was for the transport company to arrive and re-load the Dodge, then drop it back home again.
I had a few hours to while away on Monday, so the opportunity to photograph the Dodge with a number of Goodwood's iconic buildings was taken. The building shown below is the former control tower of RAF Westhampnett, which is now used for entertaining guests at the circuit.
The old control tower & grandstands
The old control tower
One of the grandstands on the pit straight.
Parked near one of the grandstands on the pit straight
Looking back up to the start/finish line, from the Dodge's cab.
Cab view of the start/finish straight
The truck arrived at Goodwood to collect the Dodge by 2.30pm. It's a tight fit, but having used the exact same trailer in 2011 for its trip to Race Retro, we knew that it'd go in, with just two/three inches to spare either side only. Unloading took place at about 9-10pm that evening, after which the Dodge was driven home and tucked away in its garage once more.
Loading the Dodge
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