My Car Quest

February 22, 2024

The Importance of Being Nostalgic

by Wallace Wyss –

I happened to see in a recent issue of Motorsport, a fine British vintage car magazine, an ad for The Goodwood Revival 2022. The ad caught my eye because it was in black and white (or perhaps that brownish alternative that used to be available) and featured a young lady in ’50s hair style and dress next to a Jaguar XK120.

The lady looked like she had an upcoming date with a sports car aficionado and, perhaps not being schooled in sports cars, didn’t quite know what to expect. Would her escort be a proper gentleman or as wild and rakish as his wheels?

Goodwood's Gents Style Guide

Read this guide here.

I much preferred it to any recent color shot of a vintage car racing because I think Lord March, owner of the Goodwood Revival and Goodwood estates, is taking the long view–it matters not which cars will be there but rather what the ambiance is going to be. The hope, inspired by this ad, is that you will see ’30s, 40s, 50’s and ’60s cars with people that sartorially look like they fit the cars.

I come at it from a specific point of view. I want to take pictures that could be mistaken for being shot in the original era, so when I make a painting, should there be people in it they are dressed appropriate to the era of the car. And it makes me feel more comfortable–that these people like the cars I like. We are simpatico. I just hate to see someone next to a ’30s through ’60s vintage car in a puffer jacket (not invented then), rubber flip flops (ditto) or carrying a skateboard (ditto again) etc. They spoil the mood.

Goodwood's Ladies Style Guide

Read this guide here.

Now you might ask “But we paid for our ticket–can’t we dress like we want?” and technically that’s probably true but the Lord that owns both the Goodwood Estates and the event, has laid down certain sartorial rules for accessing certain areas and I say “good on him” because he knows how important it is to striking a mood. And for those not in a financial situation to field a racing car, it gives them a realizable goal to meet–in the months before the race, they can get that flat cap or hacking jacket or pair of stringback driving gloves like they saw in person, if they are of a certain age, or in old original era pictures. If they make that effort, the occasion will be more memorable for the proper accoutered spectator and those who see them will perhaps have a memory revived.

So there ya be. I’m an occasional shopper in shops that have the Olde School clothes and, when I find duds that match my memories, stashing them away to wear on suitable occasions. Right now I don’t happen to have the right car for the right occasion but at least, for the next vintage car event I’m properly dressed. Lord March would approve.

NOTE His Lordship’s proper name and titles are Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, 11th Duke of Richmond, 11th Duke of Lennox, 11th Duke of Aubigny, 6th Duke of Gordon DL, styled Lord Settrington until 1989 and then Earl of March and Kinrara until 2017. His present title, since 1 September 2017 to the present is: His Grace The Duke of Richmond, Lennox, and Gordon.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR Wallace Wyss is presently accepting commissions for oil portraits of exotic cars in 20″ x 30″ size. For more information write or


Wallace Wyss

The author in flat cap and tweeds

The Importance of Being Nostalgic
Article Name
The Importance of Being Nostalgic
The lady at Goodwood looked like she had an upcoming date with a sports car aficionado and, perhaps not being schooled in sports cars, didn't quite know what to expect.


  1. Mike Stellato says

    Edwardian style clothing.
    Most dapper!

  2. Looking at the rocket tubes in the fairing of the BSA (?) could be the woman that blew up the ’57 Ford in “Goldfinger.”

  3. Wally, that’s the coolest look I’ve ever seen on you. I think you should dress this way every day of the year!!

  4. Lennox McNeely says

    Thinking of attending Goodwood and claiming I’m a relative–Lennox McNeely — might need to borrow your superb outfit.

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