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Photography by Mr John Lindquist

From a prestigious setting within his 12,000-acre estate, Lord March (otherwise known as Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox), is busy organising one of his famous motor racing meets: "Cars are funny things, really, like music I suppose, in that some men remember their childhoods through them." For Lord March, these memories are plentiful. His ancestral home is the address of one of the most famous race circuits for both horses and motorcars. The latter has attracted everyone from Mr Stirling Moss to Mr Lewis Hamilton. Here, one of the most influential figures in the classic-car scene talks us through some items in his eclectic office.

Where did your passion for cars come from?
I suppose it's from growing up around the racetrack and spending lots of time with my grandfather, who I was very close to and who built the original motor circuit. When I was about 10 we would come and stay here at Easter during the big race meeting.
What's been your biggest highlight since you've been staging these events?
I guess it's been driving some of the cars and meeting the characters that come to the events. We did a fun project with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons last year, and the year before we celebrated 40 years of Easy Rider with Peter Fonda riding a bike. There is nowhere else in the world where so many important cars have been all in one place. That's what makes it special.
Why do you keep your office like this?
My offices have always looked like this, partly because I keep being given all of this stuff and there's really nowhere else to put it.

in the office


This is a little lighter trophy for the Lancia Car Club in 1936, an event my grandfather put on, and actually won, funnily enough. The postcard is from a friend who has incredible taste in cards
An architect friend of mine made this letter holder for me - it's the old address for my studio on the New Kings Road
I love this picture of my grandfather winning the Double Twelve at Brooklands. When he raced he was very good, but the family didn't approve too much. Racing back then was horribly dangerous
This hat belongs to a Texan called Jim Hall who owns Chaparral Cars, which are about the coolest cars in the world. He's probably the most innovative car designer of all time. We've had him here a few times
This Chaparral 2E was the first car to have a wing on it and it's designer, Jim Hall, was the first to put ground effect on a car, which actually sucked the vehicle onto the ground with big fans
These are the trophies we give at The Festival of Speed. Each year we pick a different car and we give those as trophies. They're made in Germany
This is a picture of me with former Le Mans champion Derek Bell and Gino Macaluso, the former owner of the watch manufacturer Girard-Perregaux, who sadly died recently. It was taken about 15 years ago
This Ferrari 250 GT is a very famous Goodwood car, one of the first to be fitted with a radio as standard. Stirling Moss would listen to the commentary on the radio as he drove the race. It's about an eight or nine million-pound car
Where's your chair and desk from?
In an earlier life I was a photographer and I used to have a studio in London. It was a good time to be a photographer and I worked mostly for advertising clients. I stopped doing it commercially in the early Nineties to move back down to Goodwood, and all the furniture from the studio came back with me. The desk is quite old now, but the trestles are by Zanotta. The chair is pretty special - it's a first-edition Seventies Hilly chair.
Your jacket is rather smart, where is it from?
It was made by my tailor in London. The buttons are 18th century - off the coachman's livery here - which is why they have these initials written on them, for 'Arthur Richmond'.
You have quite a collection of driving helmets, how did you accumulate them all?
The black one belonged to Emerson Fittipaldi, the famous Brazilian
racing driver who was World Champion a few times. He's been married more times I think... since every year he comes with a new Brazilian lady on his arm. The helmet in the middle is Alonso's, from when he was with Renault. The one with the white cross is from Dario Franchitti, a big Indy driver who won Indianapolis. He had a big accident here and this is the helmet he crashed in.
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Do you still race cars?
I did, but what with running this place and all the organising and arranging of the festivals, I had to stop. I mostly raced a little Lola
MK 1. Racing these days is so very competitive, much more than it was during the days when my grandfather used to race.
Is there one particular car that is now your pride and joy?
I bought a mad hot rod in Bonneville when we were out there recently. It's a completely rusted 1929 Ford pick-up that's been 'chopped and channelled' as they say. It's just a lovely, lovely thing. We do get some funny looks driving it round here though.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is from 30 June until 3 July. For tickets, email ticket.office@goodwood.com
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