The racing car that was built at Goodwood

06th August 2020
Rob Widdows

The Supershell building, on the outside of Woodcote corner, is one of the landmarks that define the Goodwood Motor Circuit to this day. Originally built for the RAF, when Freddie March loaned the land to the Ministry of Defence for Westhampnett aerodrome in 1940, it’s now used for hospitality at the Revival, giving guests a spectacular view of the cars.


For motor racing fans with long memories the Supershell building was also home to the Image racing team, a manufacturer of Formula Ford cars in which many an aspiring driver earned his stripes. Engineer Alan Langridge established his little team at Tangmere airfield in 1974, building simple but effective cars for young hopefuls determined to get their feet on the first rung of the ladder to fame and fortune. Two years later, with some good results on the board, he moved the team to the Supershell building where he could not only build the cars but test them on the circuit.

For those who wanted to race an Image finding the money was, as ever, the perennial problem, many of them working on the cars for free in exchange for a chance to compete. A young Scot called Anthony Reid was one of many ambitious, but impoverished, kids who graduated from the Image ‘academy’, somehow emerging unscathed to make his name on the world stage. The Supershell was, literally, his home.

“I’d won a scholarship at the Jim Russell racing school which gave me a free season in the Esso Formula Ford championship in 1978. I thought that was it, I’d made it, was on my way,” says Reid. “But it wasn’t a success, although just getting to the final was an achievement. So now I had to start again, but I needed a job, and I’d heard about Image at Goodwood.”

By this time the cars that came out of the Supershell building had gained a reputation for affordability and quality despite the might of Ralph Firman’s Van Diemens, and in 1974 Emerson Fittipaldi had become the first F1 World Champion to graduate from those ultra-competitive Formula Ford championships.

The Image Formula Ford car – photo courtesy of Racecarsdirect

The Image Formula Ford car – photo courtesy of Racecarsdirect

“I knew how to build a car, and fix them, having worked at Caterham, and that was useful because I crashed a lot in the early days," adds Reid. "I did a deal with Alan Langridge whereby I worked on the cars all week in return for racing them at weekends. I had nowhere to live so I camped out in a caravan round the back of the building, which was pretty tough in winter, but it was the best I could do at the time. You simply can’t imagine this happening now but we used to push the cars through a gap in the fence and go testing on the circuit,” he recalls. “The circuit is so much safer these days of course but back then we took the cars out without any marshals or medics and that would never be possible now. I crashed the car too many times, trying too hard, and Image fired me in the end. So it was back to square one.”

While working at Image Reid met Robert Synge who went on to form his own team which he named Madgwick Motorsport in deference to his time at the Supershell building. When Madgwick signed a deal with Saab to use their engines in Formula 3 Reid was taken on as a driver but the Saab was no match for the pace-setting Volkswagen engine and his career stalled again.

Undeterred, he went on to win the Japanese Formula 3 championship and the BTCC Masters, scoring an impressive tally of victories in touring cars at home and abroad.

Now a Goodwood Members Meeting House Captain, and regular Revival racer, Anthony Reid is as fast and feisty as ever. His rollercoaster career has come full circle. Back at Goodwood, but on the podium now, his caravan at the Supershell building a fond but distant memory.

  • Supershell

  • Image

  • Anthony Reid

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