It’s 20 years of Goodwood Festival of Speed goodness this year, and they are not messing about. Huge manufacturer stands – 4 storeys tall for Ford! – and plenty of new model unveilings, mixed up, of course, with all that is wild, rare and wonderful from the world of racing, tearing up the famous hillclimb course. Here’s our Motor-Vision round-up of what we liked from our lengthy stroll around the show on Thursday. If you’re heading down you will be happy!
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is seen by many manufacturers – small and niche, and the big boys – to be the place to show of their new models, and indeed their passion-enthusing heritage fleets. To that end you’ll see huge stands packed with cars and attractions.
Audi always build a big stand – like the house of your dreams, full of all your favourite Vorsprung durch Technik – but this year while the Audi area still gets its own exclusive postcode, the team at Ford have really reached for the sky. Four storeys tall and packed with new Fiesta STs – THE hot hatch of the moment and already selling well ahead of schedule.
The lawn attractions
Bring your walking boots because Goodwood is bigger than ever. The lawn full of classics is always a treat and with the usual Ferraris, Lambos and McLarens are simply stunning cars that you’ll see nowhere else together. Design studies from the 1930s that flow like a swooping bird, priceless exotica and celebrity rides like Rowan Atkinson’s one-of-just-over-100 original McLaren F1s. It’s a tribute to British workmanship and engineering that this super-supercar was ever conceived, and indeed that Rowan’s is at Goodwood, because he keeps crashing it! It looked mint in burgundy paint though.
The there’s the Supercar Paddock that houses all of the latest and fastest. The Jaguar Project 7 looked lovely in the aluminium-flesh; small and nimble but with a big supercharged V8 heart, and gorgeous Le Mans-inspired retro design touches.
Just behind these boyhood dreams is the McLaren stand; executed in the usual peerless McLaren style of things. Formula One race cars – real ones! – and the new P1 are just part of an historic and modern display of 50 years of McLaren. The P1 might be packing over 900bhp, but in person it’s small, bulging and clearly looking for trouble.
You might think the posh ol’ Goodwood would turn its well-healed nose up at modified car culture, but there is a small, yet perfectly formed, display of the slammed and the sexy tucked away in one grassy corner.
The Forge Motorsport MK1 Golf of incredible detail and stance, as well as a full rack of very choice, low-riding VAG-led motors. It’s all about the alloys with this top-notch tuning display, and those that love wonderful rims will spend a good half-an-hour here.
The Porsche sculpture
It’s 50 years of the 911 this year and the whole of the 2013 Festival of Speed gets a distinctly Porker-flavour. And that’s no bad thing. Every 911 you’ve ever fallen in love with and some heroic race cars – it’s all dotted around Goodwood, including three 911 reaching high into the sky. An original early-60s model, a 1970s bad-boy and the new, so-sleek 991 are the three fliers.
The massive structure is supported by a permanent concrete and steel supporting structure that delves some 30 feet into the earth under the flying cars, and vertigo is all but guaranteed if you look straight up at the 3 curving coupes framed by a beautiful summer’s blue sky.
Running though the heart of this petrol-powered-paradise is the famous Goodwood hill. Climbing up through the estate and brushing shoulders with stone buildings and very big trees, the hillclimb is a test of machine and manhood. All day your ears will be assaulted by the best of the best in the fastest of the fast. Find a spot by the track and just stand there all day. Your neck will crick and your ears will ring, and you will be besotted over and over again.
By Dan Anslow