The Automotive Hall of Fame goes abroad!
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is a legendary auto event in England. Hosted on the grounds of the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, the event takes place over a four-day weekend and involves anything from major displays from OEM’s and manufacturers to drifting events and the infamous Hillclimb. Just to give a quick history lesson, the festival was founded in 1993 by Lord March in an effort to bring motorsports back to the Goodwood Estate. The first ever event took place on Sunday, June 13th, 1993 and hosted a small number of entrants and a crowd of 25,000. In the next years, Lord March chose dates that wouldn’t clash with the 24 Hours of Le Mans AND Formula 1, and Friday and Saturday were added to the event. In 2010, the festival became a four-day weekend and have been attracting crowds as large as 100,000 since.
Some of the best parts of this festival, which were available throughout the weekend, were the amazing displays in the paddock from OEM’s and other automotive partners. This also included the Central Feature, a major art installation at the center of the festival, which highlighted the 70 year relationship between Goodwood and Aston Martin, a relationship that has been around long before the Festival of Speed. The massive sculpture had the Aston Martin DBRI and was designed by Gerry Judah. The Central Feature is a yearly tradition for Goodwood and always catches the attention of festival goers.
There are several paddocks from Mercedes Benz and McLaren having some of the most extensive displays of their, shall we say art? We even got to see a Lego version of a McLaren Senna on display which reminded us of the Lego Chevy Silverado at the Detroit Auto Show. Mercedes had their race cars on display, celebrating 125 years of racing, with some of the vehicles dating as far back as 1932. The one shown below is a 1937 W125. One of the more traditional aspects of this auto show is the Cartier Style et Luxe, which is similar to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The concours entry is by invite only and judged by a panel of celebrities from varying backgrounds. Celebrating 70 years of Abarth, this event showcased Abarth vehicles like a silver 1950 205 Monza, a gold 1957 750 GT Spider by Zagato, and a red and black 57 750 Sperimentali ‘Goccia’ by Vignale.
Another major display was the Future Lab, a more recent addition to Goodwood that focuses on new technology and innovation in the industry. The Future Lab featured five different display sections that included: Smart Cities, the Future of Flight, and Life in Outer Space, Robotics & AI, and Earth Future. Something that stuck out to us in Smart Cities was an art installation by Stanza called The Nemesis Machine that depicts an urban city mad e entirely of circuit boards. The Aeromobil was also on display…now this is something to see, it’s a car and an aircraft. The Future Lab is a great place to visit if you are interested in seeing what is next and what could be the auto industry 10 years from now.
There is one element that sets Goodwood apart from almost all auto shows and that’s their immersive and experiential Hillclimb and the Drift Arena. Both elements help show the power and agility of some of the industry’s best. There are drift paddocks, race courses, and more all there to give a great show to festival-goers who are looking for more than cars lined up behind stanchions. Different cars from different generations took their shot up the Hillclimb and drift champions show off their style. Guests were also able to see the legendary Sir Jackie Stewart make a run up the Hillclimb with his two sons with Sir Jackie driving his winning 1969 Mantra-Ford MS80 and his sons Mark and Paul in the 1971 and 73 Tyrrell-Fords.
We are so happy we got to experience this one-of-a-kind auto show in England, it’s not every day that the Automotive Hall of Fame gets to travel outside of Dearborn, MI! We are looking forward to next year’s festival, loving the idea of a major auto show in the summer. Could this be similar to what we see at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next summer? We hope so!