Already for 26 years, car fans can find rare, bizarre and expensive cars at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Westhampnett in the southwest of England. The actual center of the event, the so-called “Hill Climb”, ie the hill climb of the manor Goodwood, now accounts for only a fraction of the event.
Not even a thousand inhabitants count the small village, about 125 kilometers southwest of the metropolis of London – but every summer thousands of visitors flock to the community. Around 150,000 car enthusiasts romp around at the Festival of Speed, one of the craziest auto events in the world, founded in 1993 by Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, also known as Lord March or Duke of Richmond.
Already on arrival, visitors are greeted by the smell of scented air, and what knowledgeable eyes see gets under the skin. There is something for just about all automotive tastes. Highly bred 600-horsepower Supersportler from the House of Ferrari or Lamborghini form alternately times a V8 or V12 soundscape, while the Riley sedan from the sixties is responsible for the olfactory enrichment. The profane automobile individualist with tight budget accesses the Golf IV with exotic V5 engine and sports his unusual mechanical engineering flair model lettering.
More patience than cars
Traveling to Goodwood House always means having a bit of patience. The traffic jams in front of the huge lawn or, depending on the weather, also muddy parking lots – are sweetened for the car fan by the offered four-wheeler, according to the motto “the road is already a bit of a destination”.
Arrived on the festival grounds, the bouquet of perceptions becomes more colorful. It is a fair of the automotive world. Manufacturers of all stripes praise their products like at a car show. Of course, the car-lover can handle that. There stands on the side of the Ford tent quite informally a new GT – highly limited and half a million euros heavy supercar, which one would meet in the wild at best in Las Vegas in front of a luxury hotel. And two rows further on, a duck aka Citroën 2CV fights for attention.
Alfa Romeo has arrived with much celebrity – brand designer Scott Krugger and Formula 1 racing driver Antonio Giovinazzi frolic on the stand, where the compact hybrid concept Tonale, which should be the harbinger for Alfa’s next new release next year, and the extroverted painted Stelvio Quadrifoglio Racing Edition to radiate the bet.
But even beyond the manufacturers, there are still plenty of cars to discover: So you can without any reservations in the paddock, including the historic racing sports cars plus drivers. There are precious items such as various Bugatti from the thirties or Ferrari from the fifties of considerable value as well as cars from the beginning of the last century, which in turn have participated in the famous Targa Florio.
Well-known auction houses are trying to bring rare wheeled pedestals to the man or woman with a thick wallet. And if you can not afford such babies as Bristol 400 Zagato or Bugatti Type 57S Atlantic, then you can at least inspect the vehicles extensively, if only with the eyes.
The resurrection of De Tomaso
De Tomaso, the long-lost car brand, is using the stage of the Festival of Speed to present its mid-engine V12 sports car, the P72, just for its 60th anniversary. It will be interesting to see whether the 72 copies, each priced in a way that is almost inexpensive, are actually being built, each worth three-quarters of a million euros.
As you stroll along the race track, historic and modern racers of all kinds, including the original Alfa Romeo Formula 1 race car, give their all to subjecting human hearing to an endearing test in a bewitching manner. Even the all-electric race car Volkswagen ID.R does not remain silent when in its element. Volkswagen has made the journey to the south of England to show that it is also possible to set electric records for hillclimbing and proves that with the fastest ever timed ride. Porsche introduces the new Taycan as well as the next generation of free-spinning suckers in race derivatives of the 911.
After a long experience with countless steps on the grounds of the festival, the Ferris Wheel is the perfect way to end the eventful day and catch a final glimpse of the entire area. And if you do not start too late on Saturday afternoon, you can even manage to get home in no time. Surrounded by rare, bizarre and expensive cars you stay on the first kilometer of the way back as well.