Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Events Previews -


It’s the ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated Good­wood Fes­ti­val of Speed this week­end. And with this year’s 23rd stag­ing of the event mark­ing the cen­te­nary of BMW, the ex­trav­a­ganza will kick off in style with founder Lord March com­plet­ing the very first run up the hill in a £2 mil­lion ex­am­ple of the mar­que.

The sprint along the 1.16-mile course will be com­pleted in a V8-pow­ered 1957 BMW 507, just 252 of which were built from 1956 to 1959. With a then­ex­pen­sive price tag of £3200, it was ma­chine owned by the likes of Frank Si­na­tra and Elvis Pres­ley.

But don’t worry if you miss Lord M’s 9am run on the 23rd, the first day of the fes­ti­val. There will be plenty of other things for the ex­pected 200,000-strong crowd of vis­i­tors to see over the rest of the three days of what has been de­scribed as ‘the world’s largest mo­tor­ing gar­den party’.

Ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ers will be show­ing off cur­rent and clas­sic mod­els around Good­wood House and a Bon­hams auc­tion should pro­vide some af­flu­ent pun­ters with the ul­ti­mate sou­venirs of their visit.

There will also be a rally track, but the main ac­tion will, as al­ways, be on the hill though, liv­ing up to the 2016 theme of ‘Full Throt­tle – The End­less Pur­suit of Power’. A num­ber of celebrity drivers will be try­ing to outdo each other. Will the record of 41.6 sec­onds be bro­ken this time? They in­clude Sir Stir­ling Moss, Brian John­son of AC/DC, Derek Bell, Emer­son Fit­ti­paldi, Ger­hard Berger, Sir Jackie Stewart, John Sur­tees, Jen­son But­ton, Martin Brun­dle, Nick Ma­son of Pink Floyd, and Rene Arnoux, to name but a few.

Cur­rent F1 glit­terati Lewis Hamil­ton and Nico Ros­berg top the bill. They and their col­leagues will be driv­ing ev­ery­thing from aero-en­gined pre-war cars to to­day’s GP rac­ers, in­clud­ing Sil­ver Ar­rows and CanAm mon­sters.

The cen­tre­piece sculp­ture will take BMW as its theme, de­signed by reg­u­lar artist Gerry Ju­dah. ‘Ev­ery year, I like to think of some­thing that is very dif­fer­ent to any­thing we’ve done be­fore. The crit­i­cal thing for these pieces is that they have to be iconic,’ he says.

‘This year will see the wildest, fastest, cra­zi­est, bad­dest cars and bikes ever to as­cend the Good­will Hill,’ com­ments Lord March. ‘There will be lots of noise, speed, colour and, of course, power. That’s what the Fes­ti­val of Speed’s all about.’


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