Few words get a car enthusiast more excited than these- 'Goodwood Festival Of Speed'. Even the phonetics of the name is enough to reduce many fans to a trembling mess, as they fantasise about an old Ferrari 275 GTS gliding gracefully round Molecomb or a world record setting Formula 1 car surging seamlessly through the chicane. The festival promises entertainment both on and off track in what has always been a quintessential gathering of the world's best offerings of automotive engineering.
Personally, having never been before despite my love for cars, I was desperate for the day to come when I finally stepped through the gates to be greeted by all sorts of cars- new and old- speeding up the hill through the picturesque grounds of Goodwood House.
Still being in my teen years (just!), I was naturally drawn to the astonishing display of modern supercars on show at this year's event, giving much less attention to the classics as they deserved. The Michelin Supercar Paddock was filled with manufacturer's very best high performance pieces, ranging from the 'luxury-meets-speed' Koenigsegg Agera RS to the through and through track thoroughbred that is the McLaren P1 GTR.
Without fail, the Festival Of Speed provides the perfect platform for new releases to make their public debut. This year, I was excited to see the all new Ford GT after a long wait since its unveiling back in 2015. I was expecting to be taken aback by its controversial yet revolutionary design, and it certainly didn't disappoint. It shares few characteristics with its older, first generation brother- yet there's still clear inspiration from the original GT40 design back in the 1960s and the 2006 model that pays homage to it. For this reason, demand for the new Ford GT is great, with 2017's production slots filled within days. It's a very exclusive car; with production limited to 250 per year until 2020 and the first 500 models being sold only to customers invited by Ford to buy it. Unsurprisingly, given the car's heritage and performance, the initial £320,000 price tag is expected to rise considerably as the car ages- making it a great investment if you're lucky enough- and wealthy enough- to get your hands on one!
Some other cars that I was thrilled to see in the Supercar Paddock include the Pagani Huayra BC, Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato and Lamborghini Centenario- a car that I was fortunate to see earlier in the year in Central London. It was one thing to see these cars parked up in the paddock, but at Goodwood there's also the opportunity to watch them blast up the inaugural hill climb too- it's what sets this festival apart from the rest!
I could have easily spent the whole day just in the Supercar Paddock, but I did manage to pull myself away to look around some of the other sections, lured mainly by the classic Ferraris over in another field. Although my knowledge and passion for older cars is wavering at the best of times, there were certain cars among them that even car novices can have an appreciation of.
How could I write this entire article without making mention of the Bugatti Chiron? There were two at this year's Festival Of Speed, and eagerly anticipate seeing more of them in the future! There's much more GFOS content for me to cover, but I'm going to wrap up this post here. I'll leave you with a few Chiron shots!