Arguably the most appealing aspect of the Festival of Speed, now firmly established as one of the staples of the motoring summer, is that the event means something different to each of the 180,000-plus visitors who pass through the gates of Lord March’s country pile.
The four-day extravaganza – from the curtain-raising Moving Motor Show on Thursday through to the three days of the Festival proper – is now so vast that it is a challenge to absorb it all in one go.
From Thursday morning until Sunday evening, the West Sussex estate is turned into a celebration of road cars, competition cars, motorcycles, aviation, stunt machines and so much more.
Here, then, is our alphabetical guide to some of the highlights to the stars and cars at this year’s Festival of Speed.
A is for...Anniversaries
Maserati is celebrating its centenary at Goodwood and will show off the largest collection of models it has ever assembled at the Festival of Speed.
Headlining is Maserati Alfieri Concept, which will be making its UK public debut. The Alfieri concept is a sleek 2+2 sports car which hints strongly at the future of the Italian brand’s design philosophy. A second UK debut is the GranCabrio MC Centennial Edition, which will also be on the Maserati stand.
Also on show will be an array of some of Maserati’s most iconic machines from across the eras including the 1960 3500 GT and 1964 Mistral Spyder as well as original first generation Quattroporte and Ghibli models from the 1960s.
Alongside the classic cars, Maserati will be showcasing its current line-up in full; the newest Ghibli Diesel, as well as the Quattroporte Diesel and a GranTurismo MC Stradale featuring a special carbonfibre bonnet.
The Italian manufacturer is also getting its own exclusive hill run classes and a special category in the Cartier concours d’elegance.
In other anniversary news, Peugeot is celebrating 30 years of the GTI this year, with the landmark 205 GTI first terrorising B-roads in 1984. An enhanced 208 GTI 30th Anniversary Limited Edition will make its world debut at Goodwood. The car will be on static display in the Moving Motor Show and drive on the hillclimb at speed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Also see…Abarth. The ferocious Abarth 695 biposto will take on the hillclimb. The supercar-baiting front-wheel drive machine has the most powerful engine ever installed in a road-going Abarth, a 187bhp HP 1.4 T-jet unit. The car weighs just 997kg and can accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.9sec. The 695 biposto will be joined by a 595 Competizione and a highly specified 500C on the Abarth stand.
B is for...Bentley
Road and track align for the Crewe manufacturer, which is showing off the new high-performance version of the Continental GT inspired by its GT3 racer. Named the GT3-R, this two-seat, 572bhp V8 monster is described as the “fastest-ever accelerating” and “most dynamic road car” in Bentley’s history.
The inspiration behind the GT3-R – the Continental GT3 race car – will be piloted up the hill by modern-day Bentley Boy David Brabham. Three historic Bentleys will also take to the hill. The Speed Six Bentley, known as ‘Old Number 1’, won Le Mans in 1929 and 1930 with Woolf Barnato partnering Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin (1929) and Glen Kidston (1930) as well as winning at Brooklands. This unique and celebrated racing car will be accompanied by two more classic Bentleys. ‘Old Number 2’ and ‘Old Number 3’ are both in their original form and raced alongside Old Number 1 at Le Mans in 1930. Le Mans legend Derek Bell will drive the Continental GT V8 S road car up the hill.