Welcome to the greatest automotive event you're ever going to find. This is the Goodwood Festival of Speed and it unfolds each year over the course of one glorious weekend in June. It's the brainchild of a man known as Lord March. Yes, that title signifies a relation to royalty, and we're talking about a car party that takes place across the pond in England.
The 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed
Incredible access to incredible machines.
It's rare to get this close to Formula 1 race cars, but they litter the grounds at Goodwood. From vintage to nearly new, you can find one everywhere you look.
Nico Rosberg even showed up and drove one of his 2010 race cars up the hill.
Of course, there are modern supercars as well. This Aston Martin Vulcan was parked amongst other Aston Martins and many offerings from a wide range of supercar and hypercar producers.
A Celebration of BMW
Every year, a specific automaker is honored with a massive sculpture that stands in the center of all the action. This year it's BMW and its great successes in motorsports that earned the spotlight.
A bevy of BMW examples on the track.
BMW brought out some big guns to the Goodwood grounds. One such racing machine was this incredibly fast (and wickedly loud) M3 GTR.
BMW Art Cars
In addition to the massive sculpture and the on-track "rolling art pieces," BMW displayed a number of its own Art Cars.
The real action during the Festival of Speed occurs on the hillclimb course. This is where all manner of vehicle run up the 1.16-mile course and compete for the fastest times in their given class.
The Beast is let loose...
This is probably the only event on the planet where you'll get to see the famed Beast of Turin let loose. It's monstrous 28.5-liter 4-cylinder engine burps large flames right out the side of the engine cover.
It's essentially a furnace on wheels.
Different Visions of Diverse Power
This Renault Etoile Filante was built in 1956 and uses a gas turbine engine. It was one of the more quiet machines thanks to its powerplant, yet don't let that lack of noise fool you. With its slippery shape, this Renault hit 193 mph at Bonneville.
Don't just stare at the hill...
Alll sorts of eye candy is parked in numerous lots around the grounds. You'll see everything from the odd McLaren P1 to Tuscan TVRs and the latest high-dollar sports cars. Our eyes though? They couldn't help but be drawn in by the forbidden fruit that is the Land Rover Defender 110 pickup.
Americana on Display
One of the classes this year featured all-American machines. It was one heck of a sight to see a 1963 Ford Galaxie cruising through the paddock en route to the hill. Once out on the track, the V8 engine sung proudly and the car looked surprisingly at home.
NASCAR Brought to Britain
For even more Americana, a number of NASCAR machines were on hand to give the crowd a loud blast of the massively popular form of motorsports. In fact, one of the top 3 runs of the day happened when a NASCAR Truck driven by Mike Skinner absolutely demolished the course.
Cartier Luxury Display in Full Force
Cartier sponsored a section of the grounds that was filled with some stunning classic machines. Case in point: this gorgeous Lamborghini Espada owned by Evo-founder Harry Metcalfe.
French carbuilder Alpine had a number of vehicles on display. Most notable, perhaps, was this one-off A110 Meyrignac concept. It was designed by a Parisian teenager who was gifted the chassis from Alpine.
The party is all around you.
At Goodwood, in addition to the amazing automotive wonder about you, there's constantly a party going on. The crowd is in great spirits rain or shine, but seeing as it's England, they know how to handle both just fine.
Priceless pieces everywhere you look.
The Jaguar XJ13 is essentially priceless. Rumor has it that Jag has turned down an offer as high as $40 millon for the car. Of course, at the Festival of Speed, you can walk right up to it and poke your face inside.
Current Le Mans Winners
When we say "current," we mean it! The LMP2-winning Alpine-Nissan A460 that took the class win at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans was on hand. It was joined by the overall winning Porsche 919, as well as the GTE-class-winning Ford GT.
Vintage racers remain king at Goodwood.
With all the new machines on hand, it's still the classic racing cars that capture the most awe and wonder. McLaren had a number of such cars on display.
Celebrities take to the hill.
If there's a man who knows his cars, it's Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason. Here you can see him running a pre-war 1936 Auto Union Type C. Power comes from a monstrous 6.0-liter supercharged V16, which puts out 500 horsepower and 630 lb.-ft. of torque. It's been said that this Type C could spin the rear tires at 100 mph, hence the need for dualies!
Mercedes-AMG shows its latest all-star.
Mercedes-AMG took advantage of the assembled crowd as a way to show off its latest AMG GT R. The matte-green paintwork looked perfect against the green of the English countryside.
The roar of the exhaust? That might be a bit uncivilized... in the best way possible.
Mazda debuted a roofless spyder version of its MX-5 Miata. If the RF (Retractable Fastback) goes against your MX-5 grain, perhaps this version is the one you think Mazda should be putting into production.
Vehicles of all shapes and sizes.
Yes, this is a racing vehicle. This is a Mercedes-Benz race truck, and insane people run them in packs around circuits like the Nurburgring. It's absolutely wild to see in person.
Even wilder? The Kamaz Dakar race truck that was drifting nearly every corner and only just narrower than the track itself.
Another different sort of Benz.
This Mercedes-Benz 280E competed and won the 1977 London-Sydney Rally. It covered 18,600 miles. That makes the 1.16-mile hillclimb a bit of a breeze, no?
Drifters put on one heck of a show.
Goodwood opened its arms to the drifting world. A number of top drivers were on hand, including Mad Mike Whidett, Ken Block, and Vaughn Gittin Jr. It's Gittin you can see here making a lot of sideways smoke in his RTR Mustang.
If you're a Formula 1 fan, then the Festival of Speed is your heaven. Cars from all areas sit quietly in the paddock before they fire up to prep before their blast up the hill.
Examples raced by the likes of James Hunt and Ayrton Senna were fueled up and driven in anger before the Festival of Speed crowd.
Maybe rallying is more your speed? Goodwood has you covered there too. If you venture away from the hillclimb section, you'll find yourself in the Forest Rally Stage. Here you'll see rally cars from all eras battling through a tree covered dirt run.
Colin McRae-raced Subarus sit next to Walther Rohrl-driven Lancias. It's downright breathtaking.
When we say this is a diverse event, we truly mean it.
Scott Pruett was just one of the many talented drivers handling wheelman duty on the hillclimb. He jumped behind the wheel of a number of Lexus vehicles, including the LFA, and the new LC500.
A Blast of 'Murica
Goodwood festival goers were treated to a healthy dose of America thanks to the Camaro ZL1. It was joined by the new Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport.
Not Backing Down
No matter how old or unique the vehicle, it's driven hard. Here you can see the rear wheel about to fail on the Avions Voisin C6 Laboratoire. This rear wheel actually failed twice over the course of the weekend, yet driver and passenger escaped without incident.
Some Helping Hands
This Sunbeam V12 had to be helped off the course.
Giving it all 60 horsepower...
This 1903 Mercedes looks terrifying yet amazing as it runs up the hill.
Massive drifts were the order of the day for this fire-belching Nissan.
Many new Ferrari examples were paraded up the hill, but this FXX stood out alongside some of its less rare siblings.
The fastest car on the hill...
Cars compete in their respective classes, but there's also a shootout for the Top 20 cars.
The overall winner is this wickedly quick Subaru Impreza nicknamed Gobstopper II. It beat everything else on the hill to take the top spot. His time? 46.29 seconds, with a finish line speed of 140 mph.