The Cars Of The 2018 Festival Of Speed Put Nirvana In Motion
Photography by Nat Twiss
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is the only garden party you’ll want to attend in the summer. Half of the invited guests are the greatest cars and bikes on the planet, and the other half? Some of the greatest drivers to have ever existed, mixed in with a few fans like myself. Since 1993, it’s been the high watermark of both vintage and modern automotive events, and now, 25 years on, it’s only getting better.
Maybe it’s the heat of July, maybe it’s because F1 is on summer break, or maybe it’s just because a season of motorsport is actually a hell of a lot of work, but by the time midsummer rolls around it feels like time for a weekend blowout with less emphasis on scoring and points and more emotional indulgence in the cars and the memories they carry. Thankfully, the Duke of Richmond is only too happy to be the gracious host for one of the best get-togethers that fits this criteria. For one weekend each year, the race circuit down the road is left silent and the noise comes to the front door of Goodwood House itself.
It’s a loud bunch of guests, spilling and smoking and making an absolute racket. At times the Festival of Speed can be a little overwhelming to witness in person. Between blistering summer heat amplified by the tight quarters produced by the comparatively huge crowds and the screaming V10 that’s just fired up in the tent next to you, it can be a bit much. The best fix is to do a pass through the paddocks upon arrival, find some shade at the side of the hillclimb, grab a beer, and then watch the drivers wrestle the cars up the hill for the afternoon session.
There was only one word on people’s lips this year, or at least it seemed that all anyone was talking about was Porsche. We have another article just for the outstanding cars that came over from Stuttgart, but even if they’re not your cup of tea, there was a lot to love this year. From the bonkers electric VW Pikes Peak racer going up the hill at maximum velocity, to late Le Mans prototypes like the CLK LM, to the latest work from Singer, you’re guaranteed to leave the Festival supremely satisfied and with your eardrums ringing.
The greatest thing about events at Goodwood, whether it’s the Revival or the Festival of Speed or the Members’ Meeting, is proximity. Wander the paddock, peek under the rear cowl of a Porsche 917K, and then have a chat to Walter Röhrl. Even if you couldn’t make it this year, we have you covered with the sights from Chichester.