- The Goodwood Festival of Speed, one of the world's top enthusiast events, celebrates its 20th anniversary in the U.K. over July 12-14.
- Goodwood is planning a "Greatest Hits" extravaganza drawing from the past 20 events to mark this special anniversary.
- Among the celebration themes this summer - 90 years of the Le Mans 24 Hours; 60 years of the World Sports Car Championship; 50 years of the Porsche 911; 50 years of McLaren and 50 years of Lamborghini.
GOODWOOD, England — Judging from this week's preview event, the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed in the United Kingdom promises to be one to remember.
It's been 20 years since Lord March decided to set up a hillclimb through the backyard of his elegant country estate. For that first experimental Festival of Speed, he wasn't sure how many would come - 5,000 people, maybe 2,500?
Instead, Goodwood drew a crowd of 25,000 the first time out in 1993 and this renowned auto festival — with its stellar entry list and unique garden-party atmosphere — has never looked back.
For this summer's event, Goodwood has decided on a kind of "Greatest Hits" package, inviting back many of the great cars, motorcycles and personalities that have appeared since that inaugural event.
Along with this, several anniversaries will be marked in that special Goodwood way: 90 years of the Le Mans 24 Hours race and 50 years of the iconic Porsche 911.
Goodwood also will salute 50 years of Lamborghini, 60 years of the World Sports Car Championship and 50 years of McLaren.
Setting the scene, two cars from McLaren, a current MP4 12C Spyder and the fabulous 1970 M8D Can Am car fronted Goodwood House at the crowded Festival of Speed Media Day on Wednesday.
Among racing's top names, Alain Prost, the four-time F1 World Champion, will return to Goodwood again this year. Formula One is an integral part of the Festival of Speed appeal and Goodwood already has confirmed that seven F1 teams, including Ferrari, will be at the event this July.
From the U.S., Peter Fonda will again ride up the hill on his Easy Rider chopper. Motorcycles, as well as rally cars and modern production cars, fill the Goodwood menu too, as the event gets bigger, bolder and more spectacular with each passing year.
In an interesting footnote, there were nearly 140 cars at the Media Day event, more than at the inaugural Festival of Speed back in 1993.
True to form, the Goodwood creatives were also hard at work again.
The U.K.'s Great Train Robbery, a massive heist which stole a then-record £2.6 million (the U.S. equivalent of $3.9 million), happened 50 years ago in 1963 and the raid has since become a piece of folklore. Goodwood had its press room dressed up with "policemen" counting money to mark the anniversary of this daring heist that still grips the public's imagination.
Edmunds says: Expect something really spectacular from the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year, which has the makings to perhaps be the best ever.