The 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed will be particularly notable this year, as the nation’s favourite motoring event celebrates its 25th anniversary. The central feature sculpture, always a dramatic display marking a significant manufacturer milestone, will this year recognise the 70th anniversary of Porsche cars.
Production of the first Porsche sports car started back in 1948 in a saw mill in the hills around Gmünd, Carinthia, Austria. Strictly speaking, Porsche has already manufactured three sports cars back in 1939, the Type 64 (or 60K10), but these were produced under different circumstances and specifically for the Berlin-Rome race. The Second World War intervened, and it was only after the cessation of hostilities in Europe that Ferry Porsche was able to turn his mind to producing a production sports car that bore his family name.
The first Porsche 356, the famous No.1 Roadster, was homologated by the state of Kärnten in Austria on 8 June 1948, hence the ‘K’ in the car’s registration of K45-286. This vehicle was a mid-engined Roadster but Ferry Porsche quickly realised that for a series production sports car, a mid-engine layout was going to be impractical and expensive to build. The next 356 (No.2), was already a rear-engined vehicle, and so the production of Porsche’s first family of sports cars, the 356, was set in motion.
Now, 70 years on, Porsche will be celebrating this milestone throughout 2018, and what better way to make this known to the broader public than to make a big splash at the Goodwood Festival of Speed which takes place between 12-15 July. This will in fact be the third time that Porsche has sponsored the Central Feature Sculpture (1998, 2013 and 2018).
“Porsche has been one of our most loyal and enthusiastic partners, supporting the Festival of Speed since 1995, and the Revival since 2010,” said The Duke of Richmond and Gordon. “This year Porsche will become the first manufacturer to create the central display at the Festival for the third time, underlining the huge contribution from this iconic manufacturer of world-beating racing cars and road cars.”
A never-before seen parade of Porsche cars that have helped define and guide the company’s vision over the years – be it on race circuits or roads – will feature in action on the Goodwood Hill. Two participants that can be confirmed already include the company’s crown jewel – the 1948 356 No.1 from the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart – and the most recent legend in Porsche motorsport history, the 919 Hybrid LMP1 race car, winner of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship.
Alexander Pollich, Managing Director, Porsche Cars Great Britain, commented: “We thought long and hard about how best to celebrate the 70th anniversary of our sports cars and how we could share this with enthusiasts, Porsche fans and owners here in the UK. The Goodwood Festival of Speed will be the perfect setting – allowing the cars that, over seven decades, have made Porsche so unique and so special, to be seen, and heard, in action. Watching a 917 spear its way past the famed ‘Flint Wall’ is a Hill highlight I’m very much looking forward to this July.”
These will feature alongside static exhibits and immersive displays at the incredible Porsche Experience Centre. The Porsche stand hosts the company’s latest road cars, and this year will be joined by models that provide a glimpse into the future. Visitors will be able to participate in an exhilarating passenger ride in the all-new Cayenne, as well as take the wheel of a race car virtually via simulators.
At the heart of the Festival will be the Central Feature Sculpture – designed by artist Gerry Judah, who has been responsible for every one of the incredible, physics-defying works of automotive art created especially for the event. More details of this and the Porsche cars, both old and new, participating in the Festival of Speed will be released in the coming months.
More information on the Goodwood Festival of Speed can be found at www.goodwood.com
Edited by: Glen Smale
Images by: Virtual Motorpix/Glen Smale and John Mountney, Porsche