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Goodwood 2016: BMW and Mini- the conceptual stretching of brands?

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There didn’t seem to be as many concept cars at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year as there usually are, but those which did appear are worth a bit of discussion.

The two I present to you here are both from the fevered imagination of BMW, one being displayed in a courtyard of Goodwood House, amidst the German marque’s centenary celebrations, the other on show centrally in the MINI pavilion elsewhere on site.

I know that neither of them are new, but it’s the first time I’ve seen them in the flesh and both concepts gave me mixed emotions. But what do you think?

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Goodwood: Jaguar Land Rover – Prototype dealership of the future?

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If you have a substantial quantity of money or a credit entitlement ring-fenced for purchase of a car, you trot down to your chosen car dealership and, well, a painfully mundane experience soon unfolds.

You turn up, introduce yourself at the reception desk to find out whether a salesman can be roused from their slumber. If one appears, you’ll then embark on a programme of mutual interrogation. He wants to know whether your financial situation warrants his further interest, he also wants to know what type of car it’ll take to part you from your cash. All the while, you’re growing impatient. You want to try the car out. See if it warrants your further interest.

Meanwhile your kids are beating seven bells out of each other, your significant other has reached hitherto unseen levels of boredom. There must be another way?

Yes. Yes there is. Come with me an explore the Prototype Car Dealership of Tomorrow. It’s like E.P.C.O.T, really. Without the schmaltz.

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Goodwood: Ferrari- Age shall not wither them.

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The Ferrari 312P is one of the more unmistakable shapes that sports car racing ever saw, and has been appearing in magazines, historic racing almanacs and luxuriously produced history books in six decades.

It’s a 48 year old shape, with technology under the surface of equal vintage. Yet it’s still more than capable of showing those impetuant youths a thing or two.

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Goodwood’s Roaring Forties: An Orgy Of Ford GT40s.

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Anybody here like Ford GT40s?

I know that not everybody is totally giddy with glee about the way Ford its class at Le Mans this year, but that does nothing to undo anything that the near mythical sports-racer has achieved.

Fittingly, this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed played host to more GT40s in a single location than I have ever experienced, or indeed thought possible, before.

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Goodwood: The UK’s premier auto shopping street

Chris Haining June 26, 2016 Goodwood

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The Goodwood Festival of Speed reminds me what it is I don’t like about motor-shows. Mostly they take place in massive indoor halls, great for protection from the weather, but terrible for natural lighting. Therefore, a zillion lightbulbs machinegun the whole place with lumens from every possible direction creating a constant, uncomfortable glare. Furthermore, there’s the claustrophobia. No matter how vast the building, there’s nowhere to go but the stands. Every vehicle is surrounded by throngs of people, some of which are possibly only on the stand because they haven’t successfully managed to get off it.

These and many other factors conspire to make the average motorshow a sterile, unnatural experience, worsened by the brainwashed drones who are probably rewarded for every set of customer contact details they can extract from you.

Goodwood is different. It isn’t even a motorshow, really, but the corporate aspect of it is unbelievably well executed. Every year a tiny new city of individual showcases appears here, only to vanish just four days later. It’s the kind of thing that really should be a permanent fixture somewhere as a go-to venue for car companies to impress us.

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Aston Martin V12 Vantage S: Taking A Visceral Trip

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So, what makes an Aston Martin?

Well, it needs to be powerful, of course. Something like a V12 with 554hp would be great. Ideally, if it’s still possible it should be normally aspirated. You should be able to hear the engine gasping in big lungfuls of air and the throttle should crack open instantly. It needs to be beautiful, too. The proportions should be spot-on, the silhouette should be unmistakeable, yet there should be no excess. No flamboyance or ostentation. It should look expensive, but somehow not flashy.

And it should exude a slight air of menace. There should be latent violence lurking beneath those fluid curves. The car in these photos, for example, with its carbon fibre grilles and hungry intakes. It’s a Aston Martin Vantage S V12, and it has a manual, seven speed gearbox. It may be the most Aston of all current Martins.

And I’ve just experienced it.

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Slip Slidin’ Away: Wet and Wild at Goodwood

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When you’ve got a couple of hundred classic cars, many of which are historically significant, some of which are utterly priceless, you have to be careful. As we all note every time we read the reverse of our ticket, “Motorsport Can Be Dangerous”. Bad things can happen on even the best, tamest or driest racing surfaces. Add standing water to your blacktop, and you’re gonna have a bad time.

The Goodwood Hillclimb is performed on a narrow ribbon of concrete, lined with harder-than-you-think straw bales and, towards the top, a solid flint wall.

So, rain stops play at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, right?

The hell it does.

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Automotive Nirvana: Welcome to Goodwood

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It’s the greatest show on Earth, probably. As I type this a gentleman has just lightly crashed a Porsche 917 Pan Am, causing very mild cosmetic damage to the venerable, vulnerable aluminium panelwork, probably causing more, altogether uglier, damage to his underpants in the process. Meanwhile, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd is powering a 1936 Auto Union Type C up the hillclimb.

This could only be the Goodwood Festival of Speed, 2016. Welcome.

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Bulges and Muscle: The Jensen C-V8

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It must be over-exposure to Interceptors that has numbed my brain to such an extent that I’d forgotten about the forerunner that iconic glassbacked bruiser. Indeed took a good few seconds before my brain had parsed what, exactly, it was being confronted by.

Of course, I proclaimed to myself. It’s a Jensen. A C-V8; the brutal follow-up to the 541. Pleased to re-acquaint myself with it, I spent the next ten minutes walking around it and drinking in all those details that I had, shamefully, forgotten all about.

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The Carchive: The MG RV8

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I’ve got my bolt-cutters and flashlight, please join me with your balaclava and soft soled shoes so we can quietly break into the abandoned Leisure Centre of time and throw ourselves down the wobbly waterslide of motoring past. Welcome, once again, to The Carchive.

Last week we looked at Rover Groups great white hope for the resurgence of MG in the ’90s, the MGF. Well, I’m feeling pretty comfortable here in pre-millenial Britain so let’s hang back for a little bit. Actually, no, lets wind backwards to ’92 and look at the other roadster that Rover tried to tempt us with that decade.

It’s the RV8.

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