We already knew that 2016 would be BMW’s year to shine and it seems appropriate that this is the first time ever that the German automaker will be given pride of place as the central display at the legendary Goodwood Festival of Speed. The full schedule regarding what to expect from the 24th annual edition is being kept a secret until April 12 but the organizers confirmed April 8 that the marque of honor is BMW.
Of the decision to choose the company, which celebrates its centenary this year, the Earl of March, the festival’s founder and the owner of Goodwood house, said: “BMW has created many landmark cars, and has an exceptional motorsport heritage in Formula 1, Formula 2, at Le Mans, and in a variety of touring car series around the world.”
It means that visitors will get to see some of the rarest and most exotic cars in BMW’s history, including a 60-year-old BMW 507 and a 1965 1800 TiSA being put through their paces on Goodwood’s hill-climb course. Fans of things that go very quickly on two wheels will be happy to learn that BMW’s motorcycle division will also be out in force on the circuit with a 1966 BMW R50 S Kaczor, a 1976 BMW R90 S 76 and a 1929 WR 750 Kompressor expected to compete.
Each year, the towering Gerry Judah-created sculpture that stands outside Goodwood House is adorned with actual legendary cars from the marque of honor. And, for 2016 the festival has chosen the BMW 328 Millie Miglia Roadster, the Brabham-BMW BT52 (designed by Gordon Murray, shown above), and the BMW V12 LMR (pictured top) that won Le Mans in 1999. “The sculpture will feature three cars which epitomize BMW’s competitive instincts and pursuit of technology,” said The Earl of March.
Other BMW-themed exhibits will include ‘M’ Avenue, a walk through the 40-year history of the M badge starting with the original M1 plus special concept models not just from BMW but its other brands – Rolls-Royce and Mini – that are being built to mark the company’s first 100 years in business.
“I am delighted that we will be celebrating our landmarks and achievements at Goodwood this year,” said Graeme Grieve, BMW Group UK’s Chief Executive Officer.
The 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed takes place in West Sussex, UK June 23-26. This year’s theme will be “Full Throttle – The Endless Pursuit of Power.”