Going an Autobahn mile.
BMW's got a lot to be happy about this year. After all, not many companies can claim to have been in business for 100 consecutive years, and even fewer with a past as tumultuous as Bavarian Motor Works'. Considering the brand and its subsidiaries have long-running connections with the Festival of Speed (the Rolls-Royce factory is actually based inside the Goodwood Estate, no less), it's no real surprise that BMW celebrated its centenary at the event with a wide array of models both old and new.
Headlining the commemorative displays was the monumental sculpture situated in front of Goodwood House that surely ranks up there as one of the mightiest to ever grace the skyline at the Festival of Speed. Not only were the cars attached to the central feature (BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster, Brabham-BMW BT52 and BMW V12 LMR) noteworthy themselves, but the sheer size of the sculpture was breathtaking. Kudos to artist Gerry Judah for conjuring up such a massive construction project, and a massive thank you to BMW for having the money to throw at such a feat. We don't doubt that some of that money was spent ensuring the cars in case the sculpture toppled over.
Further afield, BMW also set up shop with various other stands and fixtures to flaunt its wares. Placed in the middle of the cricket field, for instance, was an entire "avenue" dedicated to the firm's fabled M cars, with the former stable yard now repurposed during the four-day event into the ideal place through which BMW could flaunt a pair of 320 Turbo racing cars that came out of the "BMW Art Car" scheme. And, of course, there was the typically large manufacturer stand flanking the hill climb route that, though a tad diminutive in comparison with what Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar Land Rover and even Honda had rustled up for 2016, still surprised us with its vast scale. The days where BMW was bordering on bankruptcy are long gone.
The areas at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed that had us especially intrigued, however, were the racing car paddocks and the dedicated performance car displays. Not only was this year's Festival of Speed the place where quite a few BMW models (M2, M4 GTS, i8 Protonic Red Edition and so on) were making UK debuts, but the array of race winners featured at Goodwood 2016 with BMW associations was truly staggering. McLaren F1s were quite a key part of the FoS' BMW centenary celebrations, as were a whole horde of race-winning Brabham F1 cars. A pretty ace showing, if we do say so ourselves. Here's to the next 100 years, BMW.