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The Goodwood Festival of Speed is a lot of things to a lot of people. For some, it’s the one auto event in the calendar year that really celebrates the history of the auto industry. For others, it’s a spectacle of some of the finest race cars and performance cars in history. Then there are those who go to the event just to see what the vibe is like. No matter where you fall in any of these groups, there’s an underlying agreement that nothing encapsulates the Goodwood Festival of Speed more than the event’s central feature, which traditionally takes the form of massive sculptures commissioned by automakers that are chosen by event organizers. More often than not, these companies are chosen if they’re celebrating a particular milestone that year.
The central feature has become a prominent fixture at the Goodwood Festival of Speed since 1997 when Ferrari was invited to serve as the marque of the event. Over the next two decades, a who’s who of the world’s top automakers have taken center stage with their own central features. Companies like Jaguar, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Renault have been featured more than twice, while other companies like BMW, Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Ford, Lotus, and Alfa Romeo have had their turns as well. In fact, since 1997, this year marks the very first time that the event’s central feature will be about a person, not an automaker. Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is going to be given that honor, a fitting nod to the man who brought the glitz and glamor back to Formula One.
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