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Goodwood is how a motor show should be done | comment

2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed

The people trying to re-start a real motor show in Australia should have been in Britain last weekend.

They would have learned everything they need to know at the world's most successful new car show, the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Goodwood has been running for many years, but more recently it's morphed from a garden party at the stately home of the Earl of March into a genuine motor show which draws every major maker in the UK - and beyond.

So what began as a chance for the owners of historic racing cars to exercise their old-timers is now a major event that draws more than 200,000 people each June on the same weekend as the Glastonbury music festival.

Some fantastic retired racers still sprint up the Earl's driveway but it's the modern stuff which is drawing the big crowds and the big brands.

Goodwood is an event and a destination, proving that cars are still more than just appliances for a lot of people

Mercedes-Benz uses the weekend to unveil its facelifted A45 AMG and new C63 S, Aston Martin rips the covers off its $2.5 million Vulcan and launches it up the hill, and Peugeot shows its 308 GTI for the first time. Mazda, which is the star brand at the show and has its Le Mans winning rotary 787B doing noisy demonstration runs, has its all-new MX-5 in action.

There is also a moving motor show where ordinary fans can take a passenger ride and a supercar cavalcade including all of the world's most desirable cars, right up to the 400km/h Ferrari FXX K.

And that's the real key to the Festival of Speed. The cars move and there is lots of interactivity for visitors, from off-road driving events to racing car simulators and even kiddie slides.

Did I mention Ken 'Gymkhana' Block in the outrageous Ford Mustang that starred in his most-recent internet video hit?

Old-school motor shows are just giant showrooms, but Goodwood is an event and a destination, proving that cars are still more than just appliances for a lot of people. If it can work in Britain then the same formula should be just as tasty in Australia.