If you read my previous post about the carpark at Goodwood you’d know the offtrack action can justify the entry cost alone. The same too could be said about the manufacturers ‘tents’ and the vendors stands. I say ‘tents’ because these things are a dealership in themselves.
I didn’t realise before attending that as there is no longer any London Motorshow so the manufacturers take Goodwood very, very seriously. For example Mercedes-Benz unrevealed their new AMG GTR and Aston Marton the new GT12 Vantage Roadster. Even Bugatti used the event to showcase the new Chiron to the UK public and drove it up the hill for the first time.
So with a sales forum of this scale they certainly go all out. Ford was the most eye catching. At three stories tall the stand stood out from all over the Goodwood manor grounds. Draped among signage badges of RS, ST, GT and was the slogan ‘Let go of what you know’ and ‘The leap’. The tie in being kids could jump from the first storey onto an air bag below. Throughout the day they had parkour specialists doing routines jumping from the very top in a display of physical prowess. For the fanboys like me they had meet and greets with Mr Gymkhana Ken Block and US drift legend Vaughn Gittin Jr.
The foot traffic it generated was quite clever as it also drew people to explore inside. As you ascended you passed their product range including the new Ford GT in real life form and also one in miniature Lego form. The top level also served as a free public viewing platform with panoramic views and binoculars.
The Jaguar and Landcover stand wasn’t so much as a stand but a small city block. For free you could line up for a professional driver to take you to do burnouts and figure 8 drifts around a purpose built one way system track. On the return the cars where were spun on a turn style back to face the right direction. Land Rovers went over an off road track with special trailers designed to tip and show off there climbing capabilities. Inside the stand was built around mature oak trees so no problem, give the kids remote control cars to play with in the grass. All the product lines, paint samples, merchandise were on display and for purchase. Upstairs a catered VIP lounge served for special guests of the brand.
Mercedes-Benz AMG were located at the first corner where they had erected a viewing grandstand up close to the action with a big screen. Inside a restored Mercedes 300SL sat pride of place while hung on the wall was a current Formula One car.
Given the assault on your senses manufacturers need a ‘thing’ to draw the crowd in. Nissan had virtual reality googles which took people on a drive in a GTR, VW had Playstation’s set up with steering wheels and Porsche had interactive touch screens to spec your ideal Cayman or 911. Or you could go out and experience how good a Cayenne was in the mud. A giant field became the playground for sliding, drifting and wheel spinning the Porsche people love to hate.
Teslas two story site had a naked chassis which demonstrated how the platform is put together and hundreds of muddy feet were allowed to go through an sit in the new Tesla Model X to check out its Falcon Wing doors.
McLaren had there 570s range on display along with a 70’s Can Am car and 675LT spider. Pay £2 to charity and you could have a sit and a photo in the drivers seat. Throughout the days they also had guest speakers such as Jenson Button and Emerson Fittipaldi.
Speaking of McLaren if you belonged to the Goodwood Members Club there tent had some quite special guests parked out front. A McLaren F1 GTR and McLaren P1 GTR in stunning Lark livery owned by Andy Bruce (check out @andy74b on Instagram).
Goodie bags were an old fashioned and sure fire way to get people in participating. The NGK challenge for example gave a goodies bag to change a spark plug the fastest while overlooking a 2014 Ferrari F1 car.
After all this walking round and you decide you can’t quite stump up the readies for a new car why not get a t-shirt instead? Well, merchandise is covered in quite a spectacular way. You could buy anything from a Red Bull F1 cap to a brake pad or wheel from that actual Red Bull F1 car. Ever wanted a table and chair set like Clarkson put together on Top Gear from the 928? One like that was there. And if that was too small? Well you could go a step further and get a board room table made from a DC3 aeroplane wing or coffee table of an old radial engine (oh did I also mention that Goodwood also has a airshow on the adjacent golf course?!). All the bases we cover with multiple outlets selling Gulf clothing, original motorsport paintings and signed memorabilia, die cast models of every scale and budget.
Goodwood takes trade displays to a new level. Take the crowd selling paint protection film, you need a car to show the product, so why not use a gold McLaren P1?! Or an egnine degreaser with an Aston Marton DB9R Le Mans racer. 3M had a live demonstration for their products by wrapping a Huracan over the weekend. Everything you could possibly ever dream of is there and on a scale you can’t quite believe.
So again, taken out of context of the weekend, the trade stands and merchandise tents are an event in themselves.
What all of this does is get you fizzing for the main event- the racing! And I’ll cover the pit lane that off in detail soon. So stay tuned, subscribe, and I promise it’s worth the wait….