Dreams change the world. This has always been the case. Ferry Porsche once dreamed of a car that didn’t yet exist, so he built the car of his dreams. And so, the Porsche 356 ‘No. 1’ Roadster launched the Porsche brand and what would become the Porsche legend. Seventy-five years ago, on 8 June 1948, the car received its general operating permit. 

Attending the Goodwood Festival of Speed as a guest of Porsche last month, upon entering the hallowed grounds of Goodwood on the Friday, even the light rain and muddy walkways did nothing to dispel the sudden and intense onset of sensory overload, increasing as the day unfolded, and spilling over into the rest of the weekend.

This year’s event marked a double celebration – the 30th anniversary of the Festival of Speed and the 75th anniversary of Porsche’s first-ever sports car, the legendary 356. Being a lifelong Porsche enthusiast, I could not have asked for a better place to witness history unfold as a collection of stories about pioneering spirit, feats of engineering, and courage.


As the honoured marque at this year’s event, Porsche put on a grand display that showcased the very essence of its legacy. The Goodwood site became a haven for Porsche lovers, with extensive static exhibits and immersive displays.

Taking centre stage, a bespoke sculpture, a work of art crafted by Gerry Judah, featured six cars that represented the journey of Porsche over 75 years – a tribute that left a lasting impression on all who beheld it. The sculpture showcased a 1951 356, the car that started it all, a 1960 718 Formula 2 car, a 1990 962C, a 2009 911 Type 997 Sport Classic, the iconic 959, and the latest 911 Type 992. These cars illustrated Porsche’s evolution over the years and captured the essence of engineering excellence and innovation with which the marque has become synonymous.


Two cars stood out among the myriad Porsche models conquering the challenging 1,870-metre hillclimb. The 1948 356 ‘No. 1’, the very first Porsche sports car, made an awe-inspiring ascent up the iconic Goodwood hill, leaving spectators in awe of its historical significance and timeless design. It was an emotional moment, witnessing the car that started it all, roaring to life once again and gracefully taking on the hillclimb. Little did we know then that the next day, by virtue of a twist of fate, we would enjoy a drive in this very car!

But the excitement didn’t end with the vintage classics. The recently unveiled Porsche 718 Spyder RS made its global debut at Goodwood, and it was a sight to behold. Its sleek lines, aerodynamic prowess, and powerful engine mesmerised the crowds as it tackled the hill with precision and grace, embodying the spirit of Porsche’s racing heritage.

Apart from the awesome static displays, the Goodwood hill witnessed a breathtaking parade of Porsche cars that showcased some of the greatest racing cars from the past 75 years. Names like the 917, the 935/76, and the 919 Hybrid, driven by legends such as Richard Attwood and Timo Bernhard, evoked a sense of nostalgia among the spectators.

Around 20 cars, carefully curated by the Porsche Heritage and Museum team, were sent from Zuffenhausen to Goodwood, ensuring that Porsche’s historic legacy was well represented. Alongside the legendary drivers, Porsche factory race driver Nick Tandy, winner of Le Mans in 2015 in the 919 Hybrid, Kévin Estre and Michael Christensen from the current Porsche 963 driver line-up, and Porsche Ambassador, 2015 WEC Drivers’ Champion and former Grand Prix winner Mark Webber, added a touch of star power to the festivities.

A special celebratory Porsche parade congregated around the central sculpture and climbed the famous hill twice each day. Led by the 356 No 1, the parade included the experimental 928 ‘Trigema’ racing version from 1983, the Cayenne Transsyberia, a 959, a 911 ‘Type 993’ Turbo S, and the very special 911 ‘Type 991’ – the millionth 911 to be produced since the model was introduced in 1963, and yet another car that we would get to drive the next day.


One of the highlights at the Porsche Experience stand was the Mission X concept, a futuristic hypercar with Le Mans-style doors and an efficient electric powertrain. Its striking design and cutting-edge technology hinted at the future of Porsche’s performance line-up, leaving visitors in anticipation for what’s to come from the marque that turns dreams into reality.

And there it was, making its global debut – the Vision 357 Speedster, an all-electric masterpiece with subtle nods to the iconic 356. Its elegant yet aggressive design showcasing Porsche’s commitment to sustainability without compromising on pure driving pleasure.

Throughout the festival, the Porsche stand offered a delightful experience with a display from Porsche Classic, where meticulously restored vintage models showcased the timeless beauty of Porsche’s iconic cars. The Porsche shop was a treasure trove of exclusive merchandise and memorabilia, and a haven for Porsche enthusiasts to take home a piece of their passion.

To add to the festive atmosphere, the Porsche hospitality stand provided a perfect spot from which to observe the start line and first sweeping corners of the hillclimb, not to mention an opportunity to relax and savour the moment amidst like-minded enthusiasts, complete with coffee selected and brewed by Porsche’s own barista.


Despite an unexpected twist due to high winds causing the cancellation of the Festival on Saturday, the innovative minds at Porsche made sure the show went on. With an impromptu festival outside the Festival, we were treated to an array of exhilarating activities, including test drives on the beautiful roads around West Dean College, just a few kilometres from Goodwood. Porsche’s dedication to ensuring an unforgettable experience for guests was truly commendable.

Around 15 cars, including a Porsche tractor, were taken out of the Festival site to the media base at the beautiful and very accommodating West Dean College, a college of arts and further education. Here we were able to drive many of the Porsche Museum cars on the small private roads of the estate, and – in the case of the 911 Dakar and Cayenne Transsyberia – taking them off the roads and into the rolling hills on the grounds. Race cars, including the 917/30, were demonstrated with a thundering start-up by the Heritage team.

Thanks to the Museum teams’ dedication, model line experts came to West Dean to hold interviews, while designer Ingo Bauer-Scheinhütte gave workshops on car design. A barista from local coffee roaster Cast Iron gave classes in making the perfect cup, adding to the bespoke and luxurious experience.

Apart from the once in a lifetime opportunity to drive a wide range of Museum cars on the estate grounds, a personal highlight included long test drives on the beautiful country roads around Goodwood in some of the most sought after Porsches, all of them sporting a manual gearbox. Next month we’ll include a special report on these cars, but suffice to say the new GT3 RS is even more powerful and potent than what you may have imagined. Similarly, the GT3 Touring may well be the most ‘complete’ Porsche ever, ticking every conceivable box. And then there were the 911 Carrera GTS, and 911 Carrera T, two very different beasts, but each extremely compelling in its own right.  

All the cars were returned to the Festival again overnight, ready for spectators to enjoy on Sunday, where once again, the Festival of Speed showcased the epitome of driving excitement with Porsche’s exquisite line-up of road-going cars, inspired by the ethos of Ferry Porsche’s original dream. From the latest 911 GT3 RS and the 911 Dakar to the mid-engined 718 GT4 RS with the circuit-optimised Manthey Kit and the powerful new Cayenne S, each model personified Porsche’s relentless pursuit of performance and innovation.

The festival’s dynamic atmosphere was further amplified by the presence of legendary Porsche racing cars that had graced the tracks of history. The 917, driven by 1970 Le Mans winner Richard Attwood, and the 935/76 were testaments to Porsche’s illustrious racing heritage.


As the Festival ended, I couldn’t help but reflect on the incredible journey of Porsche. From their humble beginnings with the 356, to their cutting-edge electric concepts, Porsche’s passion for innovation and driving excellence had only grown stronger with time. Fittingly, the 30th-anniversary celebration at the Goodwood Festival of Speed was not merely an event; it was a symphony of history, craftsmanship, and performance, orchestrated by Porsche’s unwavering commitment to their legacy and the undying love of their enthusiasts. 

The memories of this extraordinary occasion will be cherished for years, and I can’t help but feel a sense of sincere gratitude for being a part of this moment. As a Porsche guest, even if only for three short days, I was not only an observer, but also an active participant in the legacy of an iconic marque and its pursuit of innovation, performance, and driving pleasure.



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