The Central Feature at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed – the sculpture soaring 26 metres over Goodwood House, weighing 160 tonnes and measuring 90 metres in length – has been unveiled in spectacular style by Lord March and Head of Mercedes-Benz Classic, Michael Bock.
Created by artistic genius Gerry Judah, the sculpture is the most complex and ambitious yet conceived and is a fitting celebration of 120 years of motorsport heritage by Mercedes-Benz and its founding fathers.
Swooping over Goodwood House, the curve – which spans 45 metres – tested the artistic and engineering ingenuity of the team of specialists assigned to making Gerry Judah’s concept a reality.
Two cars spanning 80 years form an integral part of the sculpture – a replica of the 1934 Mercedes-Benz W 25 Silver Arrow, like that raced by Manfred von Brauchitsch to victory “first time out” at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, and a MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 W04, the same chassis raced by Lewis Hamilton in 15 Grands Prix in 2013. The car forms a special part of recent racing history, having taken Lewis Hamilton to five pole positions, and to victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Together, the W25 and the F1 W04 show the first – and currently last – of the eight-cylinder Silver Arrows Grand Prix machines. This years’ car, the F1 W05 HYBRID, has a 1.6-litre V6 turbo PowerUnit, and is currently leading the F1 Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships.
Michael Bock commented: “The sculpture goes beyond my wildest expectations. It’s truly amazing and an apt focal point for what promises to be a vibrant celebration of the most thrilling, most charismatic and most beautiful racing machines ever created. Our support of the Festival of Speed is stronger than ever this year as we celebrate 120 years since Daimler-powered cars won the first motorsport events in 1894. These tentative first steps set us on a course that’s led us to where we are today – here’s to the next 120 years of thriving competition, both on and off the track.”
In unveiling the sculpture, Lord March explained: “This year’s Central Feature is the most architecturally and artistically challenging sculpture that we’ve ever had at Goodwood and it’s a testament to the out-of-the-box thinking of Gerry Judah, which is very much aligned with our philosophy of constant innovation around the Festival of Speed. The result is a truly spectacular sight for all our Festival of Speed visitors to see.”
Gerry Judah added: “It is a tremendous opportunity to be asked by Mercedes-Benz to create a sculpture to celebrate their 120 years of motor racing. For this we have pushed the limits of what is possible with size and complexity in engineering, with a 160 tonne steel arch connecting two of their great historic cars over the top of Goodwood House. The sculpture also celebrates the dynamic between Mercedes-Benz and the Festival of Speed, which for me is a pleasure and a privilege to be involved with.”
The unveiling was accompanied by spectacular fireworks and a pack of Mercedes-Benz road and race cars making a dramatic and unique run up the Goodwood Hill in darkness.
A century-old Mercedes Grand Prix car, an SSK from 1928, the mighty W 196 R from 1955 and a fire-breathing Sauber-Mercedes C9 from 1989 were joined by a distinctive SLS AMG Black Series, emerging from the darkness with striking glowing bodywork for the occasion.
All five cars will be joined by an array of iconic Mercedes-Benz cars from over the decades as the track action kicks off on Friday.