Automotive

5 must-do pilgrimages for motoring disciples

5 must-do pilgrimages for moto...
BMW was the featured marque at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed
BMW was the featured marque at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed
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BMW was the featured marque at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed
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BMW was the featured marque at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed
This DTM classic was one of the beautiful touring cars on display at Goodwood this year
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This DTM classic was one of the beautiful touring cars on display at Goodwood this year
BMW V12 LMR at the Goodwood Festival of Speed - an event that should be on every car lover's bucket list
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BMW V12 LMR at the Goodwood Festival of Speed - an event that should be on every car lover's bucket list
Classic F1 cars are among the crowd making the run up the hill at Goodwood
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Classic F1 cars are among the crowd making the run up the hill at Goodwood
Sir Jackie Stewart makes himself at home
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Sir Jackie Stewart makes himself at home
McLaren conquered Le Mans, now it's conquering the Goodwood hillclimb
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McLaren conquered Le Mans, now it's conquering the Goodwood hillclimb
The Bugatti Chiron made its first public run at Goodwood
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The Bugatti Chiron made its first public run at Goodwood
Legends come out for Goodwood every year
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Legends come out for Goodwood every year
The Jaguar D-Type on the move at Goodwood
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The Jaguar D-Type on the move at Goodwood
Two-wheeled terrors get a run at Goodwood too
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Two-wheeled terrors get a run at Goodwood too
This was the quickest vehicle at this year's Speed Week
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This was the quickest vehicle at this year's Speed Week
Forget Studebaker, here's a "Stupidbaker"
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Forget Studebaker, here's a "Stupidbaker"
Lined up on the start line at Bonneville
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Lined up on the start line at Bonneville
Honda took its R&D Streamliner on the line at Bonneville
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Honda took its R&D Streamliner on the line at Bonneville
Who said family SUVs need to be boring?
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Who said family SUVs need to be boring?
Two wheels and four are welcome at Bonneville
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Two wheels and four are welcome at Bonneville
On the line and ready to run at Bonneville
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On the line and ready to run at Bonneville
Some of these cars might be owned by amateurs, but they're still serious about setting records
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Some of these cars might be owned by amateurs, but they're still serious about setting records
Some of Speed Week's best metal
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Some of Speed Week's best metal
Sometimes, less is more
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Sometimes, less is more
F1 in Monaco is all about excess
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F1 in Monaco is all about excess
Yachts, parties and cars is what Monaco is all about
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Yachts, parties and cars is what Monaco is all about
Coming out of the tunnel, drivers are flat out and blinded by the sun
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Coming out of the tunnel, drivers are flat out and blinded by the sun
Yachts in Monaco harbor
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Yachts in Monaco harbor
The Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 at Monterey Car Week
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The Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 at Monterey Car Week
Some modern metal on display at Monterey
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Some modern metal on display at Monterey
Aston Martin and Zagato teamed up on this drop-dead gorgeous Vanquish
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Aston Martin and Zagato teamed up on this drop-dead gorgeous Vanquish
Rimac turned heads with its Concept One 
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Rimac turned heads with its Concept One 
Even Acura put on a show at Monterey
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Even Acura put on a show at Monterey
The BMW 2002 is a classic, and looks incredible today
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The BMW 2002 is a classic, and looks incredible today
BMW paid Hommage to its past at Monterey Car Week this year
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BMW paid Hommage to its past at Monterey Car Week this year
Auction houses had a field day at this year's Monterey Car Week
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Auction houses had a field day at this year's Monterey Car Week
This was one of the 30 most expensive cars sold this year at Monterey Car Week 
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This was one of the 30 most expensive cars sold this year at Monterey Car Week 
Porsche has an impressive back collection of racers
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Porsche has an impressive back collection of racers
RM Sotheby's turned over some impressive metal this year
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RM Sotheby's turned over some impressive metal this year
Buyers come from around the world to see the offerings at Monterey
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Buyers come from around the world to see the offerings at Monterey
This is now the most expensive British car sold at auction 
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This is now the most expensive British car sold at auction 
The Lamborghini Centenario is an expensive birthday gift 
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The Lamborghini Centenario is an expensive birthday gift 
The Rimac Concept One at this year's Geneva Motor Show
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The Rimac Concept One at this year's Geneva Motor Show
An Arrow on the floor of the Geneva Motor Show 
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An Arrow on the floor of the Geneva Motor Show 
Lykan putting on a show at Geneva
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Lykan putting on a show at Geneva
We're still in love with the wheels on this 675LT Spider
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We're still in love with the wheels on this 675LT Spider
Citroen's concept on the floor of the Geneva Motor Show
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Citroen's concept on the floor of the Geneva Motor Show
Italdesign presented a fascinating concept at Geneva this year
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Italdesign presented a fascinating concept at Geneva this year
The Opel GT is a tantalising taste of what GM Europe could offer
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The Opel GT is a tantalising taste of what GM Europe could offer
Believe it or not, this was once a BMW i8
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Believe it or not, this was once a BMW i8
The future looks bright for racing with Roborace
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The future looks bright for racing with Roborace
The Roboracer won't need a driver
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The Roboracer won't need a driver
Roboracers look unlike any racer we've seen before 
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Roboracers look unlike any racer we've seen before 
Formula E is a quiet take on what modern racing should be 
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Formula E is a quiet take on what modern racing should be 
Formula E takes on the city streets
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Formula E takes on the city streets

From Cars and Coffee to Le Mans, there's an incredible range of festivals, rallies, shows and meetings where auto enthusiasts can indulge in their passion. But what if you had to choose just five events to slot into your bucket list? The question has been playing on our minds here at New Atlas, so we've put together five of our favorite celebrations of motoring passion.

Goodwood Festival of Speed

Two-wheeled terrors get a run at Goodwood too
Two-wheeled terrors get a run at Goodwood too

Regular, classic motor shows don't have the same appeal they used to. Sure, there's a heap of new cars sitting in the one place, but there's something very sterile about seeing them sitting on a rotating platform. Cars are all about passion, a passion that can go missing under harsh convention center lights.

Goodwood has been providing a living, breathing, moving alternative to the classic motor show since 1993. Rather than limiting the pool to modern or classic cars, it's designed to be a celebration of speed and power across the ages, which means there's an incredible mix of classic and modern metal on display.

When we say on display, what we really mean is on the move. Cars line up at the bottom of a hillclimb – which, for 95 percent of the year is a driveway – and put on a show for the crowd. Forget about carefully tiptoeing up the hill as drivers rip massive burnouts on the start line, and there's usually a spin or dramatic accident to keep the crowd entertained.

Everything from classic Formula 1 cars to modern brutes like the Bugatti Chiron took on the climb this year. You can check out all the action here.

Bonneville Speed Week

On the line and ready to run at Bonneville
On the line and ready to run at Bonneville

If it's out-and-out speed you're after, it's hard to match Bonneville Speed Week. That's because the famous Utah flats have an unrivalled history in the world of high-speed running. It's played home to speed record attempts and racing since 1914, and countless records have been set on the salt since then.

Sir Malcolm Campbell was the first man to hit 300 mph (483 km/h) at Bonneville in 1935. Craig Breedlove broke the 500 mph and 600 mph (805 and 966 km/h) barriers on the salt. The famous flats have played host to some of history's bravest (or stupidest) pilots, determined to make a white knuckle run into the record books.

In 1949, the Southern Californian Timing Association held its first Speed Week, drawing a new crowd of amateur drivers to the salt. From well-funded professional teams to optimistic backyard enthusiasts, anyone is welcome to roll up and push their machines to the limit.

New Atlas' Chris Weiss immersed himself in this year's Speed Week festivities, and came away with a serious case of salt fever. Check out his write up here.

Formula 1 in Monaco

Yachts, parties and cars is what Monaco is all about
Yachts, parties and cars is what Monaco is all about

Formula 1 is a sport in transition at the moment, trying to balance modern turbocharged powerplants with classic, dramatic ideas about what the pinnacle of motorsports should represent.

The best way to compensate for the lack of drama is to go and watch a race in Monaco. With absurdly expensive yachts moored in the harbour, absurdly expensive cars sitting in the hotel valet carparks and absurdly expensive drinks flowing freely, even the most discerning visitors are likely to be taken aback by the sheer excess on display.

And, if you manage to take a break from the schmoozing, there's usually some impressive driving on display around the tight street circuit. It's a pure test of skill, meaning the driver in the fastest car isn't necessarily a shoo-in for the trophy. Make a mistake (someone invariably does) and the result isn't a friendly run into the gravel trap, it's a race-ending meeting with a barrier.

Ayrton Senna burst onto the scene at the drenched 1984 Monaco GP, and the streets played host to one of the great modern F1 dramas when Michael Schumacher parked his car on the exit of Rascasse to deny Fernando Alonso a final flying lap in qualifying.

If it's drama and classic excess you're after, no Formula 1 race can come close to Monaco.

Monterey Car Week

The Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 at Monterey Car Week
The Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 at Monterey Car Week

Every August, the immaculate lawns of Monterey play host to some of the world's most significant cars. Although it's best known for the classics that go up for auction, manufacturers are starting to use it as a launch pad for their latest concept cars, too.

This year was a particularly productive one for the auction houses. The XKD 501 Jaguar D-Type became the most expensive British car to sell at auction, going under the hammer for US$19.8 million. Meanwhile, from the other side of the Atlantic, a $13.75 million 1962 Shelby Cobra 260 Roadster toppled the record for most expensive American-produced car.

Average modern cars might struggle to stand out among such impressive classics, but that wasn't a problem for the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 at this year's event. Also flying the flag for modern luxury was the Cadillac Escala, while the BMW 2002 Hommage proved the Germans can still sex it up as well.

The combination of old and new – and the opportunity for visitors to enjoy it all under the Californian sun º make Monterey a must-visit.

Geneva Motor Show

Italdesign presented a fascinating concept at Geneva this year
Italdesign presented a fascinating concept at Geneva this year

Alright, so the idea of paying admission to a stuffy convention center might not be everyone's cup of tea, but Geneva is the best of the best.

On top of the usual cocktail of supercars, trucks and regular launches, it's chock full of wild concepts. Pininfarina, Italdesign, Sbarro and Rinspeed all put on a show in Switzerland, showing the big manufacturers how it's done in the world of pinup poster cars and crazy designs.

Forget about Detroit and Frankfurt, Geneva could easily lay claim to being the one motor show worth visiting every year.

One for the future: Roborace and Formula E

The Roboracer won't need a driver
The Roboracer won't need a driver

Formula E is still finding its feet, and Roborace is yet to turn a wheel in anger, but both promise to provide a fascinating spectacle for even the most grizzled motorsports fans.

If it's a unique spectacle you're after, Roborace is shaping up as one of history's most interesting competitions. After all, there are no drivers behind the wheel. Instead, cars are controlled by a central processor drawing on information from an army of cameras and sensors scattered around the body.

The cars are unique, the premise is unique, and we can't wait to see how it all shapes up.

Of course, there are far too many interesting auto events that take place across the globe for us to list here, so if there's one not listed above that would make your list, let us know in the comments.

2 comments
Michael Wilson
Yes, thanks for the article. These, along with the Detroit Auto show, Vallakra Treffen, and Tokyo Auto Salon are now on my bucket list. Thanks again!
yawood
Not to mention the Mercedes, Porsche and BMW museums in Germany and the incredible Cité de l’Automobile in Mulhouse France with its amazing collection of Bugattis, among all the rest, in an incredible display.