Places Every Petrolhead Must Visit Before They Die.
Must-see destinations for all speedjunkies and petrolheads.
If you are interested in cars, there is a very strong chance there are many places you want to visit while you can. Races, Motorshows and the like. So I'm here to give you a guide to all the places you must visit before you die. I will be including motor shows, races, special events that will excite the heart and give you a James May style fizzing sensation.
Motor Shows and Exhibitions
There are a lot of global motor shows that are very big and exciting, but in the world of the petrolhead, there are only a few that matter
The Geneva Motor Show. One of the most prestigious events of it's kind. It features cars of all kinds that you could only dream of seeing in person and it's bound to leave you with memories you'll never forget. Most petrolheads dream of going, which is very easy if you live in Geneva but it's a bit of faff if you live abroad, but it is definitely worth it.
Next up we have the North American Auto Show held in Motown, Detroit. Like Geneva, NAAS features many vehicles that you wouldn't see otherwise. Perhaps just as exciting as Geneva, it's definitely gonna give plenty of good memories and no storage left on your mobile phone, because of all the car pictures to show off to your friends.
Our third epic event is SEMA, held in Las Vegas. Unlike motor shows such as NAAS or Geneva, SEMA displays all of the world's bespoke, custom vehicles and a lot of old American muscle cars. SEMA features a lot of cars such as those old American cars, and plenty of others that have been customized to their maker's content. Famous firms such as Mansory are regular visitors to this incredible event.
In fourth place, we have the Pebble Beach Concours D'Elegance, in California. If your are not familiar with what a Concours D'Elegance is, it literally translates to Competition of Elegance. People bring their cars primarily classics from Ferrari, Porsche, etc, to be judged based on the quality of the engine, the styling and the overall quality of the car. However, if you are not interested in the actual competition, this event at Pebble Beach is absolutely incredible. Beautiful classics in the most pristine condition worth 7-figure sums from owners all around the world. It is just incredible to be in the presence of such amazing cars. It's an experience you'll never forget.
Last but most certainly not least, The Goodwood Festival of Speed, in West Sussex. Oh yes, I've saved the best for last. If you don't know what The Goodwood Festival of Speed is ( and I really hope you do know), The FOS is a three-to-four-day event where cars of the past, present or future join in on a celebration of speed and power. Cars, bikes and the lot take turns in blasting up the Goodwood Hill Climb Course. Some are timed, some are just there for your amazement. Stunts, loud noises, racing legends of old and of today having fun out on the course. If you had to choose between these events, Goodwood will most certainly be the one for you.
Races and Motorsport Events
Let's be honest there are a lot of speedfreaks who really aren't that interested in racing, but visit these memorable sites, and I'm sure you'll get hooked.
The World-renowned Monaco Grand Prix is one the most, if not the most famous racing circuit in the history of Grand Prix racing. The tight corners, the incredible views and the famous corners like Rascasse or Saint-Devote. It's a must-see event for any racing fan, and if you're new to F1, it's a brilliant place to start. The tiny streets of Monaco create a wonderful circuit and one amazing spectacle for the fans.
Next up we have the Italian Grand Prix, at Monza. To any hardcore F1 fan, Monza is the Holyland, the Temple of Speed. Monza is one of the most popular races on the F1 calendar, and it's not surprising. The race at Monza is extremely exciting to watch, and because your foot is hard down for three-quarters of the race, the fans get some incredible high-speed action. The Italian GP is an incredible race to watch and it would only be better to see it in person.
The third of our Formula 1 races belongs to the Belgians. The Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. The Spa-Francorchamps is the longest circuit on the calendar, more than twice the size of Monaco, and it makes for some incredible racing. To see a Formula car going flat-out through Eau Rouge and Raidillon is a sight that many hardcore fans dream of seeing in person. When you watch the race in Belgium, it's as if every corner has been literally measured to perfection and it makes for a great fan-favourite.
Last but not least we have the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. To non-F1 fans, Silverstone is just a track, but to fans, Silverstone is Ground Zero. It was at Silverstone in 1950 where the inaugural, first-ever Formula 1 World Championship round was held. It is a race that stirs the soul of every F1 fan. It is one of the most famous racetracks in the world and it continues to provide incredible races today.
If you are a fan or not, it is highly unlikely you have never heard of this race. The 24 Hours of Le Mans. The famous endurance race began in 1923 and it gave fame to many of the best brands we know of, McLaren, Porsche, etc. It has given great races and unforgettable battles for victory. It gave us the story of Ken Miles and the battle of Ford and Ferrari for supremacy back in the sixties, as depicted in the film Ford v Ferrari. It gave us Porsche as we know them today. Bugatti, Bentley, Aston Martin all made Le Mans cars back in the 20s and 30s. It is a race that you must see in your lifetime.
Not on tracks, not on circuits, but on dirt trails and backroads, the Monte Carlo Rally is an extremely exciting spectacle. Insanely powerful cars getting up the course as fast as possible, one of the most exciting and dangerous forms of motorsport. Like Le Mans, this event fame to many companies we know today. The Original Alpine A110 won the Monte Carlo Rally, The original Mini won the Monte Carlo Rally, it is where Audi and Lancia fought for supremacy over the course of each stage. The Rallies gave Fame to Subaru, Toyota, Colin McCrae, Hannu Mikkola many great people and cars we know from rallying.
Though technically not a race or motorsport event, the Nurburgring Nordschleife is hallowed by the petrolhead. People dream of driving around it, I'd be happy if I could just walk on it. It is a place where every petrolhead can let their hair down and put their feet down. Driving around the Nurburgring is such a memorable experience and just want to keep driving and driving and you don't ever want to stop. Also home to the Nurburgring 24H and Formula 1 races of old.
Museums and Monuments
Of course, it's not just races and motor-shows, there are plenty of places to go to calm down or reminisce. Museums, Monuments and such.
The Museum of Ferrari in Maranello is a place to go to admire the legendary cars, learn about the history of the incredible company we know today, and buy novelties from the gift shop. No, the exhibits don't race around, but real petrolheads get excited by being in the presence of such incredible of the past and the present. It's like a cathedral to the petrolhead, a place to go and worship the king, Ferrari.
For the next destination, you stay in Italy. You go to the state of San Marino, and a place we know as Imola. Behind the barrier at the Tamburello bend, you will find a statue, but this is no ordinary statue, this a monument for Ayrton Senna. In 1994, Tamburello is the corner that claimed the life of Ayrton Senna, and the egos of many others. To see this memorial is rather incredible and rather heart-breaking at the same time. It is amazing to see and gives the memory of that fateful afternoon. However, that doesn't make any less of a must-see destination.
Well, there you have it. If you are a true petrolhead, these are places you can't die without seeing.