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Twenty years ago, Lord March had the idea of inviting some friends with interesting cars to have a run up the drive past Goodwood House.

He expected a modest crowd - and 25,000 people turned up to watch. The Festival of Speed was born.

Two decades later and the event is the biggest car culture event on the planet, with 180,000 people flocking to the Goodwood estate near Chichester each year to experience the sights, sounds and smells of racing cars old and new.

The 2013 festival next weekend is set to be a memorable ‘greatest hits’ package, celebrating the best of the first 20 years. It will feature the biggest, best, fastest, loudest and most outrageous vehicles of all time.

Goodwood aims to recapture many of the outstanding moments from the 1993-2012 era, whether that’s great cars making a rare return to the UK or famous car/driver pairings being reunited for a special weekend.

No other event combines such a diverse collection of hundreds of cars and motorbikes with a star-studded line-up of drivers and riders in one place.

Plus you can get up close to the action and get autographs and a few words with your heroes.

From today’s F1 racers and 200mph roadgoing supercars to steam-powered carriages of the 19th century, and from 3,000bhp top fuel dragsters to classic rally cars, the festival features something marking every motoring era.

Famous faces this year will include Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg, plus past racers such as Sir Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Alain Prost and Emerson Fittipaldi.

The centre of attention will be the 1.16-mile hillclimb course as cars and bikes go against the clock.

But away from the track there’s the forest rally stage, a celebration of 50 years of Porsche and an aviation show, plus transport of the future in the FoS-Tech pavilion, amazing two-wheeled stunts in the Goodwood Action Sports arena and the Junior Festival of Speed.

The Festival of Speed runs from July 12-14, with the Moving Motor Show held on July 11. Admission is strictly by advance ticket only, with under-12s free.

Saturday tickets are sold out, but other days are still available. Call 01243 755055 or go to goodwood.co.uk.