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With about 550 classic racecars lapping Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca over the course of the weekend, the Monterey Motorsports Reunion might be one of the largest vintage racing events in the country, maybe even the world. It was certainly one of the highlights of the lavish Monterey festivities last weekend.
This year's featured marque was Maserati, which was celebrating its 100th anniversary, and plenty of trident logos could be found on track, ranging from the 250F grand prix car to some of the company's later sports cars. Of course, with 15 groups of classic racers, there was basically something for any motorsports fan. Among the highlights were the Trans-Am race that brought together rumbling hunks of American muscle to jostle for position on track. There was also a fantastic class from the '50s and '60s with Ferraris, Corvettes and even a Volvo P1800 and Toyota S800 racing together.
Watching these iconic racers back on track at full pace was just a revelation to see, smell and hear. There were too many fantastic cars to list them all, but feel free to check out Autoblog's huge gallery from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to see if you spot your favorite racecars of yesteryear.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The Pebble Beach weekend is without a doubt one of the preeminent classic car gatherings on the calendar. But while most of the events that make up the weekend are essentially static displays, our favorite may be the Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. That's where you can actually see classic racing cars doing what they were made for in the first place. And every year, organizers of the event select a featured marque.
Last year it was the Chevrolet Corvette. The year before it was Shelby, preceded by Jaguar the year before that. But next year, the classic racing event will feature Maserati, which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. And to make the occasion extra special for the Modenese marque, next year also marks the 60th anniversary of the most celebrated racing cars ever made by Maserati (or any other constructor, for that matter): the Maserati 250F (No. 4 above) famously piloted by the likes of Fangio and Moss in 1954.
Fittingly, the Trident marque got its start in racing back in 1914 with the debut of the Tipo 26 that put Maserati on the map with a debut victory in the 1926 Targa Florio. Although you don't much see it competing at top levels these days, Maserati went on to win the Indianapolis 500, the Formula One World Championship and, more recently, the FIA GT1 World Championship.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The entry list for all of the events in this year's Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion totaled 15 single-spaced pages long. That's explains how the field for this past weekend's Trans-Am race contained 41 cars, which is a larger field than ever competed in a real Trans-Am race.
The hero car in the photo above is a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport driven by Bruce Canepa, who won the Group 5A event for 1963-1966 GT Cars over 2500cc. Also on track throughout the day were pre-war racers like a 1932 MG NE and other two-up English entries, the original Morgan 3 Wheeler, sky blue single-seat French competitors like a 1934 Bugatti Type 59, and the high-driving red devils from Alfa Romeo and Maserati. Post-war treats include a BMW M1, Ferrari 250 GTO SWB, and bulbous, Speed Racer-looking Can-Am monsters.
Click on our huge high-res gallery above and enjoy a leisurely stroll back through time.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Chevrolet is already the featured car the Monterey Motorsports Reunion races, but it's also aiming to make a big splash outside the track. The Bow Tie has put all seven generations of production and racing Corvettes up to the C7 (which of course, doesn't have a racer based on it yet) on display for fans. You'll recall that Shelby made a similarly grand display last year, showing off several historic Cobras.
Spectators can easily trace the Corvette's evolution from its humble roots, up through its days as a muscle car (the C2 on display is particularly gorgeous), and on to its current place as a world-class sports car. As for the racers, it's interesting to see not just how the Corvette evolved as a racecar, but how racecars themselves evolved from the stock-looking C1 to the C6-based Z06-R GT3 car.
We've got images of both the racers and the production cars in a complete gallery, and will have images from the actual races later this weekend. The Monterey Motorsports Reunion is set to run from Friday through Sunday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.Permalink | Email this | Comments
It's been 50 years since Carroll Shelby stitched together the first Cobra. In the intervening half-century, the little British car with a big American engine established itself as an icon of the automotive industry. To celebrate the car's golden anniversary, Shelby American and Ford assembled a collection of some of the most historically significant Cobra models in existence at Laguna Seca as part of this year's Monterey festivities.
In addition to CSX2000, the first Cobra built, visitors to the track have a chance to get within whiffing distance of cars like CSX2002. The little red roadster was the third Cobra to roll out of Shelby's workshop and served as the first factory Cobra race car. Peter Brock, Ken Miles and Dave MacDonald all had a stint behind the wheel, and the car functioned as a competition test mule that would help shape future Cobra models for years to come.
A total of 12 cars make up the collection, including the very first big-block car, CSX2196. Miles plopped a 427 into a 289 chassis for the very first time in an effort to best the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport racers competing with Shelby at the time. The trick worked, and Miles set a precedent for a long line of 427-powered snakes. Even with its big engine, CSX2196 is said to weigh in at just 1,800 lbs thanks to its light-weight "fliptop" body. Both the front and back-sections can flip up to reveal the chassis and suspension underneath. Check out the gallery for a full look at all the cars on hand. You may also take a look at the complete press release below.Permalink | Email this | Comments