Historics at Laguna Seca. Photographs by Mark Charles.
again several thousand vintage and classic car racing enthusiasts
made the pilgrimage to the Laguna Seca Raceway for the 29th Monterey
Historics. Held every August it is the U.S. mecca for petrolheads.
year it was the turn of the Chevrolet Corvette to take centre stage
as it celebrated it's fiftieth birthday. It originally saw the light
of day in 1952 as a dream car, came into production in 1953 and
hit the race track in 1956. I'm sure every model of this American
icon was on display from the earliest 50's version through the Sting
Ray and the 454 engined cars of the seventies to the latest 2002
of Tony DeLorenzo
of Lance Smith
open wheelers from the Edwardian era to the muscle cars of seventies
was something for everybody. Whether your taste was the 4.9 litre
1913 Deltal or a 1925 Bugatti T37 from the twenties or from the late
forties a 4.5 litre Talbot-Lago T-26C. Under the Californian sunshine
these classics from days gone by provide a spectacular sight as they
scrabble for grip on their skinny tyres.
from the fifties and sixties are always well represented with a selection
including Ferraris, Jaguars and Mercedes. Every year the products
of Maranello are in evidence usually with at least a Testa Rossa and
a 250 GTO and this year was no exception. Wherever you find a prancing
horse there is usually a leaping cat nearby and Laguna Seca followed
the trend with a variety of Jaguars including XK120, C types and D
forgetting the Jaguar engined specials such as Hagemann, Lister and
Parkinson. When you have a collection of Jaguar racing cars what better
to transport them in than the original Ecurie Ecosse transporter from
the fifties. Brought over from England by Dick Skipworth it moved
from the track to nearby Pebble Beach for the concours on Sunday.
Corvette as the featured car this year there were many cars out on
the track providing that beautifully raucous sound that can only be
produced by a powerful V8. Most of the early sixties cars were running
engine capacities of 5.3 litres with those from the late sixties running
up to 7 litres. Standing just a couple of feet from the track as they
thunder past the sound makes the ground vibrate.
diminutive in engine size are the cars in the sports racing class
for under 2500cc that include
the 1100cc Lotus 11. Additionally there were Lotus 15s, Lolas and
a couple of Porsche RSKs.Lotus 23s outnumbered the opposition in the
penultimate race on the Sunday afternoon with Joel Matta from Toluca
Lake California bringing his across the line first followed by Tom
Byrnes in a Brabham BT8.
the ultimate in powerful and deafening V8s the last
race on the Sunday was hard to beat.With 5 litres under the bonnet
of the Camaros, Dodge and Mustangs they must have seemed like Goliaths
to the 2 litre Alfa GTV and BMW 2002s. Jim Hague from Santa Clara,
California was victorious in the last race and once more the Monterey
Historics were over. Until August 15 2003 that is.........
©Charles Motors 1999-2004