Monterey Classic Car Week rolled onto the Monterey Peninsula with a variety of events and racing, striking the proper chord for the upcoming week. Last Friday, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca teamed up with the Fisherman’s Wharf Association for the Monterey Motorsports Reunion Classic, presented by Jaguar. The free event included historic race and sports cars, live music and a raffle featuring prizes from the raceway and wharf businesses.
Bob Tullius, the driver who helped re-establish Jaguar’s name in North American motorsports and took the Jaguar factory back to Le Mans for the first time in 31 years during the mid-1970s through the ’80s, will be a featured guest at this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, which will take place Friday August 19 through Sunday, August 21. On Saturday, Tullius will address a host of vintage car racing enthusiasts during “A Picnic with Jaguar” to be held on the Center Lawn of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.
Part of the celebrations at this weekend’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is a unique display of vintage dragsters, commemorating the National Hot Rod Association’s 60th anniversary. Organized by Kingdon Drags, which itself celebrates its storied past with the 6th annual Return to Kingdon in September, the dragster display will feature a variety of drag racing vehicles from the ‘60s.
For those who love Jaguars and know their ABCs, this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is promising a thrilling if not profoundly educational experience. Jaguar C-, D- and E Types as well as XK120s were among 550 cars practicing today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, which has Jaguar as its special marque and starts tomorrow with qualifying sessions that will set the grid for weekend racing among 17 groups of historic automobiles.
When fans at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion aren’t watching racing, they have plenty to explore, including the race paddocks, shops in the Yamaha Marketplace and special display, such as this year’s museum-quality Jaguar Heritage Display, which expertly chronicles the history of Jaguar and the development of its most important cars.
The roar of vintage cars racing today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was like the sound of music to thousands of motor racing and historic automobile enthusiasts attending this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Racing took place in nine of 17 groups, representing just over half of the 550 cars entered, which can fairly be said to represent the full, rich lineage of motor racing in this country and abroad. (The remaining eight race groups compete Sunday.)
How do you narrow down a list to 550 cars from more than 800 applicants, each with historically-significant race cars? That’s an arduous task for anybody, but this year’s Governing Committee was up to the challenge and the results are in the paddock before your very eyes…and ears.
One of Rock and Roll’s most enthusiastic lead singers on stage is the rock band AC/DC’s Brian Johnson. His enthusiasm intensifies, however, when he puts on his driver’s suit and climbs into his 1965 Lola T-70 like he will do tomorrow at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, where 550 historic automobiles are competing in 17 groups that run the gamut from Pre-1940 Sports Racing and Touring Cars to 1981-1989 FIA Mfg. Championship & IMSA GTPs.
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion has earned its stripes as the premier historic automobile racing event in the U.S., and motorsports enthusiasts from around the world have taken notice. They come not only by the tens of thousands to watch the sentimental past of car racing come roaring back to life, but also by the hundreds to personally strap into the driver’s seat and test the legendary turns and challenging elevation changes of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where the annual event is synchronized every third week in August with Monterey Peninsula’s Classic Car Week.