Monterey Car Week 2013 - from Pebble Beach to Laguna Seca via The Quail
by Guy Bird | Photography Guy Bird and John Hietter    03 Sep 2013
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Laguna Seca Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Monterey Car Week has something for everyone. If classic motor racing is your thing, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca is the event to visit, mixing slices of the Le Mans Classic with the Goodwood Festival of Speed in a truly all-American fashion on the Saturday 17 August before the Sunday Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It's the place to watch classic global racing cars cars accelerate once again (and then inspect them up close in the paddock afterwards) before visiting the numerous automotive memorabilia stalls on the way out. More blue-collar than Quail-elite, this is an everyman fan event.

So Car Design News sniffed the air for burned rubber, picked up a few $5 back issues of the venerable hard-back magazine Automobile Quarterly and a purchased a classic Pegasus logo Mobil Oil T-shirt on the way to bringing you 2013's design highlights...

Once you get through the shanty town of auto memorabilia stands near the entrance of the event, you quickly cross over the bridge to where the cars enter the racetrack. Here you can catch the burble of numerous classics trundle past just yards away as they prepare to do battle - like this quintessential and quality US muscle car, a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss. Nice...

Good vantage points to view the race action need research. As Laguna Seca newbies, we didn't know them, but found this high-up point from the media box to catch a golf cart (off-track) momentarily appear to keep pace with an on-track vintage racer.

My professional photographer colleague Tom Salt, clearly found better ones, as these shots prove, including some classic Porsches and a 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupe.

While their fashion sense was questionable, the green jump-suited owner and his ‘Elmer the Elephant' patchwork-shirted friend clearly know their cars. In the background on the left is a sensitive ‘resurrection' of the riveted 1935 Bugatti Type 57.SC Electron Torpedo ‘Competition' model prototype and right (in green) is a Delahaye 135 MS Chapron Cabriolet...

...Whose exquisite interior features one of the most remarkable (see-through) steering wheels I've ever seen. Awesome.

Only a few decades later this rare 1955 Shannon Crosley has an altogether different aero exterior with a graphically minimal paint job. It used components from the Cincinnati-made Crosley passenger car to win race success at Riverside Raceway, its home track.

The beauty of these classic events can often be found in race cars from different eras, sitting side by side, reflecting not only their respective technology and design, but also the cultural and societal norms of their times. Compare and contrast these two racers: On the left, the elegant, no-adverts, cigar-nosed body of the 1962 Lotus 22 and on the right the lairy pink-painted form of the Excita Condoms-sponsored 1977 Chevron B39. Chalk and cheese... but both cool.

Winning Car Design News' ‘Rare Groove Road Car' award at the event was definitely this 1965 Ferrari 330 GT ‘Golden Car'. Designed by Piero Drogo for original owner Norbert Navarro, the front with hood up doesn't begin to prepare you for...

...the high-winged rear-end complete with ‘Navarro Special' and ‘Golden Car' rear badging. Like nothing else there (or anywhere).

A dog mechanic checks out the underside of a 1963 Alfa Giulia Spider 1600. Note: No animals were hurt in the taking of this photo; on the contrary the dog seemed to be having a very relaxed time and clearly has a nose for a cool Italian classic. Woof!

Villa d'Este or Goodwood don't really do proper US muscle cars, so it's a treat (for these European eyes) to see this bold-liveried 1970 Chevrolet Camaros up close at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion...

...And this carefully preserved 1954 Chevrolet Corvette and toy car ‘mini-me' family - entirely fitting as the car celebrates its 60th birthday and its status as 2013's featured marque at the event.

Back through the automotive memorabilia stands we picked up some bargains among a cornucopia of books, T-shirts, car models and brochures, while also spotting this veteran motorsport fan queuing for a book signing - suggesting that the Monterey Motorsports Reunion is the antithesis of some of the other elitist and ‘money-talks' events also held in Monterey Car Week. Fair play to that.

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