The baseball field at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Arizona, where major league baseball’s Los Angeles recently wrapped up spring training, hosted a sparkling sendoff Saturday for the 25th annual Copperstate 1000 vintage road rally.
Where pro ball players had been snagging flies in the outfield now was parked a stunning collection of exceptional sports cars, race cars and touring cars prepared for the grand public sendoff of the four-day, 1,000-mile road rally through northern Arizona and southern Utah. Hundreds of spectators showed up to examine the many rare and valuable automobiles close up and to watch as the cars were introduced and flagged off for their drive.
The Bell Lexus Copperstate 1000, which has taken its place as one of the nation’s great automotive events, is now on the road, with drivers and co-drivers roaring through some of the most beautiful scenery and iconic landmarks of the American Southwest. Among the stops are the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Jerome, Flagstaff, Lake Powell and Zion National Park.
In celebrating the quarter-century mark, the Copperstate expanded its field to more than 90 cars that represent some of the greatest names in European and American sporting brands: Ferrari, Jaguar, Aston-Martin, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, MG, Maserati, Lancia, DeTomaso, Corvette, Shelby and Alfa Romeo.
A pair of grand performance Bentleys from 1929 and 1930 rumbled to life, and even the unlikely Volvo brand was represented with three enjoyable cars: two vintage rallying veterans and a gorgeous P1800 sports coupe.
Classic cars were represented by a 1951 Bentley Rolls-Royce Mark VI and a luscious 1932 Lincoln KB bodied as a boat-tail speedster.
The splendid car show was not only contained in the stadium Saturday but also was out in the parking lot where local collectors and hobbyists cruised in with a wide array of vintage automobiles, customs and modern exotics.
Photos by Bob Golfen