Vintage racers come into focus at Motorsports Reunion paddock

The Paddock scene at the Motorsport Reunion, with a Lancia and the Ferrari ready to race | Andy Reid photos
The Paddock scene at the Motorsport Reunion, with a Lancia and a Ferrari ready to race | Andy Reid photos

For most car fanatics, the events of Monterey in August are all about car shows and concours. But for those who want to witness the cars in action, there’s nothing like the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The Motorsports Reunion is where great race cars can be seen performing on the track as they were meant to be, creating an all-immersive kinetic museum of sights and sounds. Race cars engaged in racing is so much more natural than standing on the grass at a golf course.

One of the original Ford Thunderbird 'Battle Birds'
One of the original Ford Thunderbird ‘Battle Birds’

One important aspect of the Motorsports Reunion, you know that the vintage cars on the track are the real McCoys, the actual cars as they raced in period. In order to get into the Reunion, the cars must have racing history; replica cars need not apply. What the spectator gets is the opportunity to see, once again on the track, cars that raced at Sebring, Le Mans, Pebble Beach, Daytona, and many others, including those raced in the period in which they were built.

Much of the fun of the Motorsports Reunion is visiting the paddock area, where you can get up close and personal with the race cars, drivers and support teams. Here you can to ask questions of the owners, drivers and mechanics, and learn more about these magnificent competitors. As an added bonus, many owners will allow visitors to get in behind the wheel, getting a feel for what it must be like to drive the cars in wheel-to-wheel competition on the track.

This past weekend, I spent all my time photographing in and around the paddock area, where I saw some amazing race cars, including a pair of vintage Lancias, scores of Porsches, many Maseratis, and so many others I cannot count.

To me, no trip to Monterey Car week is complete without going to the race track for the Motorsports Reunion, especially taking in the whirlwind of activity in the racecar paddock.

Photos by Andy Reid

Innovative antique: Lancia Lambda glows at Concorso Italiano

Part of the sea of Ferraris at Concorso Italiano | Bob Golfen photos
Part of the sea of Ferraris at Concorso Italiano | Bob Golfen photos

Amid all the streamlined fantasy cars at Concorso Italiano, Steve Peterson’s 1924 Lancia Lambda seemed an ancient relic, apparently the oldest vehicle by far at the celebration of everything on wheels from Italy held Saturday on the Monterey Peninsula.

The Lancia seems boxy and old-fashioned at first, but move in a little closer and the trim, handsome and low-profile styling sharpens into focus, and the technological brilliance becomes apparent. Continue reading

Porsches reign but Ferrari wins at Carmel Concours

A fleet of Porsche 356 Speedsters attracts a crowd | Bob Golfen photos
A fleet of Porsche 356 Speedsters attracts a crowd | Bob Golfen photos

Porsches, Porsches everywhere. The booming popularity of nearly everybody’s favorite German sports car was powerfully evident Tuesday at the Concours on the Avenue in Carmel, California, an event considered to be the launch of Monterey Car Week.

Definitely the most-represented marque by far, Porsches packed the shady streets of the upscale burg – 911s by the score, including many intriguing customs and all-out race cars, plus an impressive collection of the earlier 356 models, with a gaggle of Speedsters, plenty of coupes and cabriolets, and an absolutely stunning 1951 356 coupe in dark maroon, a survivor from the early days of Porsche. Continue reading

RM Sotheby’s releases partial Maranello auction list

Long-wheelbase California Spyder has pre-sale estimate of $8.8 million -- or more | RM Sotheby's photo by Darin Schnabel
Long-wheelbase California Spyder has pre-sale estimate of $8.8 million — or more | RM Sotheby’s photo by Darin Schnabel

At the end of May, RM Sotheby’s announced that it would stage an all-Ferrari auction as part of the Italian sports car maker’s 70th anniversary celebration, and that the sale would take place at the historic Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy. Continue reading

All-women car show hosted in Carmel by Prancing Ponies

The Prancing Ponies members at their home base in San  Francisco | Michael Troutman
Prancing Ponies members at their home base in San Francisco | Michael Troutman

In the male-dominated realm of collector cars, one group is conducting a new car show during Monterey Car Week that’s by women and for women.

The Prancing Ponies Car Show is open to all female owners and co-owners to present their vintage and exotic cars in a casual, first-time event that takes place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m, on Wednesday, August 16, in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Continue reading

Ferrari loses rights to Testarossa name in Germany

A 1990 Ferrari Testarossa with its famous side strakes | Barrett-Jackson
A 1990 Ferrari Testarossa with its famous side strakes | Barrett-Jackson

In a surprise decision, a German court has ruled that Ferrari does not have exclusive rights to the name Testarossa, allowing a toy company to use the famed moniker for a number of its products.

As a result, the long-held Ferrari nameplate -– Italian for “red head” as in the crimson color of the cars’  valve covers –- could soon appear in Germany on a variety of consumer products, from electric shavers to bicycles. So one might shave in the morning with a Testarossa, then drive a Testarossa into the office. Continue reading

Ex-Elton John Ferrari Daytona tops Silverstone sale

1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona formerly owned by Elton John | Silverstone Auctions photo
1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona formerly owned by Elton John | Silverstone Auctions photo

A 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona formerly owned by Elton John sold for £551,250 ($728,422) at Silverstone Auctions’ three-day collector car sale held in conjunction with the Silverstone Classic Motor Racing Festival in England. Continue reading

F1 Ferrari, Indy Lotus among historic racers at Bonhams auction

The 1964 Lotus Type 34 is known as the winningest Indy Lotus of all time | Bonhams photos
The 1964 Lotus Type 34 is known as the winningest Indy Lotus of all time | Bonhams photos

Bonhams, which has dubbed its 2017 California auction “Year of the Race Cars,” has announced two more historic competition cars -– an F1 champion Ferrari and an Indy 500 Lotus –- to its docket for the 20th annual collector car sale at the Quail Lodge in Carmel during Monterey Car Week. Continue reading

Diverse Mecum auction in Denver hits $11.4 million in sales

A 1960 VW 23-window bus was the second-highest seller in Denver | Mecum Auctions photos
A 1960 VW 23-window bus was the second-highest seller in Denver | Mecum Auctions photos

In case you needed evidence that Mecum brings a diverse selection of collector cars to its auctions, just take a look at the five top sellers from the Denver sale last weekend.

The highest sale was that of a modern exotic, a 2016 Ferrari California T convertible sold for $165,000 (Mecum results do not include buyer fees). The Ferrari was followed by a vintage vehicle from the opposite end of the spectrum, a 1960 Volkswagen 23-window Samba microbus that went for $120,000. Continue reading

1 of 12: Ferrari 275 GTB/C added to Gooding docket

1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C has racing history | Gooding & Co. photo by Mathieu Heurtault
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C has racing history | Gooding & Co. photo by Mathieu Heurtault

One of only a dozen 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C sports cars, and with a strong Italian racing history, will be offered at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach, California, sale in August, the auction house announced Thursday. Continue reading