Maserati was the featured marque and there was an amazing array — 550 “authentic and historic” racing cars in every class, — but it was a 1964 Ford Falcon that drove off with the Spirit of Monterey award from the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion this year at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, a vintage racing event that bills itself as the “museum in motion.”
The Falcon was part of Group 7A, for 1966-72 Trans Am series racers. It’s owner is Mike Eddy of Gardena, California.
“My dad worked for Carroll Shelby, and the Ford Falcon belonged to our next door neighbor,” said Eddy, who was selected for the Reunion’s top award because, the organizers said, he “excelled in the spirit of the weekend.”
“After work, my dad would go and work on it, and we have pictures of me sitting in it when I was seven years old. As you can imagine, that’s a soft spot for me.”
Eddy, who has worked for Vic Edelbrock for 28 years, has been a Reunion regular since 1977, the year he acquired the car next door.
“Because I was always working on other people’s cars, this car took a back seat,” he explained, “but the original owner of the car passed away two years ago and my dad’s health is not good, so I knew that I had to do this for him.
“I wish this car could talk,” he said, explaining that it was the first SCCA A Sedan race car in Southern California (the A Sedan group evolved into the Trans Am race series in 1966).
“The car did well that year in Trans Am, and for the last race of the year, Ford was somewhat behind in points to Chrysler Plymouth, so Carroll Shelby called and arranged to pay for the race entry, knowing that this car would help load the deck,” Eddy said.
“The car scored points for Ford, and Ford ended up winning the championship. The car qualified for the SCCA runoffs every year from 1966 to 1973 and also had many races all over Europe.”
Photos by Stephan Cooper for Rolex