Vintage racers come into focus at Motorsports Reunion paddock

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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 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.

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

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