One of the best “car shows” of the year actually isn’t designed as a car show at all. It’s the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, the nation’s premier vintage racing weekend, held during Monterey Car Week at what is now known as WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
As noted in a recent news release from the track, “For years, old race cars were just that. Forgotten machines relegated to museums, private collections, left covered in dusty garages and even tucked away in barns. There wasn’t a calling to keep them running nor was there a suitable venue to safely exercise them.”
But, added Barry Toepke, the track’s director of heritage events and public relations, “That began to change in August 1974, when Steven Earle invited friends to ‘race’ their (vintage) cars.
“A small gathering of 60 cars rolled into the paddock of Monterey County’s 1.9-mile Laguna Seca road course where they were sorted into corresponding groups of type and speed. It was a light-hearted group of people who enjoyed racing their cars for sport rather than trophies…”
Earle’s event became the Monterey Historics, which became the Rolex Reunion, and the wonders of vintage racing spread across the country, elevating with it the value of old racing cars.
In his essay, Toepke notes the subtle difference between “vintage” and “historic” racing, and between “restoration” and “preservation.”
“For the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, cars must possess a level of authenticity and discernable pedigree, verifiable provenance of racing in the day, and have been cared for over time to be as authentic and true to the day they raced as possible,” Toepke notes. “It is this historic nature that separates cars from club events or large vintage events where only the age of the car is considered for acceptance.”
He also notes that while things break, for the Rolex races, cars can be restored only “to the point in time it raced, or preserved and maintained as it was,” with the only exceptions made in the name of driver safety.
All of that to get to this: Car owners have until February 15 to submit their cars for consideration for the 2021 Rolex Reunion races (not only the big event August 12-15, but the so-called pre-historics practice sessions the previous weekend).
Oh, and this: Not only do spectators get to see hundreds of historic cars zooming around the famous track, but between races those cars are displayed in the paddock in what amounts to a fabulous car show.
Taste of Motorsports adds Arizona event
Taste of Motorsports, founded in Portland, Oregon, in 2018 takes its show on the road this year, adding events March 13-14 in Arizona and September 18-19 in Northern California. The annual hometown event is scheduled for August 28-29.
Founded by Tom and Stephanie Floyd, Taste of Motorsports is a luxury/exotic car event that includes track day, a car show, scenic rally drive and gourmet food experience. In Arizona, it will be staged at the Bondurant High Performance Driving School just south of Phoenix and will raise money for the Phoenix-based Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center and the Drive Toward a Cure (another Parkinson-fighting charity).
“While we are all missing those car-minded friends we look forward to seeing nationwide, many are still not quite ready to travel to events just yet — so we’re bringing an interactive car experience to their local community,” Tom Floyd is quoted in the event announcement. “By
integrating a wonderful cause into the overall weekend, we can also do some good and allow participants to play a significant role in helping those in need.”
Goodguys feature ‘OBS’ trucks in Texas
According to the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association, OBS is short for Old Body Style, vintage Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks from 1988-1998 that have become quite popular with younger vehicle owners.
“Because of their affordability and robust aftermarket support, OBS trucks have grown in popularity over the years with an enthusiastic and active community,” the Goodguys note. “Always seeking to be inclusive, Goodguys saw this as an opportunity to begin allowing the late model trucks into its classic car and truck events.”
Usually, 1987 is the Goodguys cutoff date for vehicles, but OBS trucks will be featured March 12-14 at the 11th LMC Truck Spring Long Star Nationals at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
The event will feature truck-only infield parking, a truck-only track cruise, a truck-only autocross event and a truck-only vendor showcase.
Updated 2021 concours, car show calendar
In addition to the Beaulieu car show schedule above, the following are dates currently set (but subject to change) for a variety of concours d’elegance, car shows and driving tours scheduled during 2021:
10-12, AACA Western Spring Nationals, Las Vegas; 12-13 – Goodguys Lone Star Nationals, Fort Worth; 13-14 – Taste of Motorsports, Chandler, Arizona
8-11, Charlotte AutoFair, North Carolina; 9-11, Goodguys at Scottsdale, Arizona; 19-22, AACA Southeastern Division Chain of Lakes Tour, Florida; 23-25 – Derbuy GT tour, Belgium; 25 – Simply Aston Martin, Beaulieu, UK; 30-May 1, Darryl Starbird’s National Rod & Custom Show, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
9 – Simply Vauxhall, Beaulieu, UK; 15-16, Goodwood Members’ Meeting, UK: 16 – Simply Audi, Beaulieu, UK; 20-23 – Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Amelia Island, Florida; AACA Founders Tour, Davis, West Virginia; 23 – Simply Electric, Beaulieu, UK
2-6, Retromobile, Paris, France, AACA Eastern Divisional Tour, Cambridge, Maryland; 5-6, Friends of Steve McQueen, Chino Hills, California; 6, Albuquerque Lowrider Super Show, New Mexico, Simply Porsche, Beaulieu, UK; 13 – Mini Cooper Day, Beaulieu, UK; 17-19, AACA Eastern Spring Nationals, Saratoga, New York; Simply VW, Beaulieu, UK; 20 – Hot Rod & Custom cars, Beaulieu, UK; 27 – Simply Jaguar, Beaulieu, UK
3-4 – Austin 7 Rally, Beaulieu, UK; 8-10, Iola Car Show, Wisconsin; 8-11, Goodwood Festival of Speed, UK, 11 – Simply Land Rover, Beaulieu, UK; 18, Forest Grove Concours, Oregon, Simply Ford, Beaulieu, UK; 22-24 – AACA Grand Nationals, New Ulm, Minnesota; 23-25 – Concours d’Elegance of America, Michigan; 25 – Simply Japanese, Beaulieu, UK
7-8, Supercar weekend, Beaulieu, UK; 14-15 VW T(ransport) Chill, Beaulieu, UK: 15, Pebble Beach Concours, Monterey, California, 15 – Graham Walker Run (vintage motorcycles), Beaulieu, UK; 22 – Simply Mercedes, Beaulieu, UK; 28-29 – Taste of Motorsports, Portland, Oregon
September 4-5 – International Autojumble (swap meet), 12 – Simply French, 17-19, Goodwood Revival, UK; 18-19 – Taste of Motorsports, Sonoma, California; 19 – Simply BMW, Beaulieu, UK; 21-26, Motor Bella, Pontiac, Michigan; 26 – Simply British Classics, Beaulieu, UK; 30-October 3, American Speed Festival, Pontiac, Michigan
21-24 – Auto e Moto d’Epoca, Padua, Italy
7 – Simply Smart, Beaulieu, UK; 11-15, AACA Southeastern Fall Tour, North Carolina; 15-17, Chattanooga Motorcar Festival, Chattanooga, Tennessee; 28 – VW Santa Run, Beaulieu, UK
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