From humble beginnings of a single day event in 1974 with 66 cars at Laguna Seca to one of the most important historic racing events in America, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. Founded by Steven Earle of General Racing Ltd., the Monterey Historic Automobile Races was a pioneering event at a time when old racing cars generally went unused. The Historics at Laguna Seca became the premier event for owners of great cars and helped to fast-track the international movement of race car restoration and preservation.
In 2010 the event passed into the hands of the circuit and was renamed the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, but the basic tenet of accepting genuine cars still applies. Modern modifications, replicas and cars without race provenance are not accepted. This is the distinguishing hallmark of the annual gathering.
Each year a marque is selected for a special feature, and through the years, brands like Ferrari, Ford, Chevrolet, Porsche, BMW and Jaguar have been celebrated along with lesser-known marques like Miller, Auto Union and Allard. All share a commonality, however, as each one was selected for an anniversary or special commemoration. This year, on 10-17 August, it is the anniversary of the event itself that will be commemorated, with the theme to be the marques of the past and the genesis of historic racing, honouring featured marques from the last 50 years.
“Being the 50th anniversary of this remarkable event, we felt it was important to honour the birth of historic racing, as well as the past marques and fond memories that have been made here,” commented Barry Toepke, director of Heritage Events & Public Relations at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, who himself is celebrating his 35th anniversary of his involvement in the event.
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