The Freshmaker: The 2016 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion! [Photo Gallery]

2016 Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Our contrarian nature was feeding a bit of a morning meltdown on the Saturday of Monterey Car Week. We were about to be faced with another a gaggle of very rich men reveling in bygone eras. What was the point? Then the Penske AMC Javelin blew past, heading for Turn Four. Piloted to victory in the ’71 Trans-Am championship by the late Mark Donohue, the Javelin was the under-underdog of the pony-car era, transformed into a victor by the golden duo of Roger and Mark. All churlish thoughts vanished.

2016 Monterey Motorsports Reunion

The place has that effect on people. Folks refuse to call it by its official name, Mazda Raceway. They lament one modification or another to the layout. The cosmic gravity of the place inspires loyalty to the state it was in when one first discovered it. Laguna Seca is one of America’s true holy temples of speed, like Bonneville, or Indianapolis, or Pikes Peak. Over its nearly six-decade history, the track has only seemed to accumulate magic. And it’s never more alive than when historic machines are chewing up its asphalt.

<a href=""><img src="/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/laguna_urbano-2-626x382.jpg" alt="2016 Monterey Motorsports Reunion" width="626" height="382" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-321391" /></a>

Thrill to the sight of 1930s BMW 328s lighting up the speed trap before the front-straight crest at 112 mph. Find yourself lost in the roar of Ferrari V-12s, Porsche flat-sixes, and American V-8s as the Group 4 cars terrorize Turn Three. Revel in 1980s prototypes strafing the Corkscrew. And then wander through the paddock, taking in the shocking variety of machinery on display, from a special with a Riley head atop an old Ford four-banger to prewar Delahayes and Bugattis, all the way up to cars that were state-of-the-art when today’s middle-aged were excitable children and teens.

Beyond that, the paddock is filled with interesting non-competition machinery, brought along by the owners either as ornamentation or as period-correct support vehicles. In short, if you can’t find something that flips your switch at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, you might reconsider your relationship to the automobile. If you didn’t make it this year, by all means get to Monterey next year for the track’s 60th anniversary. Arrive weary, leave sunburned and refreshed.


from Car and Driver BlogCar and Driver Blog

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