They make the world go round-wheels at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion


Cars from the past paid a lot of attention to the wheels, they were artistic as well as having their very important application.  Jim Fonseca takes a special look at them in this gallery from the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.






















August 16, 2013 There are times to sit back and watch and times when it’s better to jump in and participate.  At the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, which this weekend begins its official qualifying rounds followed by Rolex Races for 16 groups of historic automobiles, both options are open and equally delightful.

Sorted according to age and engine size and chosen for their period-correct presentation, 550 authentic and historic race cars pop their clutches and shift gears on the esteemed road course of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.  Rolex Awards of Excellence are given in each race category, and there is “The Spirit of Monterey” recognition along with a specially engraved 18k stainless steel and gold Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona reserved for the driver who excels in the spirit of the weekend; however, for the most part, participants don’t compete because they desire trophies or glory. It’s simply about the thrill of racing wheel-to-wheel in old cars that refuse to be put to pasture.

For spectators, watching the action from hillsides and bleachers and mixing elbow-to-elbow with drivers, owners and crews in the paddock area is its own indulgence. And this year’s special marque, the all-American Chevrolet Corvette, adds another layer of enjoyment, with dozens of Corvettes racing and hundreds more in special displays and shows.

“The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is the largest event of its kind in the United States and second in the world only to the Goodwood Revival,” said Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s CEO/General Manager Gill Campbell. “This is the place where people who love the automobile and people who love to be seen loving automobiles come to be seen.  Everybody who comes here can relate to something.  You hear people say things like ‘oh my dad had one of those,’ or ‘I remember seeing that car race,’ or ‘I used to have one of those.’  You don’t really have to be a car enthusiast to enjoy this event; you just have to be an it’s-all-happening-here enthusiast.”

The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is an annual tradition held the third week in August during the Monterey Peninsula’s wildly popular Classic Car Week. Rolex has been Title Sponsor since it was renamed in 2010. (From 2001-2009, Rolex sponsored the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races, which originally began in 1974, at this venue.)

Photos by Jim Fonseca, August 2013

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