A MASSIVE Monterey Historics sports gallery


Jim Fonseca was at the Rolex Monterey Historics last weekend.  The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is one of the cornerstones of the renowned Monterey Classic Car Week and is the largest event held annually in the scenic coastal community. Visitors worldwide descend on the community to enjoy the historic cars in action, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the myriad of supporting activities that comprise the motoring week.




On Saturday, several of the Porsche Museum cars and other historic Porsche race cars were driven around the track at a brisker than parade pace by famous drivers including Bob Wollek, Derek Bell, George Follmer, Hans Herrman, Hurley Haywood, Jack McAfee, John Fitzpatrick and Walter Rohrl.


Over 20 cars from the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, brought over especially for the event, were on display and a few were driven on track during the Porsche Parade on Sunday, such as: 1922 Sascha, designed by Ferdinand Porsche; 1948 Porsche 356 #1, driven by Dr. Wolfgang Porsche; 1951 Porsche 356 Aluminum Coupe; 1954 Porsche 550 Panamerican Spyder, driven by Porsche AG Chairman Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking; 1960 Porsche 718 F2; 1962 Porsche 804 F1; 1964 Porsche 904 8-cylinder; 1970 Porsche 908/3; 1970 Porsche 917/K; 1977 Porsche 936; 1978 Porsche 935 Moby Dick; 1978 911 SC “Safari”; 1987 Porsche 962C; and a 1994 962 Dauer.


This 3.0 CSL (Chassis No.  2275985) was one of a group of five chassis built and campaigned by BMW Motorsport in North America in the 1975 & ’76 IMSA Camel GT Series in Group 4 specifications. The cars were powered by a 3.5 liter, 430 hp version BMW inline-6 engine with double overhead cams and four valve cylinder heads. Campaigned under the racing numbers No. 24 and No. 25, the CSL enjoyed considerable success winning at Sebring, Riverside, Laguna Seca, Daytona and Talladega in 1975. In 1976, Chassis No. 2275987 campaigned as the No. 59 car driven by Brian Redman, Peter Gregg, and John Fitzpatrick won the 24hr of Daytona.  Several iconic drivers were involved in the American success of the CSL, including Hans Stuck, Sam Posey, Brian Redman, Ronnie Peterson, Dieter Quester, Benny Parsons, Peter Gregg and David Hobbs. All five chassis are still in existence.


BMW of North America President and CEO Ludwig Willisch  raced the iconic BMW 3.0 CSL ‘Batmobile’ in the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca next week. “BMW fans and I have a very emotional attachment to this important car in the history of the BMW brand in the US. I’m honored to take the wheel that has been held by the great heroes like Posey, Stuck and Redman to demonstrate the car for the fans at this historic track and event,” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO of BMW of North America. This BMW 3.0 CSL, No. 25,  won the 1975 12 Hours of Sebring and was instrumental in establishing the ‘Bavarian Motor Works’ name to a completely new group of US auto enthusiasts as BMW of North America was being established as a subsidiary 39 years ago.


The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion  celebrated the rich 100-year history of Maserati, one of Italy’s iconic luxury sports car brands that throughout the century has been deeply rooted in racing.


“Maserati is a definition of not only luxury road cars, but some of the most remarkable sports cars and Grand Prix cars ever constructed,” says Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Additionally, it is the 60th anniversary of the sleek Maserati 250F that first competed in the 1954 Formula One season with Juan Manuel Fangio and Sir Stirling Moss dueling behind the wheels of their respective 250Fs.”


“Maserati is celebrating its anniversary at key venues around the world, and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion in Monterey is unquestionably one of the highlights on the international calendar,” says Peter Grady, President and CEO of Maserati North America, Inc. “We look forward to showcasing the modern Maserati in the context of a heritage of century of building inspired automobiles that break the norm and define ‘The Absolute Opposite of Ordinary.’”


The original Can-Am series attracted the world’s finest drivers. The Who’s Who of driving included Mark Donohue, George Follmer, Jim Hall, Phil Hill, Denny Hulme, Jacky Ickx, Vic Elford, Bruce McLaren and John Surtees, to name just a few.


The grid is dominated by McLarens, Shadows and Lolas. “The Can-Am group is a popular one for fans and participants alike as they represent the true definition of win at any cost,” said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “These cars retain their characteristic look and certainly sounds and they are a welcoming site in their spiritual home.”


Entries were  limited 550 spots in the 15 race groups. The Governing Committee met in February to review each entry to determine the car’s authenticity, provenance and period-correctness. Cars were accepted based on how they ran in their professional day and not on modern enhancements.


The selected cars were assembled into the following 15 groups:

Pre-1940 Sports Racing and Touring Cars
1927-1951 Racing Cars
1955-1962 GT Cars
1963-1966 GT Cars over 2500cc
1973-1981 FIA, IMSA GT, GTX, AAGT, GTU Cars
1955-1961 Sports Racing Cars over 2000cc
1966-1972 Trans-Am
1955-1961 Sports Racing Cars under 2000cc
1970-1979 Sports Racing cars under 2000cc
1947-1955 Sports Racing and GT Cars
1963-1972 FIA Mfg. Championship
1981-1990 FIA Mfg. Championship, IMSA GTP/1980-1991 GTO
1961-1966 GT Cars under 2500cc
1963-1974 Can-Am & USRRC
1974-1980 Formula Atlantic


By Jim Fonseca August 2014

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