Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2017
The annual site of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2017. It is good to remember origins. They lend perspective and light the way for the future.
In 1957 the need for a race track was apparent with more safety features than the races through the forest at Pebble Beach then offered. In 1957 SCRAMP (Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula), along with funds and energy from local businessmen, began a project for a new race track. The site selected was in a natural bowl, which permitted simultaneous views of he majority of the race track. Negotiations took place with the US Army for use of the land, and a lease was signed. The track was completed in only 60 days, and the first race drew 100 entries viewed by 35,000 spectators. Now in 2017, 60 years later, SCRAMP continues to manage the circuit.
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Monterey Car Week Once Again Brings The Goods In 2017
I’ll admit it – I’m pretty spoiled when it comes to car stuff. Of course, that’s the sort of thing you’d expect given my line of work. When unicorns and exotic metal become the routine, it’s easy to lose your perspective. But even with my drastically skewed sense of what four-wheeled “normalcy” is supposed to be, Monterey Car Week manages to impress. For starters, there’s the sheer scope of it. Think seven days of events and practically endless things to do, ranging from shows, to auctions, to racing, to cruises. There’s excess of every kind when it comes passion-inspiring rides to enjoy. Then there’s the backdrop. The California central coast is without a doubt one of the most spectacular places on Earth, with jaw-dropping scenery and rich history at every turn. But probably the best thing about MCW is the superiority of the cars on hand. Not only is the quantity over the top, but so is the quality, a rare combination to which I have yet to find an equal in all my auto-themed adventures. I’ve been covering this thing for several years now, but 2017 still managed to bring the goods in a big way.
If you’ve been thinking about going, but you’re still on the fence, then we hope this will convince you to get out there in 2018. If you wanna go, but haven’t had a chance, then we hope our account of the action will assuage your longing – for now, at least.
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2017 Monterey Car Week – Preview
As I write this, dear TopSpeeders, I sit just a handful of miles east of the Pacific Ocean. Through my open window, I can hear the sound of exotic internal combustion drifting through the air. Just down the road lies Laguna Seca, the battleground where hundreds of historic racers will once again pound the pavement in search of lower lap times. In the other direction is Pebble Beach, the ultimate destination for elegant collectible automobiles. In between is an assortment of auctions and auto-themed events, a vast, sprawling cornucopia of four-wheeled goodness the likes of which you’re unlikely to see anywhere else in the world. That’s right, TopSpeeders, I’ve made it to Monterey Car Week.
Once again, TopSpeed has sent me as point man to cover this thing, and I’m cleaning the lenses and juicing up the batteries in preparation for five straight days of car indulgence. I can’t wait to get out there and jump into the action, but before I do, I wanted to give you a quick breakdown on what to expect. So read on for a few brief blurbs on each of the events on our schedule, plus links back to our individual preview pieces for more info. And let us know – what are you looking forward to seeing? Tell us in the comments, and we’ll do our best to make it happen.
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2017 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction – Preview
While there are seemingly innumerable car auctions taking place up and down California’s central coast for Monterey Car Week, Gooding & Company is the only auction located next to the flagship Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance event. As such, the quality of the automobiles headed to the block is staggering, with record-breaking lots and world-class collector vehicles offered as the norm. This year, nearly 140 individual vehicles are slated to go under the hammer, with several potentially topping the eight-figure mark.
This is the place where the deepest of pockets show their worth, the auction where white-gloved treatment is expected and granted. Antiques and classics are in abundance, while more modern supercars and racers round it out. We’ll be on hand to watch it all go down, but before we arrive on the scene, we’ve broken down some of the more interesting (not to mention expensive) lots on offer in the following preview article.
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2017 RM Sotheby’s Monterey Auction – Preview
RM Sotheby’s holds a variety of high-end auctions around the world, with venues including London, Maranello, and Paris. Now that August is in full swing, RM Sotheby’s heads to California for Monterey Car Week, setting some of the world’s finest collectible automobiles up on the block, complemented by the stunning backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. This year, the highly celebrated auction house is ramping up the excitement with yet another impressive lineup. The big headliners for 2017 include 13 highly desirable Ferraris, from a 1961 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, to a 2011 599 GTO. However, a variety of other popular makes are obviously included as well, with oddities, antiques, classics, and supercars all up for grabs. This is the cream of the crop, all the good stuff and no filler. The only question is – can your bank account bring one home?
We’ll be on the scene to check out the action, but before we arrive, we’ve picked through the lots and found some of the more interesting vehicles on offer, compiling them all right here for your reading enjoyment. Check them out, and let us know which cars you wanna see more of in the comments below.
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2017 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion – Preview
I’ll take any excuse I can to head out to Laguna Seca. Simply walking around this incredible ribbon of California tarmac is enough to send chills up and down my spine. Throw in a collection of iconic race cars doing hot laps, and I’m one very happy camper. Do it for four days straight, with a rotating variety of run groups, plus Q&A and autograph sessions with legendary racing personalities and tons of delicious food, and I’d call it pure gearhead bliss. This is the formula for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, the place where the racing of Monterey Car Week all goes down. As the uber-epensive collectibles roll across the block at auctions like Mecum or Russo & Steele, and the show judges scour a field of pristine classics at the Concours d’Elegance, Laguna Seca plays host to hundreds of hardened competition machines doing what they do best – going fast.
As in years past, the 2017 rendition of the Reunion will bring together a vast collection of four-wheeled heroes, from a 1911 National Speedway, to a 1989 Mazda 767-B. In fact, there’s so much automotive goodness on hand, the event has been dubbed the “rolling museum.” We’ll be there to capture the action, but before we get there, here’s a preview of what to expect.
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Soberanes Fires Continue To Burn, Monterey Car Week Undeterred
With the 66th annual Monterey Car Week kicking off in a few days, some 85,000 auto enthusiasts are expected to arrive on the central California coast to take part in various car shows, auctions, racing events, and cruises. However, attendees will need to share the road with the 5,000 firefighters currently battling a devastating wildfire located just south of Monterey.
One of the biggest issues is access to Highway 1, the main artery that runs north to south through the central coast. With the huge increase in traffic expected for MCW, concerns are being raised over whether or not firefighters will be able to get to and from the frontlines.
However, according to a report from local NBC affiliate KSBW, Cal Fire and the California Highway Patrol have given the event the go-ahead, and are working with organizers to make sure firefighting efforts aren’t hampered.
Some of the changes include a truncated route for the Tour d’Elegance, a classic car cruise that traditionally includes a run south into Big Sur. This year, the route has been shortened to 35 miles, rather than the usual 70. There will also be stricter parking enforcement, and additional law enforcement in high-traffic areas.
So far, the Soberanes wildfire has burned more than 70,000 acres and destroyed 57 homes. Hundreds of locals have been forced to flee, and the fire has been blamed for three injuries and one fatality. Acting Governor Tom Torlakson has declared a state of emergency in Monterey County.
Thankfully, the majority of the firefighting effort is now centralized south of Monterey, and it’s expected that the increase in traffic won’t have a major impact on firefighting efforts.
“We feel pretty comfortable that we are able to get in and out of the areas that we need to in case of emergency,” Cal Fire Capt. Mark Edria told KSBW.
Cal Fire is reporting that the fire is currently 60 percent contained. You can find updates on the firefighting efforts here.
The wildfire is thought to have originated from an illegal campfire in Garrapata State Park.
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This August 13-16, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion will return to Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. This event is billed as the largest of the events during Monterey Automobile Week. Being there is a bit like entering a time machine and walking out into any automotive era of your choice. The cars that were invited to participate will consist of some really old relics, cars from modern times and everything in between. But they all will be doing the same thing; they’ll be on the track racing, continuing a tradition that began here in 1974.
Many cars make application to participate but not all receive invitations. About 550 are approved, based upon authenticity, race provenance and period correctness. The fortunate ones will compete on Mazda Raceway’s 2.2 mile road course. The course includes 11 turns, 300 feet in elevation change and the dramatic Corkscrew, a five-story, twisting steep descent.
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