Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2011
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By D. Brian Smith
Photography: Ben Moment & D. Brian Smith

From the stone age to almost the present day, that's the sort of automotive machinery you'll see at the most famous vintage racing event that there is - the Monterey Motorsports Reunion. The 2011 edition featured an abundance of Ferrari 250GTOs and an exceptionally well curated exhibit depicting the 75 years of Jaguar in racing and Jaguar's illustrious 75 years of existence. Ferraris and Jaguars are epic machines to be sure, but practically every sort of sports and/or racecar that had ever competed was seen or heard from during these unparallelled days of racing action.

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Redline Review simply had to be at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to witness vintage racing at its absolute best. There was no way we could stay away from this auto racing spectacle that celebrates the history of auto racing in a most compelling way - at the track.

If there's a better venue to witness the plethora of racing machines from the past, we'd like to know about it. For now, we'll head to Monterey every August and cover the Motorsports Reunion. We're of the opinion that these glorious racing machines are at their best, when they're in top flight and careening down the corkscrew. That's when we can discover the skill of the drivers, see the suspension working on these historically celebrated automobiles and reminisce about the days when these cars were first created and tearing up road courses all over the world. The simpler, slower paced era that these cars came from are a part of our youth. Seeing them at speed on a track and in their element is imminently satisfying for all of the senses. We realize we're all car nuts and speed freaks, thanks to these beautifully engineered and designed racecars that captured our hearts when we were learning about the great world before us. They're what we dreamed about driving, owning and racing, when we were young and there were no limits to our imagination. In many ways, these racing machines appear even better before our eyes than what we could conjure up in our noggins.

2011 was the first year that both Mr. Photoman, also known as Ben Moment and yours truly were able to cover the Monterey Motorsports Reunion together as the mighty team that is Redline Review. For this reason, we pulled out all the stops. Ben had his heavy artillery, in terms of photography gear, at his disposal. In fact, he loaned me one of his extra camera bodies, since it put my little digital camera obscura to shame.

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During our time at Mazda Raceway, Ben managed to be invited into the Red Bull hospitality area for V.I.P.'s. While I was running around photographing the paddock area, Ben was mingling with the beautiful people at the track. A bit later on, while I choked down a box lunch in the press tower, Ben was checking out some of his photos from the morning and eating gourmet food. He called my cell phone and went on about how he was treated like the King of Mazda Raceway and suggested that I walk over to where he was and get inside the Red Bull hospitality building. When I attempted doing so, security wouldn't let me inside. Of course, Ben found this to be endlessly entertaining and amusing. He made me wait several minutes standing outside the gate before he gave the hospitality crew from inside the thumbs up to let me in. Surely, he'll never let me forget that little episode of being put in my place. I can only hope that the tables are turned in 2012. We shall see.

Until then, enjoy the gallery of photos we've collected and know that the only way you'll see better than this is if you're right along side us at the 2012 Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Since you're already fans of Redline Review, you know why RR is the best - It's All About Speed.

See Gallery:

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Earning the top prize of Best of Show was a superlative 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Cabriolet, which is owned by
Paul and Judy Andrews of Fort Worth, Texas. Designer/Coachbuilder Jacques Saoutchik produced seven exquisite Torpedo bodies for the Mercedes 680S chassis, with all six bodies having unique features. A low windscreen and chrome accents give this particular Saoutchik Torpedo a sports car, which enhances this luxury touring car's appeal. Similar to the racing engines that powered the Mercedes-Benz SSK, the engine is a supercharged 6.8-liter straight eight.Robert and Sylvia Affleck, of Bradford Woods, Pennsylvania, own a very jaunty looking 1938 HRG Airline A. Crofts Coupe. Major Edward Halford, Guy Robins and Henry Ronald Godfrey founded HRG in 1936. With the exception of this coupe, all 241 HRGs were roadsters. There are still 225 HRGs still in existence, and 224 of these are roadsters.
The three images that succeed this one show an adept driver, who brought the car all the way back on course without incident. Well done!
Mazda North America went vintage racing in a big way, with no less than four of the company's rotary engine powered road burners taking to the famous track with the nasty corkscrew turns at the top of the course. Team Mazda will be back for the Rolex Motorsports Reunion. Of course, Redline Review will also be back for all the action.Surrounded by three Lotus Evoras and three of Lotus Cars USA's big shot executives, our temporary home during the Monterey Pre-Historics was with the Lotus display.
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