CAN-AM REDUX: THUNDER ROAD AT LAGUNA SECA!

The guttural rumble of Can-Am cars from an “anything goes” era of motorsports delighted enormous crowds during its heyday. They’ll be back at the inaugural Spring Classic at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 19-21. Sports car racing’s booming popularity following WWII resulted in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and the CASC (Canadian Automobile Sports Club) founding the Can-Am Series for Group 7 type sports racers in 1966. Armed with sponsorship from Johnson Wax, the Can-Am Series was ...
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ROLEX REUNION: SHOWDOWN IN SALINAS!

Tireless Mike Matune wraps up his Monterey Car Week coverage with action from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Every August brings the Granddaddy of U.S. historic racing events to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Salinas, CA, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (RMMR). A celebration of the best in racing history captivates with four track days and a dazzling array of cars. The Penske/White Ferrari 512M, above, is certainly eye-catching. Finished to a very high standard, typical of Penske Racing, the...
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STEALING THE 500: SHELBY’S 1968 TURBINE-POWERED INDY CAR!

Stephen Cox blogs about Carroll Shelby’s assault on Indy - Part 1 of 2. He wasn't the first to try, nor was he the last. Armed with a huge budget, a massive turbine engine and two of the finest drivers on the planet, in the spring of 1968 Carroll Shelby was ready to steal the Indianapolis 500. The plan was straightforward. Ken Wallis, a 38-year-old British aircraft engineer, had designed the famed Granatelli-Lotus Turbine with which Parnelli Jones had nearly won the race in 1967. Wallis had ...
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MID-OHIO VINTAGE GP: SNAKE BITE & SPORTS CARS!

Chronicles’ Mike Matune is trackside at the SVRA vintage GP, held in conjunction with one of the hobby’s most exciting single-marque club events – SAAC 41. The Shelby American Automobile Club held its 41st convention in concert with SVRA’a Mid-Ohio GP. In addition to shows, open track events and dinners there was an SAAC-only race. Curt Vogt would take top spot home in his 1970 Mustang Boss 302, top, followed across the finish line by pole sitter, Scott Hackerson’s ‘67 Mustang. Here they le...
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2016 AMELIA ISLAND CONCOURS: THE BEST GETS BETTER!

Our intrepid photo-journalists at large - Maureen and Mike Matune – bring us highlights from one of the country’s premier shows. The Amelia Island Concours has grown to include events over several days. Friday brought the Reliable Carriers Eight Flag Road Tour where Concours participants exercised their mounts over local roads, ending up in downtown Fernandina Beach. Here is Mark Moshayedi’s ‘65 Shelby-DeTomaso P70 racer, above. Originally conceived by Carroll Shelby to contest the USRRC ch...
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PENSKE’S CAN-AM PORSCHE 917: THE FINAL CHAPTER!

Stephen Cox blogs about the most iconic of the thundering Turbo Porsche 917s. 
 Part VII: The Legacy. “In two of the races – Atlanta and Elkhart Lake – the car lapped the entire field. That’s doing something. This was an unbelievable car.” – Chief mechanic John “Woody” Woodard. Porsche enjoyed a dominance in 1972 that McLaren could only dream of. McLaren’s five-year stranglehold had been crushed, and Porsche had earned their first Can-Am Challenge Cup. But many years passed before the pa...
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PENSKE’S L&M 917 PORSCHE: UNTOLD STORY OF CAN-AM’S MOST FAMOUS CAR!

Stephen Cox blogs about the most iconic of the thundering Turbo Porsche 917s. 
 Part VI: The Title. “The talk around the pit area was that no one could touch them. They knew that it was the beginning of the end of Can-Am. The L&M Porsche was making history.” – Marilyn Motschenbacher Halder. No other track on the Cam-Am schedule offered sweet corn and bratwurst like the little food stand at Elkhart Lake. Everyone on the  circuit looked forward to it. The stand remains there today, j...
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PENSKE’S L&M 917 PORSCHE: UNTOLD STORY OF CAN-AM’S MOST FAMOUS CAR!

Stephen Cox blogs about the most iconic of the thundering Turbo Porsche 917s. 
 Part V: The Turning Point. “Mark [Donohue] and the other people behind the Porsche are not lighthearted types. They take the whole thing very seriously.” – Pete Lyons, Road & Track.  Thankfully, Penske Racing had only two weeks to stew in their misery. The next race was scheduled at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The teams generally arrived in the middle of the week. If no track time was available ...
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ROLEX MONTEREY MOTORSPORTS REUNION: LAGUNA SECA!

‘When it comes to experiencing vintage racing greatness, the Reunion has few equals,’ blogs Mike Matune. Mid-August brings us what is lovingly referred to as Monterey Hell Week and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca. The Reunion is what vintage racing aspires to be, a collection of truly important cars and drivers competing head to head. Eddie Lawson, top, climbs the Rahal Straight towards the “Corkscrew” in Racing Commonwealth’s Osella PA 3/5.  I have been attendi...
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PENSKE’S L&M 917 PORSCHE: UNTOLD STORY OF CAN-AM’S MOST FAMOUS CAR!

Stephen Cox blogs about the most iconic of the thundering Turbo Porsche 917s.  PART II: The Accident.  “A doctor specializing in football injuries told him, no, his sore left knee was really a knot of shredded ligaments. There was surgery and a six week plaster cast and a career grounded.” – Pete Lyons, Road & Track. The story had to be cleaned up for the press. If the truth came out on national television, nobody at Porsche or Penske Racing was going to be happy about it...
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