Behind my shop are some of my old race cars. Most have become the organ donors of the racing world – they’ve given up their engines or gearboxes or shocks for some other race or rally car project: something newer, something faster, something better.
Particularly derelict is my first proper AWD rally car: a 1997 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV. It has over 60 rallies in its logbook and several national victories in its day. Over a decade ago, I won the Canadian Open Rally Championship with it, and I used it at the X Games in 2006, when it was a highly-polished, cherished weapon. Now it sits on a sad angle, missing its driveline, moving slowly into the earth. Ashes to ashes. It’s just an old race car.
Except maybe it isn’t. I recently attended the Historic Motor Sports Association’s Legends of Motorsports event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey California. It was an historic race of epic proportions, with everything from vintage Triumph TR3s and Porsche 356s to 1970s Indy Cars. And even better, it was styled as a special celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Team McLaren.
This meant a few cool things. First off, it meant that it was an homage to the exceptional Bruce McLaren, who died testing in 1970 but not before having an enormous impact on racing, especially in the hairy Can-Am racing series of 1966-74 in which his cars completely dominated from 1967 through 1971, often with Bruce himself behind the wheel.
The focus on McLaren meant that more than a dozen awesome Can-Am cars were running at Monterey on what they call a “sound free” weekend, which meansRead More »from Legends of Motorsports: McLarens at Monterey