MONTEREY, Calif. — The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion has accepted 550 historic and period-correct race cars to compete in 15 groups over the four-day annual gathering Aug. 14-17 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with cars representing an 81-year period.
The oldest car accepted is Brian Blain’s 1911 National 40. Sporting 100 horsepower, the National was driven by Charlie Merz in the inaugural Indianapolis 500 held in 1911, finishing seventh at an average speed of 70.36 mph.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Mazda’s 1992 RX-792P GTP (chassis 001), which is one of two prototypes that competed in the 1992 IMSA GTP championship. Price Cobb and Pete Halsmer were the original factory drivers to pilot the entirely new 720-horsepower car against the established Eagle Toyotas and factory Nissans.
It’s an international field in Monterey as U.S. entries will be joined by cars from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Maserati North America will officially celebrate its centennial at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion as part of its international efforts. As the eldest of the three Italian marques, Maserati will be well represented in its heritage display and on the track. Iconic Tipo 60s and 61s, nicknamed the Birdcage, will be running as will the sleek 300S and 450S models that once competed in the famed Mille Miglia, Nurburgring and other punishing races.
The first 4CL that Maserati produced in 1939, which was originally raced by factory drivers Luigi Villoresi, Carlo Felice Trossi and Franco Cortese, will also be racing in Monterey.
Porsche will have the largest representation at the reunion with 64 cars ranging from the earlier 356s and 911s to the later 962s lining up on their respective grids.
The reunion will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Sunbeam Tiger, which was popularized among American audiences by the 1960s television show “Get Smart.”
Carroll Shelby began highly modifying production Tigers into competition cars for entry into the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans. Despite all three cars retiring from the race, the Tigers raced through the end of the decade compiling impressive strings of victories.