MONTEREY, Calif. – An early-morning marine layer gave way to brilliant sunshine for Sunday’s final rounds of racing at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The event, which featured Maserati, did not hold back on delivering countless surprises associated with the special marque, including drivers, their collections, and the finest of models unveiled and taking to the track, but it was a 1964 Ford Falcon and its owner Mike Eddy (Gardena, Calif.) who drove it in Group 7A (for 1966-1972 Trans Ams) that claimed the ultimate recognition after two days of practice and a weekend of back-to-back racing for nearly 550 authentic and historic automobiles that were hand-selected to compete.
“My dad worked for Carroll Shelby, and the Ford Falcon belonged to our next door neighbor,” said an emotional Eddy, who organizers said “excelled in the spirit of the weekend” to earn the highest accolade: the Spirit of Monterey honor coupled with the awarding of a specially engraved 18k stainless steel and gold Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona. “After work, my dad would go and work on it, and we have pictures of me sitting in it when I was seven years old. As you can imagine, that’s a soft spot for me.”
Eddy, who has worked for Vic Edelbrock for the last 28 years, has been coming to this event since 1977, the same year he acquired the car next door. “Because I was always working on other people’s cars, this car took a back seat, but the original owner of the car passed away two years ago and my dad’s health is not good, so I knew that I had to do this for him.
“I wish this car could talk,” he continued, explaining that it was the first SCCA A Sedan race car in Southern California, and the A Sedan group evolved into the Trans Am race series in 1966. “The car did well that year in Trans Am, and for the last race of the year, Ford was somewhat behind in points to Chrysler Plymouth, so Carroll Shelby called and arranged to pay for the race entry, knowing that this car would help load the deck. The car scored points for Ford, and Ford ended up winning the Championship. The car qualified for the SCCA runoffs every year from 1966 to 1973 and also had many races all over Europe.”