Iron & Oil Come Alive at the Southern California Historic Sports Car Festival
Vintage racing brings back a forgotten time. An era before carbon fiber, traction control, paddle shifters, kinetic recovery systems and other driver aids-filled cockpits. The days where alcohol and tobacco corporations slapped their logo on every corner of a race car. Back when firing up carburetors would bring gauge needles dancing to life and send rich exhaust gases through side pipes.
Recently, Auto Club Speedway was filled with the buzz of European and Japanese 4-cylinders and the burble of carbureted NASCAR V8s. Nearly a hundred vintage racecars filled the paddocks of Auto Club Speedway for the Southern California Historic Sports Car Festival.
The event brought out an eclectic mix of cars ranging from Lotus Super 7, Alfa Romeo GTVs, Mustang GT350s, BMW 2002s, historic stock cars, Trans Am and open wheel racecars.
Most of these old race cars now spend their time collecting dust or sitting in climate-controlled storage, but they were finally given the chance to stretch their legs along the 21-turn, 2.8-mile course.
It was a treat to see these iconic liveries in motion. Race cars still wearing the names of the drivers who once crossed the checkered flag with these cars — Dale Earnhart Sr, Jimmy Johnson, Mark Martin and others — back on track after nearly 30 years.
This event marked the inaugural Mazda Miata Heritage Cup. As crazy as it sounds, it’s been over 25 years since the Miata was introduced. In those 25 years, the Miata has built a rich racing history, and crossing the 25 year mark makes it eligible for vintage racing; however, not all vintage racing organizations have accepted the little roadster yet.
Created by Mazda Motorsports, this is the first of a five-race series. What makes it different from Spec Miata is that the Miata Heritage Cup only allows the Miata in its purest form: the 1.6-liter B6ZE from the '90-'93 model.