Sometime after the Aztec game finishes on Saturday and before the Charger game on Sunday, do check out the Coronado Speed Festival. It’s an extremely unique event that’s actually a moving — fast moving — museum.
One of the great things about the car hobby is that unlike almost anything else, cars move. And for that rare owner that has the means and the will to have a priceless antique racer and actually drive it on the track, events like the Coronado Speed Festival give these pieces of history the chance to do what they were designed to do.
For the spectator, it’s an opportunity to see and hear what was. A brace of muscle cars from the ’60s running around the track? We can’t turn the clock back to the day when Richard Petty battled A.J. Foyt and others at Riverside International Raceway in Chargers, Torinos, Chevelles and Road Runners. Riverside’s now a mall and the drivers are 50 years older. We can’t turn the clock back to the 50s and see Hudson Hornets battling Oldsmobile 88s on the sand at Daytona, either. Or maybe the time machine could take us to a board track (maybe Lakeside or Pacific Beach) in the 20s to see Duesenburgs taking on Packards.
But we can watch and hear the actual cars rounding the curves on the North Island this weekend. Whether or not you’re a car nut, it’s worth seeing. Experiencing the sound waves from these vintage racers at full throttle is worth the visit. You can’t get that from a DVD.
And the elite of Southern California car culture show up. A few years back, I had the honor of hanging out with the late GM styling chief Chuck Jordan. I also met Barry Meguiar (of the car wax and TV show fame) at Coronado.
Here’s a great preview from Mark Maynard, the San Diego Union-Tribune’s auto editor. Hope to see you out there.