Tag Archives: vintage

Sports Car Digest – Best Vintage Car Racing Photo of 2016

Ferrari 250 GTO and Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion (photo: Victor Varela)

I was honored again this year to have four of my images, of the best 50 chosen, to be considered for Sports Car Digest’s Best Vintage Car Racing Photo of 2016. Since 2009, SCD has celebrated the photographs they publish by choosing the top 50 and having the readers chose from these.  Selecting the top 50 certainly isn’t an easy task for them, but with the list being narrowed down, SCD is asking for your assistance in picking the best vintage car racing photo.

Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion (photo: Victor Varela)

To vote, simply visit the following page on their website: Best Vintage Car Racing Photo of 2016

You can find my 4 images on the SCD website here:  My Best Vintage Racing Photos for 2016

I have shared the four images here for your consideration and your vote for any one of them would be greatly appreciated!

Ferrari 412MI the Monterey Motorsports Reunion (photo: Victor Varela)

Simply vote by leaving a comment at the bottom of the Ports Car Digest website page, indicating which photo is your favorite image.  They will announce the winner in the January 21st edition of their newsletter and in the comment section.

Scarab Mk I left its mark on the Monterey Motorsports Reunion (photo: Victor Varela)

Sports Car Digest will randomly choose THREE winners from the comments to receive a SCD T-Shirt and sticker combo, so be sure to include your email address in the comment form so they can reach you. In order to win, you must also be a subscriber to Sports Car Digest Weekly, so sign up for their free newsletter if you haven’t already.

Good Morning

Good Morning

This image from a Ferrari 375 MM was captured at Cars & Coffee in Irvine, on October 3rd, 2009.

It can be purchased in print or canvas, by clicking the image or using the following link to the gallery: Cars & Coffee – Irvine 2009-14

Thank you for viewing this post.

Vic

[image copyright © 2009 Victor Varela. All rights reserved]

San Marino Motor Classic 2015

Vincent modeling Carpe Viam's excellent T-shirt for The Little Red Racing Car.

Vincent modeling Carpe Viam’s excellent T-shirt for The Little Red Racing Car.

This was the first year I covered the San Marino Motor Classic: Design in Motion.  In it’s 5th year, the event was held on June 14, 2015 at Lacy Park in San Marino, California.  It is the successor of the Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance.  Over 300 cars were displayed on the lawns of the beautiful 30-acre park, all gathered for the public to enjoy.

I spent the morning walking around the park, admiring and capturing the featured 34 classes of cars, which included examples from Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Packard, Cadillac, Jaguar, Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza and Rolls-Royce.

1957 Lotus Eleven (Tribute) - owned by John Holodnik & Vivian Woo

1957 Lotus Eleven (Tribute) – owned by John Holodnik & Vivian Woo

I found automotive icons and collectors like Bruce Meyer, Aaron Weiss, KABC 7’s Automotive Specialist Dave Kunz, Ed Justice, Jr., Peter Mullin & Bruce Meguiar – walking the park and talking candidly with visitors & fans who approached them.

My wife, Maria and my Grandson, Vincent, came along with me to enjoy the day at the park and to admire all the great cars on display.  Vincent even got to meet Barry Meguiar and a ride in a real fire truck!

Vic, Vincent and Barry Meguiar

Vic, Vincent and Barry Meguiar

My report and images were published online this morning at Sports Car Digest.  You can read and see all my images HERE.

1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder - owned by Robert & Anne Marie De Pietro

1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder – owned by Robert & Anne Marie De Pietro

Purchase Prints…
If you would like a print for your wall at home, office or race shop, I offer quality prints of the images you see here and others that were captured during this event. You can purchase them here: Photo Store

1985 Ferrari 288 GTO - owned by David Lee

1985 Ferrari 288 GTO – owned by David Lee

Vic

The unauthorized use and/or duplication of any editorial or photographic content from victorvarela.com:blog without express and written permission from Victor Varela, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to victorvarela.com:blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Ferrari Celebrates 60 Years in the US… and I meet Piero Ferrari.

Race Through The Decades: 1954-2014. The 60th Anniversary of Ferrari in the USA

Race Through The Decades: 1954-2014. The 60th Anniversary of Ferrari in the USA

I almost missed this event, having been focused on several client’s websites in the last few weeks.  A chance mention in a Peterson Museum post on Facebook had me asking my wife if I could skip her birthday brunch that Sunday.  Since we had already celebrated with dinner a few days ago, she kindly let me off the hook to attend.

Having attended several car events on Rodeo Drive over the years, I arrived early to secure a parking space close to the event as they are at a premium if you get there later in the morning.

1963 Ferrari 250 GTO - 4293 GT.  © 2014 Victor Varela

1963 Ferrari 250 GTO – 4293 GT. © 2014 Victor Varela

As I walked along Rodeo, the street was already busy with a crowd of enthusiast and visitors ogling the Italian steeds parked along the palm tree lined street.  I took several images in between the folks admiring and taking pictures as I headed south towards the corner of Wilshire and Rodeo.  The level of rarity and historic significance of the cars I photographed was astounding.  Le Mans, Mille Miglia and other race winners, custom one-offs and rare examples made this a truly unique automotive gathering in the history of the marquee.

I made my way to the press check-in and although securing a pass was not to difficult, the significance of having and using one here was more of a souvenir item as I witnessed several folks, including teens, obtaining one quite easily.  I gathered the information I needed from the PR person and continued to circulate and capture images as best I could as the crowds had grown exponentially.

Piero Ferrari, Vice Chairman of Ferrari, arrives in a 250 GT SWB California. © 2014 Victor Varela

Piero Ferrari, Vice Chairman of Ferrari, arrives in a 250 GT SWB California. © 2014 Victor Varela

I headed to the stage area before mid-day, to view and capture images of the F60 unveiling.  I was planning on meeting Luca di Montezemolo and maybe getting his autograph, but as he announced his “forced” retirement as President and Chairman of Ferrari S.p.A. – effective the following day, it did not surprise me that he was absent from today’s event.

2013 Ferrari F138 Formula One race car. © 2014 Victor Varela

2013 Ferrari F138 Formula One race car. © 2014 Victor Varela

The Ferrari executives were all driven up to the staging area in Ferraris with the California namesake ranging from the 250 GT California to the new California T.  They included John Elkann, Chairman of FCA, Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA and Chairman of Ferrari, Amedeo Felisa, CEO of Ferrari, and Piero Ferrari, Vice Chairman of Ferrari.

Bruce Meyer, Sergio Marchionne, Piero Ferrari and John Elkann. along with other VIPs during the unveiling of the 2015 F60 America. © 2014 Victor Varela

With Bruce Meyer and TV personality, Mario Lopez, serving as MC’s, the F60 America was unveiled with applause and cheers from the crowd.  With the absence of Montezemolo from the celebration, I focused my attention on meeting and hopefully having Piero Ferrari autograph my press card.  As I waited at the foot of the stairs leading to the stage, I found my opportunity and asked him for his autograph.  We spoke briefly and shook hands before he retreated from the crowd that started to gather around him.  A momentous occasion for me as I have been a fan and admirer of the Scuderia, his father and Ferrari in general since the late 70’s.

Piero Ferrari, Vice Chairman of Ferrari S.p.A. © 2014 Victor Varela

Piero Ferrari, Vice Chairman of Ferrari S.p.A. © 2014 Victor Varela

I continued to capture images, still under the euphoria of meeting Piero Ferrari and left the event knowing I attended a truly unique automotive celebration.

A report with images have been submitted to Sports Car Digest and will hopefully be published before week’s end.

 

Purchase Prints…
If you would like a print for your wall at home, office or race shop, I offer quality prints of the images you see here and others that were captured during this event. You can purchase them here: Photo Store

 

UPDATE 10/16/2014:  My report and images of the Ferrari celebration, have been published online at Sports Car Digest:  Ferrari 60th Anniversary Gathering

 

My press pass, autographed by Piero Lardi Ferrari at the “Race Through The Decades”: 1954-2014. © 2014 Victor Varela

 

Vic

 

The unauthorized use and/or duplication of any editorial or photographic content from victorvarela.com:blog without express and written permission from Victor Varela, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to victorvarela.com:blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

HMSA – 2014 Spring Club Event, Laguna Seca, CA

1954 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider

1954 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider. © 2014 Victor Varela

The sights and sounds of vintage motor racing returned to the legendary Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on March 22-23, as the Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA) held its 2014 Spring Club Event at this iconic race track.  The close of winter couldn’t come sooner as I anticipated the journey up north and the coverage of this event. Approximately 175 historic race cars that attended this year and made for some exciting practice, qualifying and racing at the 11 turn, 2.2 mile road course, located in the central coast area of Monterey, California.

The Monterey Peninsula in March is typically foggy and cold in the early morning hours, which usually clears to beautiful skies and a crisp, cool breeze, providing interesting lighting throughout the day. These conditions made it ideal to photograph the wide variety of historic production cars and purpose built Formula and Sports Racing cars.

1960 Porsche Abarth © 2014 Victor Varela

1960 Porsche Abarth © 2014 Victor Varela

If you are not familiar with the HMSA, they are one of the most respected historic racing organizations in the United States, producing world class spectator events across the country in addition to managing one of the largest high net worth member-based associations. Since 1977, they have served as the sanctioning body for premiere historic racing events in North America. It is the only organization in the U.S. that requires the cars to be historically correct based on the period of time that the car originally raced. Their purpose is to encourage the restoration, preservation and use of historic, sports and racing cars and their events and races are for fun with nothing to be won. HMSA members own, restore, preserve and race the most historic and valuable sports and racing cars in the world and was clearly evident by the cars that took to the track this weekend.

1962 Shelby Cobra © 2014 Victor Varela

1962 Shelby Cobra © 2014 Victor Varela

Among the entry list of the impressive cars that participated were the 1954 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider Scaglietti of Scott Drnek; the Red Lobster liveried, 1983 March 83G driven by David Andrews; 1973 BMW CSL 3.0 driven by Jeff Gerkin; the ex-Bob Sharp Racing 1972 Datsun 610 driven by TV and radio personality, Adam Carolla; 1991 Toyota IMSA GTP Eagle Mk III driven by Tom Malloy; a pair of 1972 Datsun 240Zs; the popular trio of Shelby Cobras owned and driven by Steve, Tim and Lynn Park, to name but just of a few.

1983 Red Lobster March 83G© 2014 Victor Varela

1983 Red Lobster March 83G© 2014 Victor Varela

1970 Datsun 240Z © 2014 Victor Varela

1970 Datsun 240Z © 2014 Victor Varela

Purchase Prints…
If you would like a print for your wall at home, office or race shop, I offer quality prints of the images you see here and others that were captured during this event. You can purchase them here: Photo Store

Visit my website gallery – Victor Varela Photographer.

[Source: HMSA]

The unauthorized use and/or duplication of any editorial or photographic content from victorvarela.com:blog without express and written permission from Victor Varela, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to victorvarela.com:blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My Time Behind the Fence.

1968 McLaren M6B passing the scoring tower at turn 10. LoM – Laguna Seca 2013. © 2013 Victor Varela

Back in June of 2013, I received an e-mail from Dennis Gray – Senior Photographer for Sports Car Digest and f8 Motorsports Workshops instructor.  He asked me to call him about the upcoming HMSA event at Mont-Tremblant and the idea of me writing a story about my experience with the workshop and the events I had attended.

I followed up with Dennis and discussed his idea for a story and related images that would be published sometime in October/November 2013 for Sports Car Digest.  What a great opportunity for me to to write about my experiences, as well as having my images published on the leading international online journal for sports, racing and vintage car enthusiasts. Of course I was on board with this!

I took notes and compiled several sets of images.  I worked on the initial draft of the article from October through December, submitting rough drafts to Dennis for his input. Finally, we had a time-frame for submission to SCD – Early January 2014.

I finished up my final draft and completed the selection of 60 of my favorite images from the events I covered. After Dennis reviewed and approved the article, I submitted it with the images to Jamie Doyle, editor at SCD.

I awoke Friday morning at 5:30 am (after having a nightmare – but that’s another story) and checked my iPhone.  It was neat to see that my story had been published as the featured article on SCD.

Thanks Dennis and Jamie for the opportunity to share my images and story with the SCD readers.

You can read my article here: Behind the Fence – Capturing the World of Motorsports

Vic

Article and images by Victor Varela

Coronado Speed Festival & Sports Car Digest

Robert Ryan's 1968 McLaren M6B.

Robert Ryan’s 1968 McLaren M6B.  (image © 2013 Victor Varela)

Phew!  It’s been a bit of a struggle to get back into the swing of things, after eight days of fun, family, exploring, eating and a little bit of work on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.  Once home and after updating client’s websites, addressing a mailbox full of e-mails and going through images in Lightroom, I gave myself some time to post something exciting here on my blog, that happened while I was away.  I had my images from the 2013 Coronado Speed Festival published on the leading international online journal for sports, racing and vintage car enthusiasts – Sports Car Digest!

 

Alex Curtis' 1955 Mercedes 300 SL during Sunday practice.

Alex Curtis’ 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing.  (image © 2013 Victor Varela)

Before I left for the weekend in Coronado, I received a phone call from friend and f/8 Motorsports Photography Workshops instructor, Dennis Gray, who asked for some images of the event for the HMSA annual (Historic Motor Sports Association, is the sanctioning organization for the Coronado Speed Festival).  They were requesting an assortment of track and “pit candy’ shots of the weekend to be included with the other HMSA events.  I happily agreed and before we ended the call, he also asked if I could cover the event for him as he had another event to photograph and could not make it to San Diego.   It would be for Sports Car Digest and would consist of about 120 images and a report of the weekend’s activities.  To say that I was excited and honored about covering this event for Dennis, a photographer with his experience, credentials and reputation, is, well… an understatement.  It was such a great moment for me! To have my abilities as a motorsports photographer, validated by Dennis with this request, well I can tell you I had a 48 hour grin on my face.  I greatly appreciate that he had the confidence in my abilities to ask me to cover the event for him.

Thank you, Dennis!

It was a great event and weekend of vintage racing with the various race classes that participated, as well as an open paddock where the cars and drivers prepared for their track time. With all the vendors, food stands, car club corrals and several military vehicles and aircraft on display, fans their families and friends, had a lot to see, eat and experience throughout the warm and sunny Southern California race weekend.

The track was a bit difficult to use as a back drop for all the fantastic cars that participated during the weekend, but I found several good spots around the track to capture them.  The morning light offered some beautiful lighting as is evident in the image above of the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing.  The mid-day sun wasn’t too bad for capturing images as seen by the image below of the beautiful, young lady and Fred Lacorte’s 1950 Oldsmobile “88” Convertible.

 

CSFHMSA092213-39

Fred Lacorte’s 1950 Oldsmobile “88” Convertible is a girl magnet.  (image © 2013 Victor Varela)

Once I returned from San Diego, I was on a tight deadline because of the trip to Oahu at the end of the week.  I post processed, organized, captioned and sent the images and report to Dennis, Jamie Doyle – founder & editor of Sports Car Digest and Bill Wagenblatt at Track Thoughts for the HMSA annual.

I was in contact with Jamie and Dennis during that weekend, about the possibility of having the images published on SCD (although Dennis had asked me to cover the event, it was up to both Dennis and Jamie to approve them for publishing) and when they would be on the site.

On October 2nd, I woke up to another beautiful morning in Oahu and checked the Sports Car Digest website and found the image of Robert Ryan’s 1968 McLaren M6B and the following copy…

Report and photos by Victor Varela The Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, California, played host once again to the thundering symphony of vintage race cars at the … Read Full Story

Wow!  What a great feeling it was to see one of my images on the front page of Sports Car Digest!

I have to thank Jamie for the opportunity and the prestige of having my images and report on his fantastic website.  Hopefully, I can make future contributions to Sports Car Digest and maybe other online and printed publications in the very near future.

Fell free to click the image or link below to see my image gallery & report.

Read Full Story

 

SCD Coronado wp

 

 

HMSA Le Sommet des Légendes, Mont-Tremblant, Canada 2013

1953 Maserati 250F

When I attended the F8 Motorsports Photography Workshop this past March, the workshop participants were given the opportunity to win hotel accommodations for the Sommet des Légendes event in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada, for the weekend of July 11-14, 2013.   I was pleasantly surprised to find out in June, that the images I submitted had won me the Mont-Tremblant accommodations!

Once again, I was given the chance to cover a motorsport event as a credentialed photographer for the Historic Motor Sport Association (HMSA) event that was held at the beautiful, 2.65 mile, Circuit Mont-Tremblant road course.

1967 Lola T70

Le Sommet des Légendes weekend, celebrated the thunderous cars and great drivers from the late 60’s to early 70’s Can-Am Championship. The event also featured a wonderfully group of historic Bugatti automobiles, including several Grand Prix race cars as well as Classic Monoposto, IMSA GT, Trans Am, Sports Prototypes and F1, among others.

Among the eye-catching variety of racing beauties were the ex-John Surtees 1967 Lola T70, owned and driven by Robert Blains (this car won the first Can-Am race here back in 1966 with Surtees at the wheel); a 1956 Maserati 250S; 1978 BMW M1 Procar; 1976 Lotus Type 77; 1925 Bugatti Type 35; 1967 Porsche 910; 1968 McLaren M6B; 2005 Audi R8 LMP1; 2006 Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 and one of my personal favorites of the weekend, Peter Gidding’s 1953 Maserati 250F.

1953 Maserati 250F

I had a great time roaming the North Loop section of the race track, looking for the best angles and lines of sight that I could get during the changing light of the day.  Here again, I used my experience going through the F8 workshop and the last event I attended in June at Laguna Seca, to focus and prepare on where I wanted to capture images on the track and the best time of day to take them from those locations.  I continued to give myself a set of camera parameters to use and stay consistent with the shutter speeds, F/stops and ISO range I wanted to use throughout the day.

1956 Maserati 250S

I was fortunate to run into race car driver and owner, Rick Knoop on several occasion throughout the weekend.  So much so, that I started calling him my shadow!  Rick was a real sport and he readily shared several stories of his father, himself and his passion for racing and race cars.  He brought and drove the light-blue, 1972 McLaren M8F, taking 3rd place over the weekend in his class.  He explained that this particular McLaren had raced in the 1973 Can-Am season by the Commander Motor Homes team and was driven by Danny Hopkins.  It’s history included a best, 5th place finish at Mid-Ohio before the car was wrecked at Edmonton.  His father, Fred Knoop, bought the M8F and raced it in vintage events.  The car has been rebuilt by Rick and his partner and he races it in the same tradition as his father did.

1972 McLaren M8F

I also had the great pleasure and honor to be invited by my friends at F8 (Llew, Dennis & Jeff), to have dinner with them and racing legend, George Follmer.  The 1972 Can-Am series champion was the Grand Marshall of this year’s Le Sommet des Légendes. He regaled us with his great stories and anecdotes throughout the evening, sharing with us his runs at Le Mans, Sebring and the Indy 500, as well as the various race cars he has driven – including the 1974 Shadow DN4 that was present at this weekend’s event..  A truly wonderful highlight to cap a great time in Mont-Temblant!

Overall, a fantastic weekend, although a bit warm and muggy, a stunning race track that is Circuit Mont-Tremblant, awesome race cars and the great new friends I met and enjoyed spending time with.

You can view more of the images I captured during the the HMSA – Le Sommet des Légendes weekend at Mont-Tremblant here: Flickr Gallery.

Enjoy!

Vic

If you would like information on how to attend one of the motor sport workshops, click the following link: F8 Motorsports Photography Workshop

(images © 2013 Victor Varela)