After a good day of practice and showing off the sights and sounds of some classic race cars during Day 1 of the Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca, Day 2 is when the more serious drivers come to play. While still termed as a practice day, there were some drivers out there giving it some stick to prepare for qualifying for those that signed up not just to drive around the track, but to actually take part in some historic racing!

Much like the first day, there were some legendary, rare, and exceptional classic race cars climbing over the twisting course before plummeting the nearly 90 feet down the corkscrew corner before entering Rainey Curve. And like with the first day, we’re going to highlight some of the rarest, special, and/or just great cars that took to the track on August 13th! If you missed the live steam, you can watch it in its entirety here: Monterey Motorsports Reunion Day 2.

1966 Bizzarrini 5300GT Strada Corsa

1966 Bizzarrini 5300GT Strada
1966 Bizzarrini 5300GT Strada Corsa

Here’s a car that you’ve probably never heard of. Bizzarrini, as a company, was around for only five short years, as a passion project of former Ferrari and Alfa Romeo engineer Giotto Bizzarrini. He was able to design and build three models in the short time the company had before it folded, but what cars they were. There was the 1900 GT Europa, a classic berlinetta grand tourer reminiscent of the Ferrari 250 GT in style, not so much in power. There was the P538S, a race car that put a Corvette 327 small-block V8 dialed up to 450 HP into a lightweight tubular steel chassis with a fiberglass shell and went like it had been poked in the rear with a very sharp stick.

And then there was the 5300GT Strada and its much rarer 5300GT Strada Corsa racing variant. It was also the first car to be made by the Bizzarrini SpA motor company, and much like the P538S, it used a Chevrolet Corvette 327 small block as its powerplant. In a bit of a twist away from the mid-engine layout that was becoming the standard for supercars and racing GT’s of the time, the engine was mounted front-midships. This was possible because of the small-block 327, with the last two cylinders of the eight just starting to hang over the front axle. What this did, however, was place the bulk of the weight directly over the pivot center of the car.

Possibly without meaning to, Giotto Bizzarrini put a lump of American iron in the single best place to have it in a front-engined car, dialed the power up to over 400 HP in the Corsa, and let it loose on the track. Despite having more than a few reliability problems, what it did successfully do was win the hearts of those that drove it. It cornered beautifully, it emitted a deep, primal growl from its American powerplant, and it sliced through the air because it was only 44.1 inches from the bottom of the tires to the top of the cockpit. It didn’t win any Le Mans races, it never actually survived any endurance race any privateers entered with the car, but it still shows that can happen when Italians design and American power combine to produce a car that literally defines the words “passion project.”

1960 Lola Mk I

1960 Lola Mk I
1960 Lola Mk I

It’s extremely rare for the first version of a racing car to make an appearance at a track, let alone at a Concours d’Elegance. Yet, in the 2021 Monterey Motorsports Reunion, not one but two 1960 Lola Mk I’s were entered. So what makes this car so special that it deserves to be highlighted?

For those that grew up in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Lola was a name that was attached to pretty much every aspect of open-wheel racing. In fact, Mario Andretti won the 1983 Indianapolis 500 driving a Lola owned by

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By: Simon Simon
Title: Monterey Motorsports Reunion Day 2 Highlights
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Published Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2021 14:01:55 +0000