Speed Festival

By David M. Woodhouse

Those of us who make the annual trek to Monterey from Southern California got a bonus last August when Steve Earle announced that HMSA would hold a season ending racing event on San Diego?s Naval Air Station, North Island in November. It did happen, and fifteen thousand spectators turned out to watch 150 vintage racers have at it over the runways on the Coronado Navy base. The weather was picture perfect for the weekend before Thanksgiving and Ferrari fans saw a stellar field that included nine examples of our favorite marque.

Oldtimers in San Diego remember racing at nearby Torrey Pines and Hourglass Field but the 1.6 mile circuit was more reminiscent of the races held on SAC bases in the early fifties. Group two could just as well have been at March Field in 1954 as Allards, C-Jaguars, and Kurtis 500s diced with four Ferraris headed by Bruce McCaw?s awesome 375 Mile Miglia. This is the car driven by Phil Hill to second place at March Field and again to second overall with Richie Ginther in the last Carrera Panamericana. Carroll Shelby also drove the Vignale bodied spyder to victory in the feature race at Torrey Pines in 1955 and both Hill and Shelby were at Coronado to watch the freshly restored Ferrari back in action after disappearing for nearly forty years. ( I lost part of the text in a hard drive crash)