The middle of April is always a great time for the Long Beach Grand Prix. It’s a nearly week-long event centered around a street course in Long Beach, CA that plays host to drifting, stadium trucks, and world-class sportscar and prototype racing. However, the hot new thing at this year’s Long Beach Grand Prix wasn’t even new. Instead, everyone was excited to see some vintage IMSA GTO cars rip around the narrow street circuit. Stuff like Nissan 300ZXs, C4 Corvettes, Fox Body Mustangs, Merkur XR4Tis, and so much more ’80s and ’90s nostalgia raced wheel-to-wheel in front of fans of all ages. Call me a cynic but I’d almost rather watch these cars race than the latest and greatest IMSA cars. It just looks like so much more fun! To see more photos from the vintage race in Long Beach, head over to Speedhunters.
Speaking of old race cars from the ’80s and ’90s seeing new life in vintage racing, check out this super cool Porsche 924S that got the “Safari” treatment. With lifted suspension, a gutted interior that is all business, and all sorts of armor and recovery gear to help this RWD car get just about anywhere, this 924S looks like a blast to drive! When Chris Harrell and Michael Prstojevich wanted to get into offroad racing, it became surprisingly clear that a budget Porsche just might be the best way to do it. After searching for a 944 to run in Mexico, the pair of Portland, OR natives decided on a 924S instead and snapped it up for just $2500. Although they haven’t raced it yet, the car is just about done and you can read more about it on Petrolicious.
While this video is old news, it still gets a watch from me every couple of weeks. The McLaren F1 has captured my attention for almost the entirety of my car-loving life. I love the purity of design and the laser-focused approach to going fast. So fast, in fact, that McLaren obliterated every other production car in 1994 when the F1 went on sale by setting a top speed of 231 MPH. When the car went out of production just 4 years and 106 examples later, the team at McLaren figured they just might be able to beat their previous top speed on VW’s massive Ehra-Lessien test track. The 12-mile long oval features a 5.2-mile straightaway that made it the perfect place to try and max out a McLaren F1. McLaren brought in racer Andy Wallace to break the record, sending him out on the track with little more than the instruction to keep his foot down. After a few trips back into the pits to have the rev limiter raised, he went back out and hammered out a lap at 242.94 MPH. Running the course in the opposite direction, which is required for the Guinness Book of Records to certify the feat, yielded a record of 240.1 MPH average.
Some of you might’ve seen the 1970 Mazda Cosmo that breezed through the MHCC garage before ending up on display at our Morrie’s Minnetonka Mazda store. It’s such a rare and quirky car, it’s hard to get enough of it. And that’s exactly why Mazda created the Cosmo: to serve as a halo car and to introduce people to the Mazda brand in the coolest way possible. Just a hair over 1,500 Cosmos were built but it that was enough to cement the rotary engine as something Mazda would continue to put in their top-tier sports cars for decades to come. To learn more about these fascinating cars, head over to Silodrome.