A Classic Celebration
I agree with Phil: it is very cool to see well-kept classic cars out and about on our nation’s roadways – but it’s even cooler to see them ripping it up at a tight road course.
That’s what drew me to the Waterford Hills Road Racing course, a short (and extremely narrow) 1.5-mile course located in Clarkston, Michigan.; As part of their 50th anniversary (and in conjunction with the 2008 Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance), over 100 vintage cars came out for some weekend racing.
I’ll stop you now: this is no Monterey Historics of the Midwest (I’d argue the Brian Redmond Challenge at Road America may deserve that title), but there was seemingly no shortage of historically significant vehicles: Lotus 41, Lister MG, Shelby Mustang GT350, Elva Courier – those names aren’t likely to spring forth at most grassroots motorsports events here in the Midwest, making it an enjoyable sight.;
Sure, you could witness those rides at Monterey, but good luck paying a $5-10 cover charge to see them – try somewhere around $65, instead.
Such a diverse array of cars did, on occasion, pose some problems with class groupings.; Personally, I wouldn’t have placed the ex-Bobby Rahal 1980 March 817 in a pack of cars filled mostly with smaller cars like the Lotus 23 or Elva Mk. VII: the 817 would end up lapping much of the pack several times over.
Even so, much of the racing was rather competitive, and it was enthralling watching a Lotus Cortina Mk. 1 mix things up with a pack of rabid Alfa Romeo Giulias in tow.; Better yet were the sounds – the droning buzz of the Alfas, the ferocious brapp of the Lola T193, and the machine-gun rattle of the Mustang Boss 302.
Yes, the track and the facility are small, but it was still a big ball of fun. A 50th anniversary comes only once, but should another group of cars like this return to Waterford Hills, you may well find me meandering through the paddock once again.