On Saturday afternoon, the StanceWorks HQ parking lot filled with the sights and sounds of vintage race cars for our first ever PRE/GRID event. In association with VARA - the Vintage Auto Racing Association - we put forth an event that aims to celebrate everything that makes the world of vintage racing special, and with a bit of luck, we hope to bring a few new faces to the track for the next VARA event. With more than 40 classic race-prepped machines in attendance, and several hundred spectators, the event surpassed every expectation, leaving us excited and anxious for the next PRE/GRID event to come.
The concept of PRE/GRID was simple: to share our love of vintage motorsports, and to bring forth a new generation of fans, and more importantly, drivers. While it's all but impossible to capture the magic of the paddocks at the worlds' greatest historic races, we hoped to embrace a similar sentiment, aiming to share the experiences StanceWorks has given us over the years. While there's no way to bring hundreds of fans and enthusiasts with us as we have travelled the world - perhaps it's possible to bring a slice of that home, here to our Southern Californian parking lot.
We tried - and looking back, succeeded - in gathering an eclectic, unique, and special group of cars, and along side us, the amazing folks at VARA broadened their efforts to expand the sport of vintage racing itself. In an effort to show PRE/GRID attendees that they too are welcome to bring out their classic cars for a number of track events, VARA set up a booth, equipped with everything needed to educate the masses. As the generation before us inevitably ages, it's up to us to keep the sport alive, and thus it's PRE/GRID's goal to inspire, motivate, and maybe even coerce a few folks to find their footing in vintage racing, and to join us at future events, on track and off.
Although PRE/GRID officially began at 11:00AM, it was bright and early when the first cars began to show. Race trailers lined up, eager to unload, with classic Alfas, 02s, MGs, Datsuns, and more, all roaring to life one-by-one. The cars burbled and stammered across the asphalt and into their parking spots, with the scent of race fuel and the fog of burning oil rolling throughout the lot. Come 11:00 or so, the lot began to overflow, with a number of vintage machines lining the adjacent lot and even filling in spots on the street.
In a way we could have only hoped for, PRE/GRID brought out machines from all walks of vintage racing life. Japanese, German, Italian, British, American, and more; we were proud to host a slew of cars that were sure to excite any and every enthusiast about the sport itself. While many cars found their spots nestled between each other long before the event began, a number roared and howled into the lot, in and amongst the spectators, giving more than just visual stimulation to our friends and fans.
A Jowett Jupiter sat parked, open-topped, and next to it, a Mercedes 220 Fintail racer, complete with an incredible list of iconic drivers' names along the roofline, both helping to showcase the obscure, oddball, and quirky side of vintage racing. Parked opposite them were a handful of aircooled 911s, open-topped roadsters from our friends at Frank Monise Motors, and of course, the yellow-nosed Alfa brought by Anthony Rimicci.
A GT40, an open-wheeled Formula Ford, a number of Datsuns, and a few Lotuses too - PRE/GRID brought out what seemed like everything, and the showing for our first event couldn't have been better. Even the inside of the StanceWorks shop flooded with attendees seeking free food, drinks, and cool shade, while the tarmac itself bustled with friends, family, and strangers alike, all present to enjoy the machines of madness.
It's an event for the books, unquestionably - so much fun in fact, that we're already eager to do it again. In the mean time, we hope our readers get their tuneups and safety checks done... because to continue the incredible world of vintage motorsports, we must breathe our own life into it. We must go beyond admiring these beautiful machines: we must add to the mix, and drive our own. We'll see you trackside, or better yet, maybe even on track too. For more information about vintage racing please visit VARAracing.com or reach out to Mike and Andrew with any questions. We're more than happy to help as you begin the steps needed to enter into the world of classic motorsports.