In my early days as a racing fan, I was thrilled by photos and articles of cars that were simply magical to me: Can Am Porsches, McLarens, and Lolas, Chapparals, Shelby Cobras, Ford GT-40s … iconic sports racing and GT cars which I knew would never see race, but which always evoked images of some Golden Age of road racing.
By the time I learned about them, these cars had been retired, replaced by a new crop of dream cars: Porsche 934s and 935s, 962s, second-generation Can-Am cars, GTP, Group C, and World Sportscar Championship cars. Again, these cars passed into history before I could get a chance to see them race. I knew them only through books and magazines, and fantasies of seeing them roaring around corners, tires screaming, then blasting down straightaways at dizzying speeds, propelled by monstrous bursts of power.
The appeal of these cars never faded for me. My desire to see these legendary cars in action never died.
And I can say with certainty, the reality is every bit as good as the fantasy.
On Saturday, December fifth, I visited Sebring International Speedway to watch part of the Sebring Fall Classic historic car races, presented by Classic Motorsports magazine and organized by Historic Sportscar Racing, Ltd.
There I saw cars of the sort that ignited my passion for racing, four decades ago. I saw some of the cars that fueled my desire to learn about and follow racing, some of the cars that inspired me to read and research and seek out every photo and every bit of text about them.
I saw my dreams, come true.