Coronado Speed Festival 2014: Part One

Words by Matt Willis

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PART 1 of 2

It’s one of our favorite events of the year – the Coronado Speed Festival – and we’re no strangers to it. For years, we’ve brought to light the sights, speed, and passion that make this event truly remarkable. As with too much or too frequent, though, the same thing always happens: it gets old. In fact, it wasn’t until after the event when I arrived back home that I started to mull over what made this year’s event any different from the last. Sure, there were a few new things here and there, but overall, a lot of the drivers, cars and races are the same just with different outcomes.

But then I realized: I was thinking about it too much. Honestly, the Coronado Speed Festival is a event all it’s own. There are very few places in the world where you can come to see cars of such rarity, beauty, power and timelessness sitting in a lot – let alone barreling down a racetrack full of other cars. For any automobile or racing enthusiast – regardless of what you’re into – this event isn’t worth passing up. I continued to dwell on how I felt the first time I even found out about such an event, and how taken I felt when I attended for the first time. Now, this was well before we were shooting photos. At this time we were really just enjoying the event. But I remember how blown away I was seeing a 300SL come within inches of a retaining wall. A year later, I remember a classic 427 Cobra making contact with a retaining wall.  There’s no better way to make you heart jolt for a few seconds, if you ask me…

So what was unique about this year’s event? A few things. The 17th-annual headliner was in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang. Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks were also on the scene, and from what I saw – the drivers were having a lot of fun. It was a great turnout this year, with enthusiasts of all types and ages showing up to see the cars, watch the races, and honor our military. As part of San Diego’s annual Fleet Week, the Speed Festival opens the doors of NAS North Island to the public for the weekend, offering up-close encounters with some of the Navy’s aircraft and support vehicles as well.

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The paddock area is always thriving with a vast mixture of custom, classic, vintage and exotic racing breeds.

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The historic Trans-Am races feature some of the most famous muscle cars of the era. It is also (by far) the loudest grid of them all…

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This Boss 302 continues to be one of my favorites, year after year.

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Some of the cars, like this one, seem to be closer to works of art than a circuit horse.

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Iconic liveries from history are also part of the festival…

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And as with any racing duty, there is always work to be done…

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There are some strange sights…

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And some unique ones too.

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This (now obselete) BMW M3 GT2 class was one of my favorites from the 2009-2012 Le Mans.

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Toyo had two beautiful 911 builds at their bo oth…one of which we saw not too long ago at Wekfest…

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More photos to come!

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