Preview: Coronado Speed Festival 2012

Words by Matt Willis

If you’ve followed the blog for the past few years, you know that one of our favorite events to cover is the annual Coronado Speed Festival. It takes place down at North Island Naval Air Station on Coronado Island, and is a clash of historic road racing and the classic car community. It is also the finale in a series of events around the city to honor and appreciate the our locally-based Navy and armed forces, called ‘Fleet Week’.

The 15th-annual Speed Festival event doesn’t start until tomorrow (Sat, Sept. 22), but runs through to the end of the weekend. If you’re in Socal and don’t have plans this weekend, I highly recommend going – you won’t regret it. The cars that are racing out on track range from ’52-’88 classics, muscles and euros, non-production sports cars, historic NASCAR, and new to the Festival this year is the Mazda MX-5 Cup series. Also, there’s a drift demo at the end of both Saturday and Sunday. It’s usually amateur or pro-AM drivers, but from what I saw on base today…it looks like there might be a little extra in-store, especially if you’re a fan of Formula D. You can obtain tickets online here (cheaper than buying them at the gate!).

Anyways, just figured I’d update you guys. I took a quick trip down to Rotary Plaza on Thursday evening to check out a little gathering of cars that will be running this weekend. A lot of the folks there have been attending the Festival for years and there’s a good amount of respect and admiration going around. I couldn’t help but overhear a bit of competitive trash-talk though, too…haha.

Spotted a Thing in someone’s driveway as I was finding a parking spot…

Old Lotus…


Hmm…what doesn’t belong?

BMW Isetta from Brecht BMW makes its yearly appearance. It would be awesome to see Rowan Atkinson behind the wheel…haha…



Porsche 356 Super 1600…


I fell in love with the black GT 350…such a beauty…

…it even got the cops drooling…







Lola car…



Would love to see this thing on the track. The license plate in itself is just awesome…

Last year’s theme was the Naval Aviation Centennial; this year celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the US Navy Seals…



Beautiful Cobra…



Classic NASCAR body…

Datsun Z motor…

As mentioned above, the newest class in the Speed Festival is the Mazda MX-5 Cup. Although it’s a striking contrast from most of the cars out there, I think it will be a great addition to the mix and keep the younger generation of fans excited.

Cockpit of the MX-5 cup car…

One of the drivers is Elliott Skeer, a local from the city of Carlsbad. He is currently 6th in the standings…

Another angle of the Isetta…



50s Elva 1100…




Many of the cars here have done their share of showing and racing.






That’s all for now. More to come after this weekend. Stay tuned, and be sure to follow our updates on Facebook for the latest info.

Thanks for reading!





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