Coronado Speed Festival 2013: Part One

Words by Matt Willis

September has come and gone, the temperatures here in Southern California are cooling down, and in a mere couple of weeks we’ll be rolling our clocks back out of daylight savings time. And almost immediately after that, we’ll be wrapping up a busy 2013 at the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Crazy how fast the time goes year after year. In addition to the remaining events of the year, we have some other “working” side projects that we hope to emerge soon.

Lately the blog has been a bit slow, but rest assured we’ve been shooting several events in the field and staying busy with the primary components of our lives. For me personally, work has just been menacing on me over the past month or so (and continues to be), so I haven’t had a whole lot of time or even brain resources left over to bring anything to the table. Only recently have things been getting a little calmer and collected in my head…

That being said, one of the big events that flew by us in September was the Coronado Speed Festival here in our hometown of San Diego. For those that know us or have been following for a while, you know that this one of our favorite events of the year, and there are several reasons why. Of course, there are motors and tires involved, so naturally we are drawn to it – but I think more so than anything else, it is the connection of the owners and their cars and the dedication they carry along with it. Many of these people and their families are so devoted to their cars, they tour the nation for an entire season of races and track days – the Speed Festival being just one stop on along the way. I suppose if I were retired and had the resources, I would do the same thing…

But really, I find it astonishing that the event never picked up by some of the other automotive media outlets out there. Year after year, this truly rare and treasured race is merely known by just the locals. Who knows, maybe the Navy doesn’t want it to become a huge production. But the other half of me sees tremendous potential for a much larger event and revenue – especially with such an accommodating venue. Surprisingly, this year’s Festival did not seem too inhibited by the sequestration, and the turnout was really great. The only thing I could wish for is that it continues to go on year after year, even when as the 50s/60s/70s generation tapers off…


For those who are unfamiliar or haven’t attended, the Speed Festival is a series of flat-out races across nine different classes performed on one of San Diego’s major Navy airfields. In addition to a hot racetrack, there is a show area for different car clubs to assemble and display their rides. You can comb through this area for hours looking at all the rare, exotic and unique builds…


Treasures like this emerald GT350 Mustang immediately stand out…

One of the main themes of this year’s event was the 50th Anniversary of the Porsche 911.

They had a few cherry 911s set aside in the paddock area for the event.





One thing I notice about many classic 911s these days are the use of the widened OE wheels. The first car I saw these on was the original Singer Design 911 a couple years ago, now they are starting to catch on.

Loved this classic white Corvette. While the 60s ‘Vettes always seem to be the most cherished, the C3 body style gets me every time. It really stays true to the “muscle car” era and has a much more aggressive look than any of the other generations…

This remarkable, race-ready Mustang build had all kinds of custom and modern work in it…





More Corvettes…

AC/Shelby Cobras come in all different variations at the Speed Festival…

Local enthusiast and follower of the site, Richard Robello, brought his Mustang GT out…


Classic Jaguar E-Type…



Of course, not everything here is classic or vintage. Take this Ariel Atom for example…


The first group we saw hit the track were the Miatas from the Mazda MX-5 Cup, a series’ new to the Speed Festival as of last year. These cars are very evenly matched, so driving skill becomes the main component in this class…















That’s it for today. We will continue on tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!

This entry was posted by fullcoupe.

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