The Coronado Speed Festival 2015 was held September 19-20 at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, California. This year marked the 80th anniversary of Fleet Week in San Diego and for the past 18 years, the Coronado Speed Festival has been part of this annual event. This end of summer celebration brought locals and far-away enthusiasts to the Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island to enjoy the sights and sounds of vintage racing.
Each year, NAS Coronado constructs a temporary 1.7-mile course on the runways and taxiways of the Naval Air Station for the ‘Race at the Base’. Race fans enjoyed a weekend of racing with the various race classes that participated, as well as an open paddock — where the cars are worked on and the drivers prepare themselves for their time on the race track. The weekend also included a Helo demo, Red Bull’s Geoff Aaron Endurocross pro demonstration, a parade lap by the car show winners, several flyovers by Navy jets and helicopters and the USO singing troupe. Attendees to the Coronado Speed Festival 2015 also had access to numerous vendors, food stands, car club corrals and several military vehicles and aircraft on display. Racing and car aficionados, along with their families and friends, had a lot to see, eat and experience throughout the race weekend.
This year’s Speed Festival was unique in that aside from the 200+ historic race and sports cars that participated in this year’s race event, several rare and unique pre-war racers that participated in the 1915 Point Loma road race were also brought out this weekend. With 2015 marking the 100th anniversary of the Point Loma road race, this historic event was well represented. To celebrate this milestone, an impressive contingent of pre-war racers were present in both the paddock as well as on the race track throughout the warm, sunny weekend. Among them were Ed Archer’s 1915 Ford Model Tracer; Brody Blain’s 1911 National 40; Brian Blain’s 1916 Sturtevant-Auburn; Jim Putnam’s 1912 Packard 30; Randy Reed’s 1914 Tahis Special; Rob Stewart’s 1912 EMF and several from Williams Evan including a 1913 Mercer Raceabout 35-J; 1910 F.I.A.T. S-61; 1913 Isotta Fraschini and a 1911 FIAT Pope Ono.
Other notable and interesting entrants at the Coronado Speed Festival 2015 included Jim Hague’s 1971 Ford Boss 302 Mustang; Tracy Chalmers’ 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350; Al Arciero’s 1958 Lister Knobbly; Peter Giddings’ 1935 Alfa Romeo 8C Monza; Boris Said’s 1968 BMW 2002; Jeff Gerken’s 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL; Fred Yeakel’s 1964 Bill Thomas Cheetah; David Roberts’ 1978 Budweiser Lightning Cosworth; Jim Maetzold’s 1980 March 80A and Alex Curtis’ 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing. My favorite was Wayne Blasman’s 1970 BRE Datsun 240Z.
After a long and successful partnership with the Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA), the San Diego Fleet Week Foundation partnered with Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) to manage the 2015 event and they did a fantastic job of running the Speed Festival.
Similar to 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, Sports Car Digest also documented the 2015 Coronado Speed Festival, with Victor Varela producing the following images from this year’s vintage ‘Race at the Base’. We split up Victor’s pictures into two galleries. The first gallery starting below features our favorite images, all displayed in the full-width view of Sports Car Digest, while the second gallery can be found on the last page of the article and gives a comprehensive view of all the photographs. To see more from Victor, visit VictorVarela.com.
Coronado Speed Festival 2015 – Featured Photo Gallery
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