The Monterey Historics: Glorious Man, Glorious Machines

Of course, traffic leading into Laguna Seca for the Historics was bad, but not as bad as the previous day’s Concorso Italiano. I had made a point of getting there earlier to beat traffic. Lots of other people had this idea too.

One of the amazing things about Laguna Seca is how nice and twisty the roads are leading from the highway to the track itself. Given the proliferation of signs stating that Laguna Seca observes all traffic safety laws, I realize with a sigh that, once again, many before me had had the same idea.

Parked, sunscreen liberally applied despite the overcast skies (fool me once…), and camera gear in tow, I make my way to the track. And soon, you hear it. That sound. That crazy, screaming, revving, screeching cacophony that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and boogie. Given that the parking area is in the hills above the track, this vantage point allows you to catch a little glimpse of the action. And before you know it, I’m 18 again, excited as hell to be amidst these glorious machines.

Further down, I approach the first overpass bridge right over the start / finish line. It’s quiet. The cars must be approaching though. I make my way to the chain link fence that keeps us safe from the ferocious beasts. And soon, the sound of the cars making their way around the track becomes audible. Herr Doppler’s effect (paging Eddie Izzard…) doesn’t let me down.

Before I know it, an intense sonic wave, a roar, washes over me, reverberating in my bones. It’s loud, very loud, more than I remembered, having gotten soft from watching too much racing on TV, the volume turned down too far. The sound is nearly painful. My first instinct is to plug my ears with my fingers, but I don’t. It’s strangely too pleasurable. My skin flushes, and I can feel my extremities, all of them, tingle.

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