Legends of Riverside is Right Around the Corner
Speaking of Riverside, the 2nd Legends of Riverside event is only just over a month away. This year’s event and gala dinner honors Carroll Shelby. I watched with quite a bit of interest the coverage of last year’s Legends. I thought it interesting to see how a vintage racing event would fare without the benefit of an actual race, or without proximity to Monterrey or some other high-visibility vintage weekend. I do like their film-festival-meets-academic-conference approach—it’s the very kind of thing we do here—and hoped that it would be a success.
Now that they’re following it up with a second event, I think the verdict on the concept is in. I must admit that that a large part of the appeal for me was the film festival. As someone substantially younger than the events and cars that we’re so obsessed with, historic film has been my only full-sensory exposure to the racing of the era. Sure, I’ve read a lot of old racing books, and heaven knows i’ve spent a lot of time looking at photos of old racecars, but the full experience has best been displayed to me through film. Even attending vintage race weekends, which is invaluable and does so much to showcase these incredible machines, doesn’t convey the era in full (I suspect that Goodwood is the exception here). These films have long been our conduit to the races, drivers, and machines as they were; to a time when drivers didn’t think twice about banging the doors of their Gullwing through the turns, or happily risked spinning their GTO or 550 in a tight battle. Few drivers are willing to take these levels of risk today (and I applaud those who are). So I’m glad the film portion of the Legends of Riverside event remains prominent this year; filled with old favorites (LeMans, Winning), and less-seen productions (Sound of Speed, Formula One Comparo).
Of course, the opportunity to meet with legendary drivers is the big draw for the event, and with invited drivers as Dan Gurney, Bob Bondurant, Vic Elford, Jim Hall, Brian Redman, and David Hobbs (I’ve seen Hobbs speak before, and his stories are absolutely hilarious), it’s sure to be a weekend of excellent tales. The ticket price may seem steep, but with all the events, meals, opportunities to mingle with both fellow racecar geeks and drivers, and the donations made to charity by the event, it seems like money well spent to me.
More info and tickets at the Legends of Riverside site.