Monterey Historic Automobile Races personalities - Click above for high-res gallery

While at the Monterey Historic Automobile Races this year, it dawned on us that the cars taking to the track are really legends in the Pantheon of autodom. The Porsche 917, Ford GT40, Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, Jaguar D-Type, and Maserati Birdcage are all stars in their fields, but the Historics are about so much more than famous cars.

First of all, the cars are being driven, and driven hard. That leads us to important point number two: People are needed to drive (and appreciate) these vehicles in order to make the races as entertaining as they are. Some of those people are famous celebrities from outside the car world, some are car people who aren't necessarily household names, others are automotive giants, and still others are just fans. Granted, some of those fans have deeper knowledge and appreciation of the vehicles than even their owners, but other than that they tend to be ordinary people who pay their taxes just like the rest of us.

Among the crowds at Laguna Seca, we spotted folks from each of these groups and captured some of them on film in (hopefully) interesting situations or poses. We've assembled a small gallery of those shots to share with you. Click below and you'll see everyone from Sir Stirling Moss to Mike Joy, Hurley Haywood to Vic Edelbrock. We didn't get any shots of Brian Redman, Jay Leno or David Donohue either, but we know they were there. One star who was definitely there was Patrick Dempsey, who could be seen behind the wheel of a Mazda RX-792, even though he wasn't officially there. He was a really good sport as we continually ran into him around the paddock. He also did a pretty good job of driving that Mazda, but we don't want to get him in any trouble.

Related GalleryMonterey 2009: Faces and Names at The Historics
Stirling MossStirling MossDerek Bell and Stirling MossPatrick DempseyPatrick DempseyPatrick DempseyPatrick DempseyHurley Haywood

Photos copyright ©2009 Frank Filipponio / Weblogs, Inc.