2012 Monterey Motorsports Reunion

There are plenty of events that make the Monterey weekend worth visiting, but the vast majority pale in comparison to Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Whereas the Concorso Italiano, Quail Motorsports Gathering and McCall Motorworks Revival are packed with gorgeous machinery lounging on well-kept lawns, the Motorsports Reunion gives some of our favorite vintage race cars a chance to stretch their legs on the world-famous apexes of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Organizers say nearly every decade of motorsports history makes an appearance at some point, and the cars on hand are chosen based on their authenticity and racing past.

As the featured marque, a total of 45 original Shelby Cobra racers hit the track for the most anticipated race. With 289 and 427 models going tire to tire, including the last Daytona Coupe ever built, onlookers got a chance to take in a rare sight. Even with some competitors' cars pushing past 50 years old, the leaders tore down the front straight at 125 mph. A few cars wound up calling it quits before the checkered flag fell due to mechanical failures, and the Daytona Coupe wound up with some wrinkled sheet metal after an off in turn 3.

Check out the gallery above for a look at some of the competitors on hand, and stay tuned for a brief video of the cars falling through the corkscrew.