2022 Speed ​​Invitational

It’s been a while since I’ve shot 35mm film, and even longer since any of my analog work has been published. I’m back in it this year, and as always, the results are as rewarding as the process.

A few weekends ago, I packed a couple of film bodies in my kit, as I was heading to two events that would be perfect to capture on film. Shooting on film really slows you down and forces you to make more calculated choices. If you shoot regularly but haven’t tried it yet, there are plenty of cheap SLRs and point-and-shoots online to get you started.

I highly recommend it, especially for a classic like the Laguna Seca Speed ​​Invitational where our story begins.

It’s an absolutely epic event, though in just its second year it’s already become the premier destination for the world’s finest vintage machinery. Seeing Ayrton Senna’s iconic Marlboro livery McLaren MP4/5B-07 go by at speed is something I won’t soon forget. When the car won the 1990 Formula One World Championship, tens of thousands of other photographers would have photographed the car – and of course on film.


It’s not the first time I’ve seen a McLaren F1 on a track, but it’s the first time I’ve captured the Gulf car driving furiously. The GT12R raced at Le Mans in 1996, finishing 5th overall, and the chassis also won four races in the 1996 BPR Global Endurance GT Series.


There are also many stunning street cars on display around the paddock. It’s not every day you see all of these legendary machines side by side, and like Monterey Car Week, the Velocity Invitational is just sensory overload.


As a history-based event, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of cars from the Trans Am area and beyond. When I think of Trans Am, I don’t think of this ex-Horst Kwech Alfa Romeo GTV, but it does compete with the Mustangs and Camaros I usually associate with that era.I actually photographed this Alfa for a friend shortly after the event and it was scheduled to with trailer soon.


speak of bat, the ex-McLaren 1972 Ford Condor touring car was also purchased on the site by McLaren Motorsport CEO Zac Brown. It’s pretty cool to see the RV surface here; it’s the perfect event to use it.


I only shoot cars from the early 2000s or earlier and cut it around these C5s and 993s.


At the end of the day, there’s a Mustangs vs. Minis matchup, the one I’m most looking forward to at Velocity.


It was unbelievable to see how close the car was to these two completely different chassis and completely different formulas. Front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive, large displacement and light weight. It was an unmitigated riot, and there are several photos of the race on film in the gallery below.


You’ll also find other multimillion-dollar mechs below, including CSLs, Aston Martins, more Porsches, and even a modern (presumably) F1 car alongside other McLarens.

Riko’s Conference 2022


The very next day, I attended Riko’s meeting, and while I don’t usually combine coverage of the two events, they were both shot with the same 35mm camera, with some overlap in the film. There are two other elements associated with these events.


First, and most obvious, is Riko’s choice of dreamy retro-inspired venues and a well-curated assortment of classic cars.The main difference is that these are if only Vintage Japanese cars at Riko meeting.


Second, and more subtly, there is no Japan/JDM equivalent to events like the Velocity Invitational. Yes, classic Japanese cars are finally getting more respect from collectors, and yes, some classic Japanese race cars are on display at events like Velocity, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, or the JIA booth at Pebble Beach.


We also have events like the Japanese Classics Car Show in Southern California, which caters only to — you guessed it — Japanese classics. However, chatting with Riko at his event, he was quick to point out that there really isn’t any event in California or anywhere in the US that combines aspects of events like JCCS and Velocity.


Imagine an event like the Goodwood Revival, but with a focus on Japanese cars. A destination worthy of an off-road trip, the event is an event where the best modified Japanese classics can be exhibited alongside the most iconic Japanese race cars, retuning their engines in exhibition races.


For an event like this, the sky would be the limit. But it takes money, coordination and time. lot time, which means—again—a lot of money. Still, I think it’s time for a Japan-centric event like this, and I know Riko is pushing for something like this to happen.


Lots of brand-specific meetups – think NSXPO or ZCON

– Already happening on a smaller scale, there’s no reason why the JDM community in the U.S. shouldn’t come together for an extravagant event celebrating decades of Japanese automotive development.


I hope an event like this becomes a reality, and if it does, it will be at the top of my list of events to host in 2023 or 2024. I’d be spoiled if a project like this actually came to fruition, as it’s likely to be on the West Coast, but I wouldn’t hesitate to cross the country to take it on.

The question is, will you?

Trevor Ryan
Instagram: Trevor Notrian

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