2009 Monterey Historics - Review

Click here to view our 2009 Monterey Historics Photo Galleries - Enjoy!

This year marked the 36th running of the Monterey Historic Auto Races, and the 3rd time that Porsche was honored as the featured marque. The ‘Monterey Historics’ (www.montereyhistoric.com) are a special part of many of our lives.

In our case, we just ‘stumbled upon’ them during a 1979 visit to the Monterey Peninsula – the year when Bentley was the featured marque. The image of Phil Hill kicking the tail out on his three-liter blower Bentley as he drifted that behemoth around [what is now] Turn 10 is forever imbedded in my mind. I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven, and this vintage motorsports ‘happening’ has been a focal point of the Warnes family calendar ever since.

Our enthusiasm for this event got some added impetus when we found ourselves trying to resurrect the decayed and mutilated remains of a basket-case K3. We were getting quite frustrated in our efforts to connect with anyone who might know something about Allards. So were most gratified to meet up with a two unique characters at the 1984 ‘Historics’ –  Bob Lytle who was running his Buick powered J2X, and John Harden who was terrorizing the track with his fuel-injected ‘killer’ Olds J2X. Both of those gentlemen were most helpful in guiding us – and often helping us mitigate our myriad mistakes – in the course of our 22 year Allard project.

Many of us have especially fond memories of 1990 when Allard was the featured marque at that year’s MHAR. That event lead to a gathering of more than 60 Allards at Laguna Seca, and gave several of us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and rub shoulders with a broad array of Allard celebrities – including Tom Lush, Zora Arkus-Duntov, Dudley Hume, Alan Tiley, Cyril Wick, Tom Carstens and Bill Pollack. We are forever grateful to Tom and Yvonne Turner and other Allard friends whose enthusiasm, dedication, and hard work served to bring this about.

Each running of the MHAR provided special opportunity to share the Allard mystique with a growing number of motorsports fans – both on the track and in the paddocks. We continue to marvel at the charismatic draw that the Allard marque has on race fans stopping by the Allard pits to admire, photograph, and inquire about these works of mechanized testosterone from the post-WWII renaissance of motorsports.


Four Allards were accepted to run in Sunday’s 24 car field of 1947-1955 Sport Racing and GT Cars over 1500cc. These were the J2’s of Steve Schuler, Bernard Dervieux, and Alan Patterson, along with Jim Degnan’s K2 – all running with Cad power. Since Steve was driving his Hagemann Chrysler Special entered in this same race, he delegated driving duties of his J2 to Graham Smith of Bellbrae, Australia, who is no stranger to Allards by any means. Graham handled the restoration of Steve’s veteran of the 1950 LeMans race, and he races his own J2 ‘daiwn unda’.

Graham started from 5th place on the grid and worked his way up to 4th before moving back one spot while performing a neatly executed “Danny Sullivan pirouette” at the top of the Corkscrew. He ended up crossing the finish line in 7th place.

Bernard started his J2 mid-pack, and held his position throughout the 10 lap race, finishing just ahead of a surprisingly nimble Hudson Hornet (with all due respect, Hudson Hornets were some formidable NASCAR competitors in the early ‘50’s).

Alan Patterson had another great day piloting the same Allard J2 that he bought brand new in 1952, and which he has raced continuously over the past 56 years. Jim Degnan had a good start, but decided to call it a day mid-race when he began to encounter fuel problems

At the conclusion of Sunday evening’s awards presentation Steve Earle confirmed the recent rumors that he is stepping aside from his role as the man in charge of the Monterey Historic Auto Races. He will continue to have a limited role in 2010 as SCRAMP (Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula) takes over the reins.

We truly appreciate the passion, dedication, and expertise that Steve Earle and his team have contributed to vintage and historic motorsports over the past 36 years. We sincerely hope that SCRAMP carries on with that tradition and dedication.

-Charlie Warnes

Click here to view our 2009 Monterey Historics Photo Galleries - Enjoy!