Racing on Hold, but Still Plenty of Excitement

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While practically all racing events have been shelved due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there is still some exciting news to share about one local enthusiast.

The 1959 Old Yeller II Buick Special, owned by Ernest Nagamatsu, won the top prize in the Competition class earlier this month at the Petersen Automotive Museum Concours.

The museum didn’t want to abandon enthusiasm for the cancelled Monterey Car Week, so it organized five days of online automotive content. More than 40 automotive companies took part, presenting live vehicle debuts, online auctions, interviews, virtual car shows, and the celebrity-judged Concours.

Video of the events can be viewed on the Petersen Museum’s YouTube channel.

Nagamatsu’s car is a legend in the racing world, built by Max Balchowsky and raced by Dan Gurney. It was later introduced to famed designer Carrol Shelby, who went on to build the AC Cobra and Mustang for Ford.

Last month, the Old Yeller II was featured in a video for “Autotopia,” with a shoot at Willow Springs, seen above. The occasion marked the first rollout testing after a major rebuilding of the racer.

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