Pebble Beach:  April 22, 1956 -- 1

Bob Norton sent me these photos from 1956, the last year sports cars raced on the narrow, pine-lined byways of the misty, gated enclave on the Monterey Peninsula.

Carroll Shelby won the main event in Dick Hall's 3-liter Ferrari Monza.

I grew up nearby and as a boy I heard the cars racing.  My father asked me if I thought I was old enough to appreciate the races (I was 8).  Like a young idiot I said "No".  I sure regret that childhood decision!

Ernie McAfee in Bill Doheny's 6-cylinder 4.4 liter Ferrari 121LM.

McAfee lost his life when he hit one of the many pine trees lining the narrow course.

That was the end of racing at Pebble Beach.  The next year Laguna Seca opened to con- tinue the tradition of sports car racing in the Monterey Peninsula area.


The changing of the guard in the "Big production" class.

Dr. Dick Thompson in the first of the racing V8 Corvettes leads Tony Settember in a Mercedes- Benz 300SL "Gullwing" coupe.

Settember won, but Thompson established the upgraded Corvette as a solid contender and a major threat to "Gullwing" dominance.

Thanks to Michael T. Lynch & William Edgar & Ron Parravano's "American Sports Car 
Racing in the 1950s" for reference material!

Next:   Pebble Beach, 1956 -- 2

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All photographs and text are the property of Bob Norton and Tam McPartland and are protected under United States and international copyright laws.  All rights are reserved and the images and/or text may not be digitized, reproduced, stored, manipulated, and/or incorporated into other works without the written permission of the photographer, Bob Norton, or the writer, Tam McPartland.