Historic F1 cars will return to this year’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

For eight glorious years, from 1976 through 1983, Long Beach was truly the International City as Formula 1 race teams from all over the world, as well as their fans, came to Long Beach to roar through the streets of Long Beach in the Grand Prix.

The biggest names in racing won here: Mario Andretti (1977), Niki Lauda (1981), Nelson Piquet (1980), Clay Regazzoni (1976) and Gilles Villeneuve (1979).

On Saturday, April 15, during Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend, April 14-16, the classic F1 cars will once again hit the streets in the Historic Formula 1 Challenge, two 20-minute races featuring, if not the famed drivers, many of their team’s cars: Andretti’s 1977 John Player Lotus, along with Andrea de Cesaris’ 1982 pole-winning Alfa Romeo and Keke Rosberg’s Williams FW08 are expected to be in the field, along with other famous F1 machines from teams Shadow, Penske, Wolf, McLaren, March and Surtees.

“We’re assembling a really great field of classic F1 cars for Long Beach,” said Cris Vandagriff, president of the Historic Motor Sports Association. “These cars will always be a part of this event’s history and heritage and it’s going to be a pleasure to see them race twice during the weekend.”

Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President and CEO Jim Michaelian said he’s excited to see these “incredible machines” back on the streets of Long Beach.

“For those of you who were here during those early years, it’s going to be very nostalgic,” he said. “And for those who weren’t, you’ll get a taste of what F1 was like back then.”

The F1 cars will also be on display inside the Lifestyle Expo during the race weekend.

Fans who attended the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in 2022 will have the opportunity to renew their ticket orders for 2023 starting Oct. 24. On Nov. 28, Acura Grand Prix tickets will go on sale to the general public.

Ticket prices range from $38 for a Friday General Admission ticket to $175 for a three-day ticket that includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seating in grandstand upper levels. Pre-paid parking packages are also available, along with handicapped seating,

To more information about race weekend and to order tickets, click here.

Take a few blazing hot laps through the food offerings at the Grand Prix

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Tim Grobaty is a columnist and opinions editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his newspaper career at the Press-Telegram in 1976 as a copy boy and moved on to feature writer, music critic, TV critic, copy editor and daily columnist. He’s the author of several books, including I’m Dyin’ Here, and he lives in Long Beach.