It was one of those perfect summer days in Oregon: 80 degrees, blue sky, with the rumble of vintage cars racing in the air. Portland International Raceway hosted the annual Historic Races this past weekend. With a hotdog in one hand and a Coke in the other, I spent the early afternoon kicking tires in the pits and the classic car corrals.

Since I was a little girl, I’ve come to PIR this weekend each year to watch my father race his Alfa with the rubber chicken hanging out of the trunk. This year, however, he wasn’t racing — he was walking around the track with me.

The biggest difference nowadays is the number of people in the stands. When I was little, it was always difficult to find an open seat. This weekend, you could have had a whole bench to yourself if you wanted.

This highlights the question that everyone has been asking for the past couple of years: What’s going to happen to classic cars and the next generation? No one seems to have the answer.

The question was fresh in my mind as we departed in the ’65 Giulia Spider. We took to the back roads and headed east. As we wound our way toward Mount Hood, nostalgia washed over me — nostalgia for the racing scene of my childhood.

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