Lime Rock Park, Labor Day Sunday Concours, 2022

It’s three hours to the minute to drive door-to-door from my home in central New Jersey to the gates of Lime Rock Park, in the rolling hills of northwest CT. The long ride is worth it, as proven by my almost-annual pilgrimage to this, likely my favorite East Coast car show, which I’ve been attending since the 1990’s. What makes the Labor Day Weekend Sunday Concours so special? It’s the quality and variety of the vehicles on display. I’m a regular at Carlisle, Hershey, Macungie, Mecum Harrisburg, Greenwich, and various AACA events in my area. Yet Lime Rock always manages to create displays of automobiles I almost never see anywhere else, and, they do it without dragging out the same vehicles year after year.

I will let the photos act as my ‘evidence’, and I dare you to disagree!

 

The Lime Rock crew does a nice job segregating vehicles based on age and country of origin. In addition, there are always special classes each year.

 

 

 

This rarely-seen Alfa Romeo 2600, with an inline 6-cylinder engine, was resplendent in its burgundy paint with red interior.

 

The Trans Am pony cars were the featured vintage racecars of the weekend.

The GM Heritage Collection brought a number of rare and valuable Corvettes to the show. The star among them for me was the Mako Shark. The sign omits any mention of the fish being painted to match the car 😉 . (If you don’t know the story, you can read it here.)

 

Nice to see one with blackwalls, as it might have worn when new

 

Olds Vista Cruiser

 

Hudsons, stock and in race livery

 

THE WORLD’S ONLY VOLVO 142GT?

This fellow Dave talked my head off, but, he was passionate and knowledgeable beyond belief. The car’s trunk was full of authentic VOA (Volvo of America) catalogs of racing parts,  many of which were installed on his car. He started with a rust-free 1971 142, which he completely restored to the way he wanted it. Along the way, he added a competition cylinder head, dual Solex carbs, a GT grille with fog lights, a GT dash cluster, accessory wheels, “142 GT” emblems, and much more. He estimated that the engine is putting out about 180HP. He name-dropped Mitch Duncan and Bob Austin along the way, so he seemed credible. In essence, he built a hot-rod 142E, using 100% factory parts.

 

 

Volvo 1800
Volvo XC70 with a lift kit

 

FIAT MANIA!!!

X 1/9

 

124 wagon

 

2nd gen 124 Coupe

 

Chrome bumper 124 Spider

 

Big bumper 124 Spider

 

Dino Coupe

 

Dino Spider

 

Multipla

 

 

A rare (and valuable) Ferrari 288GTO

 

More German cars

 

DeSoto wagon

 

Jaguar E-Types (called XKE in America) were another featured model

 

JAGUAR E-TYPE SPOTTERS GUIDE

 

Series 1 cars were built from 1961-1967. They are distinguished by their glass-covered headlamps, with front signal lamps and rear lamps mounted above the bumpers. At first, there were two body styles: FHC (Fixed Head Coupe) and OTS (Open Two-Seater). In 1966 a lengthened model called the 2+2, with a tiny rear seat, was added. The Coupe can be distinguished from the 2+2 from the side. Make note of the length of the door glass and rear quarter glass. In the Coupe, the two are roughly equal. In the 2+2, the door glass is notably longer.

Series II cars were built from 1968 part-way through 1971. (Some 1968 cars have a combination of Series I and Series II features and are sometimes referred to as “Series 1.5”. We will not get into the distinction here.) Series II cars have exposed headlamps. The grille opening is slightly enlarged, but still only wears a single horizontal bar.  Front signal and rear lights are mounted below the bumpers. Side marker lights were added to U.S. models. The 3 body styles, FHC, OTS, and 2+2, continued.

NOTE: All Series I and Series II cars had smooth (non-flared) wheel well openings, and all were powered by Jaguar’s inline 6-cylinder engine, although displacement increased from 3.8L to 4.2L.

 

Series III cars were built from mid-1971 through 1974, the final year for the E-Type. There were some major changes: the only available engine was now a V-12. The 2+2 continued, and the convertible was now built on the longer wheelbase of the 2+2, making an optional automatic transmission available in all body styles for the first time. The shorter Coupe body style was discontinued. The grille opening was made larger still, and received an eggcrate insert. Front and rear fender flares were added (the flares can be the easiest way to distinguish between Series II and Series III cars from a distance).

All E-Types have beautiful rear ends!

 

The Tesla charging stations remained vacant all day on Sunday

 

All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lime Rock Fall Vintage Car Show, 2013

Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end of summer, will always signify the Lime Rock Park Fall Vintage weekend to me. Since first discovering the event in the early 1990’s, I’ve made it my mission to attend the “Sunday in the Park” portion, the static car show on the track itself, every year if possible.

Perusing my picture archives uncovered photos of breathtaking automobiles from the 2013 event which have not been posted by me yet. The sky is very overcast in all the pictures, and while I have no memory of the weather from that day nine years ago, the clouds created a wonderful umbrella of diffused light for my camera.

Italian vehicles comprise the majority of the shots, including two unusual trucks. I may have had Italian cars on my mind more than usual, having purchased my 1967 Alfa Romeo just six months prior. There are several British and Swedish marques represented as well. Lime Rock is not an easy ride for me: it’s close to three hours each way, yet it will always remain a must-see event, time and weather permitting.

Links to my posts from visits in 2007, 2012, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 can be accessed by clicking on the underlined.

Ferrari 330 GTC, an ATF regardless of price

 

Jaguar XK120

 

Jaguar XK150

 

This Ferrari’s interior is so beautiful I didn’t even take an exterior shot

 

Above: 3 views of a Cisitalia cabriolet

 

A pre-war Alfa Romeo

 

Above: Ferrari 275 GTB/NART

 

Lancia Fulvia coupe

 

Another pre-war Alfa racecar

 

Above: An unusual Alfa Romeo van; note “Romeo” script on nose

 

Not to be outdone, here is a Fiat van with Maserati badges

 

Above: a pair of Swedes, Volvo 1800 on the left, and SAAB Sonett on the right

 

Hood bulge marks this as an MG-C, with inline 6 powerplant underhood

 

Above: another ATF is this Fiat Dino coupe, powered by a Ferrari V6. Front end bears strong similarity to my Fiat 124 Sport Coupe.

 

Alfa Romeo GTV

 

 

All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

 

Lime Rock Sunday in the Park Classic Car Show, 2012

Every Labor Day weekend, Lime Rock Park, a racetrack set in the western Berkshires of Connecticut, hosts The Vintage Fall Festival (the name has gone through some permutations over the decades). Classic race cars of old battle it out on the tarmac on Friday, Saturday, and Monday, while on Sunday (when racing is prohibited by local ordinance), the track is repurposed to feature some of the finest classics in the Northeast.

I’ve been attending the Sunday event for years and have posted stories about my previous adventures: finding my 1967 Dodge Dart convertible here in 1991, displaying the Isetta in 2020, and attending in 2007, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. The 2012 event featured “The Race Cars of Stirling Moss” and also featured Sir Stirling himself. I managed to shake the great man’s hand and watch him present awards in the afternoon. Other than that, it was just another day at Lime Rock….

 

Sometimes the parking lot is as interesting as the show field

 

Red Italian cars are a sign that you’re in the right place:

 

Piloted by some Nuvolari guy

 

’63 Split Windows look good in any color

This little Honda drew lots of attention: make note of that redline!

More Italians, this time, some colors other than red:

 

Jaguars proudly line up

 

A gorgeous face which has inspired many

 

Sir Stirling Moss spent most of the afternoon presenting trophies and awards to deserving recipients:

 

 

All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

 

The 2007 Lime Rock Labor Day Vintage Car Show

I’ve written about Lime Rock Park, specifically its Labor Day weekend Fall Festival, on several previous blog posts. My 1967 Dodge Dart GT convertible was discovered there in 1991, my BMW Isetta was shown there in 2000, and I filed contemporaneous reports in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

This pre-war beauty is perfectly framed under the overpass

 

Perusing some old photos, I came across pictures that I snapped on my 2007 visit. That’s too long ago for me to have specific memories, however, the photos reveal that the day was bright and sunny, and when the weather cooperates, Lime Rock is one of the best vintage automotive events on the East Coast.

 

The track is truly in a park-like setting

 

There is actually one memory worth noting: these snaps were taken with a film camera, likely my Nikon EM, and likely with Kodak Gold ISO 100 or 200 film. I tweaked the brightness and contrast on a few of them, but other than that, their rich color stands out to me. Enjoy the shots!

 

Jaguar XK-120

 

 

The show is heavy with imports

 

 

 

 

This Porsche 911 looked striking in red

 

 

 

Lime Rock always has a pre-war Alfa Romeo or two

 

 

 

 

These Elite Loti look like colorful confections

 

 

 

The famous Rolls-Royce grille

 

 

 

Shelby Mustang fastbacks

 

 

 

 

 

Got wood?

 

 

All photographs copyright © 2021 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lime Rock Fall Vintage “Sunday in the Park”, Sep. 2020

At 7:10 a.m. on Sunday, September 6, 2020, I was in the parking lot of local bagel shop, buttered bagel and hot coffee in hand. Sitting in my Volvo V60, I used the car’s navigation system to find “Lime Rock Park”, amazed that I located it so quickly within that sometimes-quirky system. Estimated drive time was 2 hours, 30 minutes. With that, I pulled out of the lot, and was on my way to attending my first car show since the global pandemic shutdown began.

There are no words I can use which would add in any meaningful way to what so many have already expressed about the year 2020. I had resigned myself months ago that the entire year would be one huge write-off for participating in the car hobby, yet when I discovered that Lime Rock was planning to move ahead with its 38th annual “Sunday in the Park” concours, I reconsidered my rather conservative position. I knew the show well, and knew that even at its most crowded, the size of the track and the spacing of the show cars would allow for plenty of social distancing. Reading Lime Rock’s website, I learned that they planned to limit attendance by restricting the number of ticket sales, and they would also be enforcing a mask mandate. The final vote-in-favor was the weather forecast, which promised sunny skies, low humidity, and temperatures no higher than the low 80s.

Volvo’s navigation didn’t let me down, and I arrived at the track at 9:40. As soon as I drove onto the bridge over the track, I saw that indeed, this would be an experience different than almost every previous visit. Usually, the parking lot would be more than half-full by this time, and there would be rows and rows of trailers and tents visible in the distance. Instead, parking appeared to be about 25% full, and there was no camping this year – it had been removed as an option.

I parked and headed down the paved ramp toward the track, fearful that maybe there would be an equivalent lack of show cars on display. That wasn’t the case at all, even if the number of vehicles was less than the usual turnout. By my most unofficial calculation, I would guesstimate that both counts (cars and spectators) were about 50% of a typical Lime Rock Fall Vintage show. Almost everyone was masked, and track workers on foot and in golf carts were actually on patrol. If they spotted someone sans mask, the Lime Rock rep stopped that person and told them that masks were required. Good for them! It greatly added to my own comfort level as I walked the show.

The display cars did not disappoint: as always at Lime Rock, there were the pre-arranged “classes”, different every year, which allow for great variety within each class (for example, “Untouched and Preserved Originals and Barn Finds”). The show organizers also managed to squeeze in some fun at the expense of the coronavirus by naming one class “Distancing at a Distance – Vintage Travel Trailers & Campers”. The other major group of show vehicles is collectively known as the “Gathering of the Marques” – for these cars, there is no pre-registration. As one drives up to the gate, the driver makes it known that they intend to park their car with others from the same marque, and there is no model year cutoff. It does make for an eclectic gathering, and show goers have the option to linger or march past.

The spectator parking area itself can provide plenty of automotive entertainment too. New Englanders seems especially fond of motoring to this show in their ‘60s four-wheeled icons and parking them among all the other daily drivers. I suggest that the Lime Rock Park officials consider trophies to vehicles at least 50 years old found in the parking lot!

Awards were handed out between 1 and 2 p.m., at which point, show participants began to leave. I had covered the entire track by about 2 o’clock, so my time was up too. The drive home was hampered by a little more traffic than I encountered in the a.m., but I still managed it door-to-door without stopping in just under 2 hours and 45 minutes. I was really glad I went. It felt great to be outside and back at a show again, my first since attending Atlantic City in February. The Lime Rock Fall Vintage weekend has been a favorite of mine for 30 years, and I can only hope that the 2021 visit will feel like normal again.

 

DOMESTIC

1911 Cadillac

This restoration was over-the-top, yet the accompanying signage claimed that the owners regularly tour in it, and that’s believable too. I loved the “outside” speedometer, and the likely-original worn clutch and brake pedals.

1928 Packard with 5th wheel trailer

I’ve seen this rig before, I think at Hershey. Its originality is impressive. I also overheard the owner say that the car is driven regularly. Take note of the 5th wheel, back when they really were wheels!

1964 Chevrolet Corvair

This Monza coupe was found in the barn-find class; the accompanying signage indicated an original 30,000 miles. The condition and colors made this a standout among 1st gen Corvairs.

1956 Packard

This 400 model coupe was from the last year of “true” Packards. The signage indicated it was equipped with the optional torsion-leveling suspension.

 

C8 Corvette

This was my first in-person sighting of the mid-engined marvel from GM. It looked a bit underwhelming to me, an opinion I chalk up to its plain off-white exterior and interior.

 

ITALIAN

1938 Lancia Aprilla

New England Rally friend Chuck Schoendorf showed this immaculate Lancia in the pre-war class. The car’s engineering was ahead of its time, with 4-wheel independent suspension and a narrow-angle V4 engine.

 

Iso Rivolta

Renzo Rivolta’s ISO firm sold manufacturing rights for its Isetta to BMW, and used those profits to design and build this Italian-American hybrid, with a Corvette V8 under the hood.

 

1971 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe

Owners Dave and Cathy returned to Lime Rock with this gorgeous 124. I met them both last year and the car looked better than ever. Dave said that the oversize air cleaner is hiding two 2-barrel Webers, and stated that this is a high-horsepower European setup which was a dealer option.

1973 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe

These 124 coupes are rare, and it was very unusual to find two of them at the same show, when there were none of the more-common 124 Spiders.

 

1982 Ferrari 308GTSi

This “common” Ferrari model stood out for its unusual and attractive shade of verde medio, or medium green.

Ferrari Dino GTB coupes

I was struck by all 3 cars being GTB models, B for berlinetta, or coupe, compared to the more common S or spider models with a removable top center section.

 

Alfa Romeo coupe, spider, and sedan

Alfa Romeo Junior Z Zagato

This rare Alfa looked great in blue and I overheard the owner talk about having driven the car in Europe; I was envious.

3 Very Different Alfas

The Spider has a longitudinally-mounted engine in the front, driving the rear wheels. The 164 has a transversely-mounted engine in the front, driving the front wheels. The 4C has a mid-mounted engine driving the rear wheels.

 

 

GERMAN

1963 VW Karmann-Ghia convertible

 

1973 BMW 3.0CS

 

Porsche 911 Targa “long hood”

Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing

This 300SL was in the barn-find class, and given the values of these icons, it’s incredible to see one which hasn’t been restored. Based on photos on display, the engine had been yanked for an overhaul. The car, as worn as it is, looked completely functional, and frankly, I really hope the owner does NOT restore it! They’re original only once.

SWEDISH

1965 Volvo 544

This was also in the barn-find class, with signage claiming 34,000 original miles and all-original condition, including paint and upholstery. It could be the only such 544 out there.

1968 Volvo 1800S

 

 

Volvo station wagon display

Volvo, well-known globally for its 5-door estate cars, started to add performance to the mix. Here were a few examples.

ASIAN

Mazda Miatas

Miatas are usually well-represented at Lime Rock. This year, the turnout was a bit smaller than usual.

 

Datsun 240 Z

A lineup in red, white, and blue.

 

 

A FEW PARTING SHOTS
A star mascot

 

Curvy glass

 

A well-accessorized Ferrari owner

 

 

Mr. Brown wasn’t shy about putting his name on his cars

 

 

Free fuel?

 

Dad and son

 

Bye til next year

 

 

All photographs copyright © 2020 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.