Category: Porsche


McLarenF1

Back in 1992, Gordon Murray and McLaren Automotive made the fast production car in the world.  The McLaren F1 was, and still is the fastest normally aspirated production car in the world.

I remember it like it was just yesterday.  I was in London in March of 1998 and the news channels were buzzing with the story –  The McLaren F1 became the fastest production car with a top speed of 240 miles per hour.  That was straight from the factory with no mods.

Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to see a few of these cars in person.  The picture here is one that Turner Motorsports brought every year.  There was also another one that came to Lime Rock that had raced in the 24 Hours at Le Mans.  That was a serious privilege.  Not many people get to see a car with that kind of history.

One day at the track, I saw a lucky reporter get a ride in the McLaren.  It was every car lover’s dream.  If you’re not familiar with the McLaren, the driver seat is actually in the middle.  There are two seats that are set back on either side of the driver’s seat.  The three seats sort of look like a triangle.  That reported climbed in, got buckled, and probably got the ride of his life.  I was very envious that day.

I wanted to write this story because Gordon Murray has just released his T25 concept “city car“.  It is smaller than a Smart ForTwo and has the same seating setup as the McLaren F1.  It is a 51hp car that is said to get 61.9 miles per gallon.  That is impressive!  One of his main purposes for designing this car was to cut down on congestion and being able to park 2 T25s in a single parking space.

Their new MP4-12C looks like it has a Ferrari front end and roofline, paired with a Lamborghini lower half and vents on the side.  Not an original design if you ask me.  But with 600hp, I bet it’s a blast to drive.

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Growing up, we had some pretty cool video game systems.  I can remember the Atari pretty well, among a few others.  Sure, I may be dating myself with this statement, but my favorite game console, then and now is the Nintendo.  Yes, I said now.  I have loved playing Super Mario Bros since it came out back in 1985.  It is still as much fun today as it was back then.  I even was asked to bring it to a friend’s house Superbowl Sunday.  We played it before and after the game.  Personally, I would have been happier playing the Nintendo than watching the Superbowl.

Nintendo

Nintendo

Over the last twenty plus years, I have played on many of the different consoles.  I am not a huge gamer, but I do enjoy racing games.  I can remember when Gran Turismo came out for the Playstation.  A bunch of us got together and played day and night.  It was so addicting.  Then Gran Turismo 2 came out and it started all over again.

A few years later, I got an Xbox.  They don’t have Gran Turismo for that platform, but they do have Project Gotham Racing.  I have played all three PGRs and loved everyone.  There also was Need For Speed.  I don’t know how many of those came out, but there’s been a ton, and I have played a bunch of them.  My most recent was Need For Speed: Shift.

Now, I have the Nintendo (of course) and an Xbox 360.  I really like the Xbox 360 for it’s graphics and Xbox Live capabilities.  I can play games on it, and watch Netflix Streaming with it.  It’s a great system.  I have both Guitar Hero and Rock Band for it and really enjoy playing them as well.

The reason I am writing this tonight is to ask everyone’s opinion on gaming.  Here’s a few questions for you…

  • Do you play video games?  If yes, how often?
  • What type of games do you like?
  • What console do you like to play on?
  • Do you think the Guitar Hero/Rock Band type games are encouraging kids to learn to play instruments, or just video games?

If nothing else, they make for some great pictures…

Drums

Drums

Guitar

Guitar

Playin' around with the camera

Playin' around with the camera

Most people don’t know this about me, but another of my passions in life are motorcycles.  I like all different kinds – choppers, rockets, cruisers, Harleys, BMWs, Hondas.  I have been riding for almost 10 years now thanks to my best friend Jay.  He threw me on a Honda CBR600F3 about ten years ago and said “take it for a spin.”  I had never been on a motorcycle before.  So, here I am, in the middle of Stockbridge, MA on this bike scared to death that I am gonna kill myself my first time out.  He had told me to take it for a quick spin.  Ok, I can do this.  Waiting for traffic to clear, (which could take forever in Stockbridge during tourist season) then I let out the clutch and give it a little gas.  Ok, that wasn’t so bad.  I didn’t die.  Traffic is moving incredibly slowly and I want to go.  Finally, traffic moves out of the way and I crack the throttle.  Seconds later, I look down and I am over 70 mph.  WOW!  What a rush.

If you’ve never been on a sportbike before, imagine Ferrari type power in a 350+/- pounds bike.  Zero to sixty in seconds.  That was it.  I was hooked.  About four hours later, I brought the bike back to Jay with the biggest smile on my face.  It had begun.  Over the next few years, I rode a few other bikes owned by Jay and my brother Mark.  All of them rockets.  I was definitely a sportbike guy.

A few years later, I decided I was going to buy a bike for myself.  I went to the dealer and was all set to buy a brand new Yamaha R6 in Raven.  I was offered a job instead, and they put me in the Harley building selling Harley-Davidsons©.  Yuck.  I was a sportbike guy.  I didn’t like those biker types.  Their motorcycles were way to loud, and oh so slow.  Not my thing.  Fast forward a few months – I am selling Harleys and they keep hounding me to buy one.  I want to go fast, I say.  These things only have 68 hp.  It can’t get out of it’s own way.  “Try this out” the say as they point to a Harley-Davidson V-Rod©.

Interesting.  Great style, 120hp motor made in conjunction with Porsche.  Ok.  I will give it a shot.  So, off we go on a 30ish degree day with a few flurries in the air to test this bike out.  I have to admit, I came back with a smile on my face.  The bike was brand new and had a custom Harley-Davidson© paint kit on it.  I liked it more than I cared to admit at the time.  As I was considering it, they mentioned that someone had a V-Rod© there on consignment with only 1800 miles on it, lots of chrome and lowered two inches front and rear.  I checked it out.  It was gorgeous.  I was in love.  The battery was a little low from sitting around for a bit, so we charged it up and hit the ignition.  Holy Shit!  What a bark from that exhaust.  This thing was obnoxiously loud.  It had to be mine.

Looking back, I met some amazing people over the course of my time at the dealership.  Since then I have met a ton of bikers and let me tell you that while there some bad eggs out there, there are some pretty damn good people out there on motorcycles.  During the summer, we ride every Wednesday night with an awesome group called No Destination run by an amazing woman named Patti.  I have made so many friends there and over the last five years or so in the motorcycle community.  I have been to many, many poker runs to raise money for people who lost family members, or have an illness racking up thousands of dollars in bills.  The Toys for Tots run in the late fall, where you will find 300 to 400 bikes no matter how cold the weather is, bringing toys for needy children and raising money to make sure these kids have a good Christmas.  Here is a pic I took at this year’s run at Brunswick Harley.

Toys For Tots

Toys For Tots

I have also been lucky enough to be a part of a few Patriot Guard Missions.  These bikers go to the funerals of soldiers that have served our country and died, or are killed in the line of duty.  It is an honor to be part of these rides, but heartbreaking to see these young men and women die so young fighting for our freedom.

Another group I am very proud to be a part of is a forum composed of some of my friends that were in a V-Rod© forum and it spun off a photography forum called Movie Photo Forums – a great forum if you are into photography and motorcycles.  Most of the active participants ride, and a bunch actually ride V-Rods©.  There are some incredibly talented members there and I am proud to be a part of it.  They have become like family to me.  I get a lot of inspiration for my photography from the members there.  A bunch of us met in Canandaigua last summer on the bikes and rode together.  We even spent some time shooting in the area while we were there.

I guess what I am getting at is looking back to when I was a sportbike guy and I stereotyped “bikers” I had no idea what I was talking about.  There truly are some amazing people out there.  Don’t judge.  I could write about this all day, but you’d probably get tired of reading and head out.  So I will end this with a pic of my bike and my girlfriend Rose’s bike -or the Cadillac- as i like to call it.  We take my Harley for local rides, and her “Cadillac” for trips to Canandaigua or Montreal.

Our bikes

Our bikes

A few pics I have taken of bikes over the last few years…

FJR in the Catskills

FJR in the Catskills

Chad's Victory

Chad's Victory

Custom Rocker

Custom Rocker

Geico bike

Geico bike

So, as I continue this new quest of blogging, I thought I would share a little more about me.  My real passion in life is exotic sports cars.  Yes, Ferraris, Porsches, and Mercedes, oh my!  I am not really sure when this obsession started, but I do know that it grew rapidly in the late ’90s.

I was living in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts,  not very far from the Connecticut countryside.  I found out about a racetrack called Lime Rock in Lakeville, CT. I had been a car lover previously, but this put me over the top.  I remember going to the track with my camera and not knowing what to shoot first.  Some of the rarest cars in the world would be there.  Cars I never knew were in the States.  Bikes that you had heard of, but never thought you would see in your lifetime.  It was my Mecca.  I was hooked.

There were usually four or five main events throughout the year that were open to the public.  My favorite was the Ferrari Challenge.  I remember as a child I had a Ferrari Testarossa radio controlled car.  Maybe that’s where it came from.  I can see it like it was yesterday.  Ferraris in many colors, engines screaming around the track at high speeds.  Brand new Ferraris as well as vintage works of art.

Other weekends brought out different events and cars.  I can remember the weekend they introduced the Bugatti Veyron to the public at Lime Rock.  What a beautiful machine.  Quad turbo, 16 cylinder engine producing 1,001 horsepower.  I think top speed is around 253 mph.  Insane!  That same weekend, I got to hang out in a Rolls Royce Phantom, as they were introducing it to the public as well.  I love that place.

Mercedes has always been a car I loved as well.  I especially love the lines of these cars.  The Germans sure can shape a car.  I have always wanted to own an S-Class.  Such a big, beautiful car.   The SL and the CL are also works of art. Especially when you put the AMG package on them and toss that huge motor in.  Gorgeous!

Porsche has a great quality as well as design.  I was fortunate enough to be at Lime Rock  one Summer when a huge Porsche event was going on.  I was fortunate enough to see the Porsche 959, a very special Porsche that I never dreamed I would see in person.  What an honor that was.

As I grow in my photography, one of my goals is to do some exotic shoots.  I really would like to find people with high end sports cars that would let me shoot them, fulfilling both my passion for photography and the cars as well.  So, if you know someone with a great car, that will let me take some pictures of it, please let me know.  This is something I must do, and I hope this year is the year.

I will do some digging on some old hard drives and see if I can find some of these cars from my early days of shooting and show you what I have seen.  Thank you Lime Rock for fueling my passion.  And thank you for reading my blog!  Here’s a pic I took at Lime Rock a few years ago.

Ferrari Enzo and Challenge Stradale

Ferrari Enzo and Challenge Stradale