Tag Archive: Lime Rock


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.

“I wish I was a little bit taller, wish I was a baller…”- Skee Lo

Earlier in the week, I heard that Keeler Smart Center Latham was hosting a Smart Car test drive at Crossgates yesterday and today.  I found out about it through Keeler’s tweets encouraging people to stop down.  So yesterday, Rose and I stopped down to check it out.  I had always wanted to drive one of the Smart cars, but never had the chance.

I had seen them for years before they came to the states a few years ago.  In my travels to Europe, and at Lime Rock in Connecticut.  The car at Lime Rock was most likely brought to the states and converted to US EPA standards.  That was way back in the late 90s or early 2000s, long before they began importing them for sale here.

Recently, I had seen them on the road here and there in the Capital District, and even see one up the street at a neighbor’s house every day.  It is bright yellow.  You can’t miss it.

Two of the people at the event were marketing reps for Smart USA, and I also met John Sterrett from the Latham Smart Center.  He went with me on my test drive.  Great guy!  We discussed the Smart car as well as sports cars and motorcycles.  Who could ask for a better co-pilot?  I got to drive the Smart ForTwo Passion Cabriolet in Blue Metallic and Rose drove the Smart ForTwo Passion Coupe in Red.

Here is the common misconception about these cars – they are incredibly roomy inside.  The car had lots of legroom and quite a bit of headroom.  There was even a decent amount of storage behind the seats for luggage or groceries, whichever you may be hauling.  They come equipped with a 1.0 L, 71 HP, 3 cylinder engine.  It’s not the fastest car you will ever drive, but it will pay off at the gas pump, as they get 41 miles per gallon according to the Smart USA website.  With gas now back to over $3 a gallon, that plays a huge factor in many people’s decision of which new car to buy.

The other question a lot of people ask is about the safety of such a small car.  The Smart ForTwo cars have a very high 5-star safety rating per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  That is pretty impressive in itself.  I would feel very safe in this car.  heck, it can’t be any worse that being on a motorcycle in traffic.  At least people might see you in the car.

The event is going on tomorrow as well.  Make sure you stop down and check them out. Sorry about the crappy pics.  All I had with me was my cell and was shooting into the sun.  I tweaked them a touch in Photoshop to make them  little better.   See ya soon!

Honest Scrap

Honest Scrap

My friend, Cassie, tagged me in a post the other day and I figured it would be a fun way to start off the week.  I have to post 10 facts about myself that you don’t know  and tag 6 other bloggers.  This is a great idea.  I would love to do it!

1.) Most people see me dressed up or wearing a shirt with sleeves long enough to cover some pretty big tattoos.  I have 5 tattoos, but one of them has been covered up with a new tattoo,  so technically 4.  The one on my left arm has a globe, eagle and anchor to symbolize the Navy and Marines.  It also has the initials of my father and grandfather in it as they both served in the Navy or Marines and have both passed away.

My tattoos

My tattoos

2.) A lot of people that don’t know me well don’t know that I love motorcycles.  I get on the bike and just ride for the day to clear my head.  It is the best therapy out there.

Our bikes

Our bikes

3.) I love a lot of different music.  Lately it has been leaning a little more towards rock, but for a large portion of my life I have been listening to r&b and hip hop.  I am especially partial to 90s hip hop.

4.) I created the Capital Region Photography Meetup group here in Albany to help others grow their passion for photography.

5.) Winter time is really rough for me.  I can’t ride the motorcycles, and I lose my desire to take pictures.  From late fall after the leaves fall until early spring when things start to bloom again, I get into a slump and don’t shoot much.

6.) I don’t drink alcohol very often.  Because of the migraines I get, I barely ever drink.  It’s not that I don’t like drinking, I just get headaches so frequently that I don’t want to give myself one intentionally.

7.) I am a LOST junkie.  I have seen every episode in Seasons 1-5 a minimum of 3 times.  Very sad to see it end this year.

8.) I am a huge Ferrari fan.  Actually, most high end sports cars.  I fell in love with them in the late 90s when I started visiting Lime Rock in Lakeville, CT.  I have been obsessed with them ever since.

Ferraris at Lime Rock

Ferraris at Lime Rock

9.) I am a water rat.  Growing up, I spent my summers in the pool from morning til night.  I can spend hours in the pool.

10.) I have spent the last four years with the most amazing woman.  She treats me like a king, and she loves riding motorcycles as well.  I am very lucky to have her in my life.

Dozenroses13

Dozenroses13

Now, I have to tag six bloggers…

1.) Rose – Dozenroses13’s Blog

2.) Kat Cee- Katmasutra

3.) Trey Ratcliff – Stuck In Customs

4.) Chessie – 365 Degrees, Photos from each day

5.) Pam Lee – Pam is Trying

6.) Scott Bourne – Photofocus

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