Lime Rock 2009 – The Cars
We’re back from Lime Rock. We had a great time, met lots of interesting people, saw lots of spectacular cars, and took lots and lots of photographs. I’m going to break this into a couple of separate blog posts. Today’s post is just about some of the cars we saw.
Collier Collection Cars
The W154 Silver Arrow was the car we were most looking forward to. It did sound amazing and it was nice to see it out on the track.
It belongs to the Collier collection in Naples FL. We got to spend some time talking to the docent about the technical details. The cockpit is amazing and the engineering is spectacular. The shock absorbers can all be adjusted from the cockpit. They have to be, because the car is losing about 7 pounds per mile as it consumes fuel. The fuel is an exotic blend of alcohol, nitrobenzene, acetone, and other chemicals and it runs the fuel through a radiator on its way to the engine.
And look at this engine compartment with sequential superchargers ahead of that massive V12.
When they fired it up, they got it warmed up with one set of plugs, then stopped it and swapped in another set with a different heat range before setting out onto the track.
Collier brought three other great cars with them. Behind the Silver Arrow in the previous picture, you can see part of a 1927 Delage. It has has one of the most beautiful engine compartments you’ll ever see.
And this Lancia D50 is one of the truly great Formula 1 cars.
But I have a soft spot in my heart for the car behind it. That’s a special bodied 1935 MG which is known as Leonidis. Here’s what the view from the cockpit looks like:
Two of James Glickenhaus’ Ferraris were there.The famous and controversial P3 which is known as chassis number 0846. You can read his story of the car’s history here.
And this is his Dino 206 Competizione which he bought from the Pininfarina museum.
You can read more about this unique car here.
1909 ALCO Bête Noir
There’s always a surprising car at Lime Rock. This year it was a car known as the “black beast”. It was built in 1909 by the American Locomotive company. The current owner says he has had it up to 60 MPH, and it was the scariest ride he’s ever had. When it won the Vanderbilt Cup, it was averaging more than 60, and sometimes topping 100 MPH. It also competed in the 1st Indy 500.
Here’s a video of it firing up for the first time after its restoration.
You can read more about the black beast here.
There were lots of Morgans at Lime Rock this year in celebration of the marque’s 100th anniversary.
This 1938 4/4 TT was probably the sweetest of them all, and we met the man who originally restored it 30 years ago.
And, of course, there were a number of great trikes like this one:
Unfortunately, on the way home, we passed an accident scene where this beauty had gotten its front end all mashed up.
That was a terrible way to end a great weekend.
It’s hard to pick favorites in the MGs. We loved them all.
If pressed, we would probably have to come down to either this cute little PB coupe that Chris is looking at (with a neat sliding sunroof).
Or the green on green TC that my father and I are checking out in this picture.
Cars with character
A lot of the cars at Lime Rock are so polished and perfect that they don’t seem real. There are also a number which are not all prettied up, but have a lot of style none the less.
For example, this Bentley looks like it has worked hard all its life and is still ready to go out and do whatever you want it to do.
There were a number of wonderful early race cars. This 1926 Salmson won first place in that category:
There were lots of others which weren’t going to win any prizes, but each had a funky character of its own. Check out the engine on this old timer.
We really loved this Marcos because it looks just like the one which Chris’ friend Allison’s husband Richard used to drive.
Cars we fell in love with
And then there are the cars that just steal your heart.
I fell hard for this Ferrari the first time I heard its engine. It’s an aluminum bodied 250 GT Berlinetta SWB.
Here’s another picture of it as it came off the track after its race.
I’ve always thought that if you were going to have a competition for the flat out prettiest car ever built, the odds are that the two finalists would be the Scarab …
… and these Costin bodied Lister Jaguars.
And finally look at this Aston Martin DB6 that was sitting in the parking lot.
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Lime Rock indeed showcased classic cars but cars that can still perform at its highest level. The performance of these cars differ but all of these cars show how beauty evolves from time to time. The cars also show how technology grew with them in their well-engineered cockpits and engines for better performance and maintenance.
These toys for big boys are really cool! But knowing how much it would cost to come up with such an exceptional quality is I think out of the budget.