Lime Rock Park - Vintage Festival 2003

by Jason Mountford


For fans of historic racing cars here in the northeastern United States, Labor Day weekend means just one thing, the Lime Rock Park Vintage Festival. Held over the long three day weekend, the festival has cars from all eras, open wheelers and sport cars. In the past few years the festival has gotten sponsorship from Rolex and is now tied in with the same group that puts on the Monterey Historics. This has attracted a much bigger and higher quality field of participants. Monday is race day at the festival, and the day I always choose to attend, so I was eagerly anticipating Monday, and getting the chance to see some great cars.


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But Monday dawned overcast with some light drizzle, and the forecast was for showers the rest of the day. After contemplating staying home for a few short minutes, I was on my way. With the 3 hour drive behind me I was surprised to see so few people there. I was able to view and photograph many of the cars with nobody blocking my view. Lots of great cars were there, including Nelson Piquet's 1983 Brabham BT52, a gorgeous Type 35 Bugatti, and one of my all-time favorite cars a Maserati 300s. I took lots of pictures, all the while wondering to myself how obvious a "modeler/photographer" is to the average bystander. Snapping pictures in the engine compartments of various cars and the cockpits of others. Suspension details and chassis shots too. Close up pics of the turbo on the BT52. Would anyone other than an obsessed modeler care to see these?


But seeing and hearing all of this great machinery run is what its all about. As the mist hung in the hillsides of Lime Rock, so too did the echoes of these great machines. Possibly the best sound of all was the McLaren F1-GTR from Le Mans in 1996. This car was out on the track all by itself doing some demonstration runs with VIPs aboard as passengers. To hear that car for the entire lap, up and down the gearbox was magical. Even after the car came to a stop, the sound seemed to linger.

Assembled here are some of the photos I took at the event. I hope you enjoy them and I hope they can be of some value and inspiration in your modeling.



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