A highlight of Lime Rock Park’s Historic Festival on Labor Day Weekend is Sunday in the Park. With racing on pause until Monday, Sunday is all about strolling Lime Rock Park’s lush grounds and taking in a dazzling array of cars entered in the Concours d’Elegance as well as the Gathering of the Marques car show. There, you’ll come across everything from the eclectic and fun to the distinguished and rare.
Sunday in the Park Executive Director Lowell Paddock offers up his top five things to look out for.
CORVETTE CONCEPT CARS
“This will be a very rare opportunity to see a selection of Corvette concept cars in public, all in one place. There are 12 concept cars from the General Motors Heritage Center along with a Corvette SS from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Together, these cars cover the heart of Corvette’s evolution from the 1950s all the way through the early 1990s. One standout for me is the Aerovette (pictured above), which I think is one of the most beautiful concept cars ever developed. It really showcases the talent that GM had in design during that era. It never went into production, but it served as the inspiration for several generations of Corvette designers due to its elegance and technical sophistication.”
CORVETTE RACING CARS
“The diversity of Corvette racing cars we will have on site is quite exciting. Leading the way is the Grand Sport, which was truly made as a purpose-built racecar even though the body bore a strong resemblance to the contemporary 1963 production Corvettes. It had a tube-frame chassis, a specially developed engine and a highly modified body. Five of them were built, but unfortunately the program was cancelled before they had a chance to truly demonstrate their capability. The car is on loan to us from the Revs Institute and of the five made it’s my particular favorite given its racing history, its color and its aggressive design.
“Another noteworthy racer is the Penske Team 1966 Corvette coupe, powered by GM’s legendary big-block L-88 engine. At Daytona that year, it broke the GT record, finished first in GT class and placed 12th overall – an impressive result for its first time out.”
ITALIAN COACH BUILDER PININFARINA
“There are many companies in Italy that style and build car bodies, but Pininfarina is really the preeminent firm that has contributed so much to the art of automobile design since its founding nearly a century ago. Primarily when we think of them, we think of Ferrari, but there were also so many others. One extraordinary example will be an Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 B, which has to be one of the most beautiful pre-war cars ever made. It’s long, low and just screams elegance from every direction.
HONORING FERRARI’S 75TH ANNIVERSARY
“We’ll have a special display class of Ferraris among which will be a 1962 GTO. It’s one of the most famous Ferraris of all time. Because of its competition heritage and its sheer beauty, the GTO epitomizes what everything that makes Ferrari such an extraordinary car company. It’s fast, it’s sexy and it’s even a little rough around the edges highlighting the fact that it was made for competition first and foremost. It’s part of what makes these amongst the most desirable and highly sought-after cars on the rare occasion that they do come up for auction.”
CORVETTE PRODUCTION CARS
“Returning to the Corvette theme, we have a group of 20 production cars that were selected by myself along with two renowned Corvette experts; Ray Zisa from Corvette Center in Newington, Connecticut, and Kevin McKay from Corvette Repair on Long Island in New York. Leading the way is a 1963 Z06 that was a production car designed from the factory to go racing and we will have one of the best examples of it anywhere in the country. From the same era, there will also be a so-called 1965 ‘Big Tank’ car that’s equipped with a large fuel tank for endurance racing. They are extremely rare with only 41 ever made. These are the kinds of special Corvettes that you won’t see very often in one place.”
BONUS PICK: European Pre-War Cars
“We’d be remiss to not highlight a gorgeous collection of European pre-war cars that include a 1907 Peugeot bodied by Labourdette alongside a gorgeous 1911 Mercedes 11-90 and a Steyr 220 roadster. Even in the rarified air of European Pre-War cars, these are all standout vehicles.”
With such an exceptional and rare display of cars, there’s no place better to be than Lime Rock Park this Labor Day Weekend. Tickets for Sunday in the Park and Historic Festival 40 are still available at limerock.com.