GTO a Lime Rock and Shop Visit
GTO at Lime Rock and a Shop Visit
A couple of weeks ago, I met Jim and Sandy McNeil in Monterey. They own a couple of Vintage race cars, and one of them is an unrestored 250 GTO. They had brought their 289 Competition Cobra to Laguna Seca for the Historic Races, but told me they would be bringing their GTO to Lime Rock Race Track in Connecticut in a couple of weeks. They invited me to come watch Sandy drive her GTO on the track, so not needing an excuse to go to the races, I made it to to the Rolex Vintage Festival over the Labor Day Weekend.
Arriving on Saturday, Jim told me that Sandy did very well on Friday’s races and managed to beat an Aston Martin. It was fun to watch the same rivalries being played out 40 years later!
As Sandy was cooling off after a practice run in the Ferrari, I asked her how the GTO compared to her 289 Cobra since she had just driven the Cobra two weeks ago at Laguna. She said the Cobra is a lot more demanding, physically and mentally to drive. Mistakes are not easily forgiven, while the Ferrari is very easy to drive. She felt that in order to screw something up in the Ferrari, she would have to do something very wrong, the Cobra, on the other hand was very touchy. She did prefer, however, the power of the Cobra. With a twinkle in her eye, she said she loved how when you stepped on the gas in the Cobra, there was power to push you back into your seat!
Sandy takes her driving pretty seriously, working out in the gym to keep her strength and endurance up. The shop that campaigns the car hires an instructor to help all their drivers improve their lap times, and Sandy confers with him throughout the day.
As Sandy piloted her car back to through the paddock from the track, it was neat to see how much attention this car drew!
I had to cut my stay at Lime Rock short to meet someone in Westchester, NY. Ward Smith is a metal fabricator that found my website several months ago, and runs a shop out of his house building street rods, and fabricating all sorts of stuff for all types of cars. Ward’s house was on the way back to NYC from Lime Rock, so it was a perfect excuse to stop by for a visit.
We chatted for a while about all topics around cars, and he gave a tour around all his equipment and techniques. I find in any shop I visit, I always learn something, and Ward’s shop was no different. I hope when I have some more time, I can stop by again, roll up my sleeves and try some hands-on learning! Thanks for the visit Ward!
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