It’s about one month to the 33rd Lime Rock Historic Festival, which is set for September 3-7 of this year. I’m planning to attend and it won’t be the first time I’ve spectated this race. The Lime Rock Historics is a great east-coast gathering on a track that can best be described as magical.

Not everyone who brings their car to the festival is there to race. The last time I went, there were a few cars that just did demonstration runs during the lunch break. I don’t think there was a class that these cars could have raced in if they’d wanted to, but watching the drivers manhandle these pre-war beasts around the track made me glad I didn’t have to share the road with them.

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This is the oldest car I’ve ever seen in motion, a 1911 Mercer. This is definitely a car you sit on rather than in. I looked at it up close while it was parked in the pits and the controls were completely bewildering. The thing that looks like a brass bicycle pump next the seat is the fuel pump. The driver would pump it madly with one hand while he used the other to steer the thing down the straight so that he could make sure the Mercer had enough fuel pressure to complete the lap. Then he would stop pumping, set the brakes with one lever and down shift with another in preparation for the turn. Real hairy-chested stuff.

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The actual racing included a lot of well-prepared open-wheeled cars, including this Maserati 250f and these pre-war Alfa Romeos.

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Even a front-engined Indy car with an Offenhauser engine made an appearance.

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I don’t know what this is, but it looks like it was left in the dryer too long.

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Sports cars from the 50s, 60s, and 70s are the heart and soul of vintage racing.

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Vintage Formula 3 and Atlantic cars are a nice edition that you don’t see at a lot of historic races.

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