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May 17, 2008

2008 New England 1000 – Getting There.

Filed under: 08 NE1000 Rally — chuck goolsbee @ 7:01 pm

I spent Friday flying from Sunny Seattle, to Rainy Newark, New Jersey, where I met my father. This morning at a shockingly early hour for a west coast resident, we flew up to Burlington, Vermont on a nice sunny day. Upon arrival we were pressed into service to shuttle a brand new Porsche Cayman to the start location for the rally. Porsche is a sponsor of the 2008 New England 1000, and these cars serve as shuttles for rally workers and more importantly, as backup transportation for rally participants whose vintage cars break down. We then picked up our vintage car, a Mercedes-Benz 450sl from RPM in Vergennes, and drove down to Woodstock, VT.

rack
rack

Upon arrival in Burlington we were met by folks from Vintage Rallies to shuttle us to Vergennes to pick up our car. Instead we were volunteered to help shuttle support vehicles for the rally, donated by Porsche. Hey, it is a tough job, but somebody has to do it!

After a short (and crowded, six adults in a vehicle designed for four) drive from the airport to the Porsche dealer, we found a lineup of Caymans & Boxsters. Being a top-down sort of guy, I was hoping for a Boxster. But my dad went and claimed a ruby red Cayman S for us. Dad navigated and I drove the short way to RPM where the 450sl awaited. The first order of business was to remove the hardtop. This involved assembling the hard top rack, an aluminum device cleverly designed by those Germans to disassemble and fit into a pocket in the trunk of the 450sl. With a bit of head scratching and fumbling we were able to assemble it and then lift the rather heavy top off the car and onto the rack with no damage to the car, or ourselves.

racked
racked

We made a quick pit stop at the “facilities” in the RPM shop/barn. This place is not a gorgeous “garage mahal” but it is a functional, and attractive restoration shop. If you imagine in your mind what a barn full of Ferraris and tools would look like in rural Vermont, RPM is it.

The RPM Shop
The RPM Shop
A horse leaving the barn
A horse leaving the barn

Above: A prancing horse trying to escape from the barn. Ferrari 275 GTB

Dad saddled up the 450sl and I followed in the Cayman. We ambled along back roads down to Woodstock for the start of the rally. Driving the Cayman was a treat… I soaked in as much of the experience as possible and plan on writing a short review soon. Stay tuned. We grabbed a lunch along the way, actually a late breakfast, and switched cars about 4/5ths of the way, as dad wanted to drive the Porsche for a bit too.

At the hotel in Woodstock we met with many familiar faces from past rallies. Enjoyed a nice dinner at a small local place. I slept like a rock, hopefully getting over the time-zone shift. We’ll see. Checked into the rally this morning, received our Route Book and jackets. After a group car photo-op this afternoon we’ll have a dinner & driver’s meeting tonight, and the rally starts early tomorrow.

2 Comments

  1. Looking forward to the review of the Cayman…

    Comment by Dan O'Donnell — May 18, 2008 @ 11:10 am

  2. Lucky bastard! Looking forward to reading your reports….

    Comment by Mad Dog — May 18, 2008 @ 5:36 pm

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