Lime Rock Park's vintage celebration occurs every year over the Labor Day weekend (Sept. 2-5) and is widely considered the East Coast's premier combination of historic auto racing and concours. This year is the 29th edition of Lime Rock's vintage weekend and is called Historic Festival 29 Presented by Jaguar. The weekend's concomitant concours is dubbed “Sunday in the Park,” a subtle acknowledgement of there being no racing on Sunday at Lime Rock Park.
Aside from the large entry count for the Saturday and Monday racing part of the weekend – 12 race groups crafted from 318 cars, ranging from pre-war to the 1970s – each year Festival Chairman Murray Smith invites one well-known, highly respected collector to grace the grounds with a selection of superlative, significant cars. This year the "honored collector" is Dr. Fred Simeone, a neurosurgeon from Philadelphia. His collection of sports racing cars that spans the history of the automobile from the early 1900s to 1975 are, as Sam Smith of the Vintage Racers Group says, “staggeringly significant. In terms of racing accomplishments, design and engineering, these cars are the best of the best.”
“Dr. Fred” is bringing four stellar examples from his Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum to Historic Festival 29: the 1956 D-Type Jaguar, the prototype of what would become the iconic E-Type (“XKE”) and which finished third at Sebring driven by Bob Sweikert and Jack Ensley; a K3 MG, the best-placed of all MGs at Le Mans (1934, class winner and ninth overall); the 1958 DBR1 Aston Martin World Champion Sports Racer, one of the best looking racing cars ever built; and a 1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 with a fabulous body by the house of Castagna, absolutely unrestored (like the K3), and also like the MG, in a true state of grace.
In 2009, Smith created a stir when he convinced The Collier Collection, after many months of painstaking restoration, to debut its stunning 1939 Mercedes-Benz W 154 Silver Arrow Grand Prix car, and Murray then drove it on the track – the first time the car had been on a race circuit since finishing second in the 1939 Belgrade GP. Last year, Boston's Joe Freeman showed and drove his old Indy cars while his Mercer – from the dawn of motoring – wandered around the paddock all weekend, almost on its own...
Also last year, two of the rarest automobiles in existence, a 1936 Alfa Romeo Touring Berlinetta and the one of a kind 1937 BMW 328 Mille Miglia Buegelfalte (“trouser crease”) won best of show and best competition car, respectively, in the Sunday concours.
for more information on this year's Historic Festival 29 and Concours.