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Race cars from the past take center stage at Lime Rock Park’s 40th Historic Festival this weekend

A race car driver takes a 1959 Corvette Sting Ray around the track at Lime Rock Park during a Formula Libre race. | Location: Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, Connecticut, USA. (Photo by George D Lepp/Corbis via Getty Images)
George Lepp/Corbis via Getty Images
Corbis Historical
A race car driver takes a 1959 Corvette Stingray around the track at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., during a Formula Libre race.

We’ve all probably seen photographs of old automobile races from the past. A cigar-shaped roadster whizzes by with a jaunty-looking driver peering over the windshield in goggles and a leather helmet. This weekend at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, you will have the chance to see such a race in person, along with 13 other racing categories, such as midcentury sports cars, air-cooled Porsche 911s and historic Trans-Ams. It’s all part of Lime Rock Park’s Historic Festival.

“It’s about older cars, cars that were made from before World War II up until about 1990,” said legendary race car driver Skip Barber, the organizer of the event. “But it’s also an actual car show. Cars that you would never see otherwise. It’s a little bit like going to a museum where there are active displays.”

The festival takes a break from racing on Sunday, Sept. 4, for the “Sunday in the Park Concours,” where hundreds of antique cars will be on display, vying for “Best in Show” award.

This year’s event will also celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Corvette, with a display of 12 rarely seen Corvette concept cars as well as some important racing models over the years.

Lime Rock’s “Historic Festival 40” runs Sept. 1-5 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut. Go to Lime Rock Park’s website for more information.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series Where Art Thou? Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of Morning Edition, and later of All Things Considered.

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