Minty Porsche 934s And Corvettes Wearing Ferrari Stickers Are Just Part Of This Collection
Photography by Chris Szczypala
Deep in the Catskill mountain range in upstate New York is Monticello Motor Club, a private race track that was developed from a defunct airport. The asphalt strip once saw small aircraft barreling down the runway until rotation; now it sees everything from spec Miatas to manufacturers testing still-secret concept race cars, and these days the last thing any driver wants to do on this old runway is rotate.
With all the excitement buzzing on the track, it might be easy to overlook some serious automotive firepower sitting in the Gallery, a museum-like warehouse with a motley crew of race cars littered throughout. One of the founding members of Monticello Motor Club is fond of Porsches, so what’s on display slants towards the teutonic.
In the corner sits the most modern 911 on display, a GT3 Cup masterpiece built by Brumos and owned by Jerry Seinfeld, not to mention that it was raced by the likes of Leh Keen and Hurley Haywood. It still proudly wears streaky black pick-up marks from its Grand Am days on the rear flares.
While that 911 kept up the winning 50-year history of the Brumos team, another 911 proved to be a massive failure. In 1968 a 911 soft-window Targa was brought over from Germany to test the market for a 911 that could be used in a law enforcement role—much like the star car of today’s Petrolicious film.
After all, the American police cars were equally as incapable at taking turns gracefully as the bad guys that were speeding away from them, right? The prototype 911 wore an imagined livery that was a riff on German police cars of the time, and it also boasted a flashing red light affixed in a sleek fashion to the Targa bar. It even attended the New York and Chicago Auto Shows, but no one was willing to pull the trigger on a batch order. But maybe that’s a good thing, because with a Porsche pursuing the baddies instead of a lumbering Plymouth Fury, Hollywood probably wouldn’t have given us so many entertaining car chase sequences, or at least with fewer jettisoned hubcaps let loose thanks to excessive body roll.
The Porsche contingent in this collection is rounded off with the iconic 2.7 RS, and a 934 race car that was spared from a life of abuse because of a last-minute decision to use the newly launched 935 platform. Interscope Racing of California had high hopes for the then brand new 934 they’d purchased, but when it came down to it the 935 was just a better platform to race with. For those who aren’t versed in Porsche, the 934 is based on the 930 Turbo with a few suspension mods and a body kit (okay, that’s doing a disservice to the chassis and engine work, but you know what I mean), but the 935 was an entirely different beast. Deciding to focus their efforts on the 935, Interscope Racing tucked this 934 away wherein it accumulated no mileage for decades. These days it gets a few odometer spins added every year during Monticello Motor Club’s Art in Motion concours event, but other than that, it stays in the same condition it was in when it was delivered from the factory. Some might call it a capsule, or a body in black.
Across the room, a race car clad in rosso corsa with a worked-over aluminum V8 proudly wears Luigi Chinetti’s famous North American Racing Team (N.A.R.T.) logo, but this competitor wasn’t born in Maranello. Instead, it was manufactured in Flint, Michigan, and it relies on old-fashioned American-bred pushrod power. A ‘68 Corvette found its way into Le Mans in 1972 before finding its way into the Monticello collection in 2018. The car was conceptualized and predominantly prepared by Goodyear, but the tire giant needed a way to actually get the car into the race with a team that could handle the rest of the work, so they worked out a deal with N.A.R.T.
The car was thought to be a contender for a class win, and any record set under the N.A.R.T. banner was something that Chinetti was willing to take a risk on, be it an Italian sports car or a hefty piece of American horsepower. Because of N.A.R.T.’s relationship with the organizing bodies of international sports car racing, the Corvette did find a way into Le Mans, and it managed to finish seventh in its class, fifteenth overall, and solidified numerous records for the Corvette platform in the process.
This is a car that Ferrari tifosi and American iron enthusiasts can appreciate in equal measure, a true oddity in such a tribal collecting culture where enthusiasts’ loyalty too often falls on a particular marque at the expense of others. When people enter this collection, they’ll either giddily prance over to all the modern supercars, casually stroll over to the Porsches, or make a mad dash straight to whatever else speaks to them, but chances are they’ll end up at the Corvette in due time, pondering how a brash American rebel from Flint ended getting away with wearing the Prancing Horse.