Brandon, is it fair to say that you’re living the dream?
Absolutely! New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) is a motorsports paradise for car fanatics. I get to race in club events and track days on two top-notch road courses, as well as indulge in every amenity NJMP has to offer: Clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, pub, gourmet restaurant, paintball field, karting courses – the works. And I have front row seats to every racing event from my trackside Exotic Car Garage (ECG). I sometimes wish I never had to leave! As a racer and motoring enthusiast, I’m incredibly lucky to own such an amazing home for my cars at the same place where I race. I have a place where I can enjoy this great hobby to the fullest.
For those who don’t know, tell us about your Exotic Car Garage at NJMP?
My garage is a home base for the Porsche Club of America (PCA) and Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) events I race in. Plus, I’m into restoring antique cars and modifying race cars, so this is the perfect place to do it. I outfitted the garage as a workshop, but it also has a loft entertainment area that sleeps six, with oak floors and a full bath. I believe I have the best ECG spot in the whole Phase I building, straight across from Thunderbolt race track’s fiendish “Devil” corner (or “Octopus” as some call it). We love to hang out on my deck and watch all the races.
What’s in your garage?
I keep different cars there at different times, but currently, I have my 1923 Mercer Raceabout. Mercer was America’s first and most revered sports car, and the first American car to win an International Grand Prix race. I also have a Van Diemen Formula Ford and 2 Porsche racecars. Plus, I also store my family’s cars there if we need more space at home.
You must have a few parties there? We hear the fridge is always stocked with beer.
Always! I’ve hosted lots of parties and corporate retreats at NJMP, and we partake in the full suite of events. Nothing builds morale like a couple of laps around a racetrack! I even held my son-in-law’s bachelor party at the track. But anyone is welcome to come and have a cold one and talk about cars with me any day.
Your ECG is both a garage and a workshop. Could you tell our readers about it?
I designed my Exotic Car Garage as more of a workspace than a showplace. I wanted to create a shop where I could service my cars as well as store them, so I made sure I had enough storage for tools and equipment with cabinets and a workbench. I upgraded to 220 volt electrical and professional-grade lighting, put in two car lifts, an air compressor, welding and a bathroom with an industrial sink and shower. Another huge benefit is not having to trailer my cars to the track because most of the races I run in are at NJMP. I was able to sell my diesel truck and enclosed trailer. Not having to own and maintain large-scale transportation vehicles is a major time – and money – saver for me. And my cars are conveniently stored in my Exotic Car Garage right next to the track.
Do you ever loan tools off your neighbours?
When you become an Exotic Car Garage owner, you become part of an awesome and diverse community of motorsports enthusiasts where something’s always happening. Not only do we share tools, but we socialise, and we always look out for each other. Sometimes I even lend my garage to other race teams when they need to make repairs or just take a quick shower. It’s all part of the good citizenship that comes with being an NJMP ECG owner. And, although NJMP already has stellar 24/7 security, I installed my own alarm system with cameras to further protect my investment. But, honestly, my ECG neighbours are the best security of all. You won’t find a nicer, more interesting group of folks anywhere else. It’s truly like living in a motorsports village!
When did your obsession with cars start?
I’ve been a car guy my entire life. My dad and uncles were into hot rods and sports car racing. When I started racing, everything else just fell into place; it evolved from a pastime into a passion. I’d rather be a participant in the sport than a rub-and-scrub guy, and owning an NJMP ECG not only gives me that opportunity but seriously amplifies it. There aren’t many places where you can drive a 100-year old car on a race track!
Finally, what’s your favourite car to race on the track?
The original, air-cooled Porsche 911 is possibly the winningest chassis ever built by any car manufacturer. At the same time, it was a tricky chassis, with its engine hanging way out in the back and it has what we would describe today as a primitive suspension system. My old-school 911SC is not the fastest or most valuable car I’ve owned, but driving it at its limit is certainly the most rewarding racing experience!