Lime Rock Celebrating Paul Newman's Historic Win with Exhibit During Memorial Day Classic
May 16, 2023
LAKEVILLE, CONN. (15 MAY 2023) - Lime Rock Park (LRP) will celebrate the 37th anniversary of Paul Newman’s historic Trans-Am win with a rare one-day-only exhibit of his racing estate during the Trans Am Memorial Day Classic (May 26-29). Organized by Sotheby’s in advance of “The World of Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman” auction in June, with logistic support from Salisbury Bank, the exhibit is part of a larger celebration of the late actor and racing legend’s life and career.
The “World of Joanne Woodward & Paul Newman” exhibit will highlight the personal collection of the former “Hollywood It” couple, including two of Paul’s Rolex Daytona watches, a selection of helmets, racing suits and other memorabilia that Newman used during his storied career.
The museum-like exhibit will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 27 ONLY. Admission is included with a VIP Hospitality ticket (Purchase tickets here).
“We’re thrilled to be hosting this special exhibit in honor of Paul Newman,” said Lime Rock Park President Dicky Riegel. “Newman was not only a great actor and philanthropist, but also a passionate and talented race car driver. His legacy continues to inspire people around the world, and we’re honored to be able to share a small part of that legacy with our visitors.”
The Trans Am Memorial Day Classic is a four-day event that celebrates American Horsepower and International Classic Cars. The weekend will also host two car shows and the CT Craft Beer Grand Prix on Sunday. For tickets and more information visit: Memorial Day Classic – Lime Rock Park
About the Watches
Paul Newman’s watches have become highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. The one-off “Zenith” Daytona and the classic Daytona were acquired over the course of Woodward and Newman’s 50-year-long marriage, but each comes with its own special backstory. Newman was gifted the “Zenith” in 1995 after winning in the GTS-1 class at the 24 Hours of Daytona. The stainless-steel chronograph, circa 1993, is inscribed with text that reads “Rolex at Daytona 24 Paul Newman Rolex Motorsports Man of the Year 1995” to mark the very special occasion. Newman’s 1995 win at 24 Hours of Daytona at age 70 made him the oldest to win the race. The achievement still stands in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The second watch holds even greater sentimental value. The white-gold chronograph, circa 2006, was a gift to Newman from his wife Joanne Woodward. The piece is one of three known Daytonas gifted to the actor but is reportedly the last Daytona he received. It is distinguished by a case back engraving that reads: “Drive Very Slowly Joanne.” For Joanne Woodward, this phrase was meant to hug Newman’s wrist, and trigger a reminder to keep his hands at 10 & 2 while navigating life in the fast lane.. Fans will recall Newman sporting the piece at high-profile events from the Indy 500 to his iconic Barbara Walters interview in 2007 (Watch here). Most notably perhaps, Paul wore the gift from Joanne as he took his famous final laps at Lime Rock Park on August 13, 2008. The track was completely closed to the public, granting Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward’s loved ones complete privacy, as they got to observe the Hollywood-star turned racing mogul zoom past them in his 700 horsepower GT1 Corvette, completely at ease. The icon passed away just over one month later at the age of 83.
The watches will be offered in Sotheby’s Important Watches auction on 9 June in New York.
P.L. Newman’s Racing Career at LRP
Newman began his racing career late in life, running a Datsun 510 on Tuesdays at Lime Rock Park, not far from his home in Westport. He joined another Connecticut racer, Bob Sharp, moving up to faster cars and a bigger stage as he went from club racing to becoming a regular in the professional Trans-Am championship. Newman scored his second and final Trans-Am victory, fittingly, at Lime Rock, in Bob Sharp’s red, white and blue Nissan.
In addition to his racing, Newman was also a team owner, as he teamed with Carl Haas to launch Newman/Haas Racing which went on to score in 105 IndyCar races.
Newman won his last race at Lime Rock during a Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) event, carrying the No. 82—his age at the time—on board a GT1 class 900-horsepower Corvette.
Paul Newman’s name lives in perpetuity at Lime Rock Park after the Connecticut track renamed No Name Straight to the Paul Newman Straight last September. The renaming of the straight was the first initiative in the partnership with the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.
About Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and Lime Rock Park
Earlier this year Lime Rock Park named Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is the official charitable partner of Lime Rock Park’s fundraising efforts in 2023.
Hole in the Wall Gang provides multiple Camp experiences throughout the year at the facility in Connecticut, in more than 40 hospitals and clinics, directly in camper homes and communities, and through other outreach activities across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic.
Lime Rock kicked off its fundraising efforts for the Camp this year in style, by auctioning off a rare Corvette on Bring a Trailer. The auction raised more than $25,000 which the proceeds benefited both Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and Sam Posey’s American Mural Project.
Lime Rock Park also pledged that a portion of ticket sales from 2023 will go to support Hole in the Wall Gang’s effort of providing a camp experience to more than 20,000 seriously ill children and family members annually-all completely free of charge. Additionally, Lime Rock Park will be collecting donations for the Camp at several shows throughout the season. The Hole in the Wall Camp will also have a presence on the Midway for all major events in 2023.
Story credit: Lime Rock Park