Welcome to our new Classic Driver series, wherein we take the enviable autos of the Classic Car Club Manhattan‘s stable out for stylish excursions endowed with appropriate panache.

We took the classic sports car on an excursion to the Orvis Sandanona Shooting Grounds

For our first installment, DRIVEN’s intrepid correspondent Fernando Morales of  The Gentleman’s Topcoat took a 1968 Porsche 911 out for a sporting sojourn at Orvis’ stunning Sandanona Shooting Grounds in Millbrook, NY.

Read on for the full field notes:

Blaring down the road at a heart thumping 3,000 RPM, the ’68 Porsche 911 really came alive.

Click to enlarge; Dunhill driving gloves, Baracuta jacket, Persol sunglasses, vintage Porsche Design chronograph on Gabarro strap; Ralph Lauren RRL jeans

Lifting our gaze from the road, we checked the rear view mirror beset by high frequency vibrations.

Anyone eating our fumes faded into an indistinguishable blur.

This is what piloting a Porsche is all about, visceral driving emotions

This is what piloting a Porsche is all about, visceral driving emotions – the kind of experience where separation of car and body only occurs upon switching off the ignition.

Zack Moseley, Director of the Car Classic Club Manhattan, boiled the ’68  down to its most basic reality for us: “the car is agricultural”.

Click to enlarge

“You go rowing through the gears, make lots of noise and feel like a ’60s Le Mans racer, but you look down at the speedo and you’ve barely broken 40 mph”.

Today’s car companies sell you a driving experience that is more “drive” and less “experience” than it ever was.

The CCCM has the prescription for modern society’s automotive malady

Sure, we may be driving  faster and safer, but we’re doing it with all the inherent details of the adventure it once was factored out.

The CCCM has the prescription for modern society’s automotive malady; today and it came bundled up in tangerine orange paint, lovingly dubbed the “Steve McQueen 911″.

Click to enlarge; Dunhill driving gloves, vintage Porsche Design chronograph on Gabarro strap, J.W. Hulme bag, Dunhill key fob; RRL Raw Selvedge Denim jeans

Our hands gripped the wooden steering wheel, sheathed in driving gloves made by Alfred Dunhill‘s finest.

As a suitably-styled Dunhill keyfob swayed from the ignition, we set the pace for the traffic.

Dunhill driving gloves and a vintage Porsche Design Chronograph

Gabarro Straps had outfitted us with a NATO Horween Leather Strap for our own vintage Porsche Design Chronograph.

Both the machine we piloted and the timepiece we sported were the brainchild of automotive luminary Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche.

Click to enlarge

Throaty roars flooded the cabin and sweet notes of octane poured in through the windows as we pressed the pedal.

No wonder the 911 was McQueen’s car of choice – driving one feels like trouble-making incarnate made mechanical.

Throaty roars flooded the cabin and sweet notes of octane poured in

A quick glance along our side revealed a 500 S&W Magnum casing functioning as a makeshift hand break button, and a short shifter topped by a stamped aluminum knob.

Tempering the bad boy attitude was our awaiting destination, the Millbrook gentleman’s retreat Orvis Sandanona Shooting Grounds, for a day of sporting clays with the most enviable of firearms.

Click to enlarge

Pushing our way up the Taconic, we felt the 148 HP rear-engine flat six hammering away at the engine block.

Getting to know the car in all its depth, from first gear to fifth, revealed the source of widespread adoration for the first generation 911s; they simply ooze character.

The first generation 911s simply ooze character

The ’68 model is a temperamental stallion, and it demands clear intent.

The car wants to be driven like a thoroughbred, and you’d better be prepared to deliver when it’s grunting for it.

Click to enlarge

Rounding the scenic roads of upstate New York, we arrived at our destination in all of its sportsman’s utopian splendor.

Prepped for our day at Sandanona was a J.W. Hulme Weekend Satchel filled with the necessary goods for such an outing.

A Tag Heuer jacket and J.W. Hulme Weekend Satchel filled with the necessary goods

Peeking over the top was a brown leather Tag Heuer jacket with a racing stripe glistening in the sunlight.

And surrounding it all was the Northeast’s premiere shooting destination, a getaway of remarkable caliber both in terms of amenities and scenery.

Click to enlarge; J.W. Hulme bag, Dunhill driving gloves, Persol sunglasses, Tag Heuer jacket, Orvis bag (back)

We climbed up the steps of Orvis Sandanona’s lodge and met the gracious staff before setting off on the 30 stand Sporting Clays course.

With an Orvis Cesar Guerini shotgun thrown over our shoulder we made our way through an impressive stretch of stands.

With an Orvis Cesar Guerini shotgun over our shoulder we went to the stands

Each is characterized by its own scenic or situational peculiarity, guaranteed to entice and entertain even the most skillful shooter.

We took in the fall air and acclimatized ourselves to breathing ozone that wasn’t lustfully infused with gasoline.

Click to enlarge; Baracuta jacket, Persol sunglasses, Cesar Guerini shotgun from Orvis, Ralph Lauren RRL raw selvedge denim jeans, Gitman Brothers Vintage shirt, J. Crew belt, vintage Porsche Design chronograph on Gabarro strap

Pressing the stock of the artful shotgun against our G9 Baracuta jacket and slipping on our Persols – both nods to the King of Cool – we obliterated clays like there was no tomorrow.

Pressing the stock of the artful shotgun against our G9 Baracuta jacket and slipping on our Persols

Between smoking barrels and across the path of the occasional dim-witted deer, we meandered our way along the alluring stretch of land.

Before we’d even realized it we’d exhausted our munitions and reached the end of the line, and a modified off-road golf cart appeared to whisk us back to the lodge.

We reluctantly checked our gun and thanked the obliging Orvis experts for nothing short of a perfect day.

Click to enlarge; shotgun selection at the Sandanona shop

Awaiting us under the dusk-tinged sky was our Stuttgart siren.

Erupting the engine into its domineering roar cast us back into the trance of driving, and far from dreading the homeward journey we were thrilled to be back on the road.

Erupting the engine into its domineering roar cast us back into the trance of driving

Along the way, we realized that clarity of thought in such proportions is rare.

A well played out day afforded us the chance to polish off the edges with the aid of the finely-crafted firearm and machine, and reimmerse ourselves in the hustle and bustle of the city.

Click to enlarge

As the 911 gunned its way into the horizon, we looked fondly upon our newly crafted memories.

Driving a classic car like the ’68 911 causes you to fashion fantasies and memories of times you wish you could call your own. And therein lies the gift the CCCM affords us.

Driving the ’68 911 causes fantasies and memories of times you wish you could call your own

A membership* means an opportunity to recreate memories both vintage and new, before you’re too old to truly afford a ’68 911 or Ferrari 458 Italia  – and a garage to hold them – of your own.

It is the reigniting of old synapses our parents’ generation of automotive enthusiasts knew well, sparking a maniacal grin glimpsed in the mirror.

Click to enlarge

Finally making our way into the confines of Manhattan and stuck in downtown traffic, we were framed by our own ironic surroundings.

The head-turning capabilities of the 911 proved to be impressive.

The head-turning capabilities of the 911 proved to be impressive

A mother and child stood hand-in-hand on the corner, as he gushed in excitement over the tangerine orange car which sat idling in front of him.

A smile and a wave sent his way reinforced the surreal role the car took on.

Click to enlarge

We felt part superhero and part antihero, wondering what movie-like memory we’d created for this boy after her mother yelled back, “He loves cars!”

He stood in awe as we rounded the corner with a farewell roar.

We felt part superhero and part antihero

We pulled into CCC’s dream garage and powered off the engine, allowing silence to fill the void.

The ’68 911 sat there with the smug ticking of its cooling flat 6.

Click to enlarge

Stuffing stylish belongings into the bag, we walked out of the fantasy and onto the sidewalk.

The satisfying weight of memories forged with a car whose veneration has spanned decades

With feet tapping to the beat of our own thoughts, the usual parting sorrow was strangely absent; but what took its place was the satisfying weight of memories forged with a car whose veneration has spanned decades.

Not a leaden pressure, but a burden that felt immeasurably good….

F.M.

———————————————

*Car Classic Club Manhattan membership details:

If you’ve been kicking the tires on your own membership to the Classic Car Club, now’s your chance – CCC has launched a great new membership plan.

CCC has launched a great new membership plan

For $4500, they’ll hand over the keys to an awesome fleet of over 40 cars, including the ’68 911. Consider it the ultimate test drive.

To apply for membership, contact Samantha at Samc@classiccarclub.com.


(For information on a list of retailers of Gabarro Horween Leather NATO Straps, contact nick@gabarrostraps.com)