When he returned to the U.S. after five years, Barr opened up the Foreign Car Shop in Glastonbury, Conn., in 1965, and began building Formula Vee race cars, first for a customer, then for himself.
He also raced in the Sports Car Club of America’s Formula C, Formula B and Formula Vee classes, winning SCCA National Championships in FB in 1967 and in FV in 1968.
After closing the Foreign Car Shop in 2004, Barr was hired by Wayne Carini’s F40 Motorsports in Portland, Conn., where he worked until he joined The Paddock.
From 1994-2004 he also served on the faculty at Brown University in Providence, R.I., and, from 2007-2012, at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Conn.
“We got very lucky with Roger,” says Donnelly. “He was available and eager to find work in a quality shop. He really enjoys the environment and the atmosphere here, and we’re just very happy to have someone with his skills.
“He’s not only a mechanic, he understands engineering to a very high degree, and the mechanical processes. He’s a problem solver. He doesn’t need the manual, no matter what the car is. He has it all in his head.
“His racing experience also contributes to that overall knowledge.”
“This is heaven working here. People smile, they talk, we get to work on very old cars, and it’s unbelievable,” says Barr, who added that he’s loved cars since he was 4 years old growing up in New Dorp on Staten Island, N.Y.
Borchetta, of Southington, Conn., brings a wealth of coach building and bodywork expertise to The Paddock. More than a dozen classic cars he’s worked on over the years have won awards at significant Concours around the country, including the Greenwich (Conn.) Concours, The Quail in Monterey, Calif., Cavallino in Palm Beach, Fla., and the Amelia Island (Fla.) Concours.
He recently worked at Black Horse Garage in Bridgeport, Conn., as the coach work director, and as a painter at Zoel’s Body & Auto Center in Meriden, Conn., and Turnpike Motors Auto Body in Newington, Conn. He also worked as a graphic designer after earning his Bachelor’s Degree at Savannah (Ga.) College of Art and Design.
“Aaron’s painting skills are second to none,” says Donnelly. “He’s just a super talented painter. And he goes above and beyond to make sure everything is absolutely perfect.”
“I like the people here, I like Michael,” says Borchetta. “I want to do good work and I want to be the best. I want to be able to look at everything I do and say I’m proud of it. I found that Michael and I have the same goals.”
The Paddock has remained open during the pandemic. “We’re taking every precaution so that we can all stay well through this," says Donnelly. "The business is there, we have a backlog of work and our clients are happy that we’re addressing it. We’re extremely grateful to our staff and to our customers for their dedication during this difficult time.”