Contact: Judy Stropus, 203-438-0501; cell 203-243-2438;

The Paddock Signs Restoration Stars
Aaron Borchetta and Roger Barr

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (June 25, 2020) - The Paddock, which opened its doors in New Britain, Conn., in 2018 and quickly established itself as a blue-ribbon restoration shop for classic and vintage cars of all ages, has added two highly-skilled artisans to its staff of expert technicians: Roger Barr and Aaron Borchetta.

Barr, of Bolton, Conn., comes to The Paddock with more than 50 years experience as a mechanic, racing champion and “is a lot of fun to have around,” according to The Paddock owner Michael Donnelly.

In the 1960s Barr was a mechanic for the United States Air Force, based in Germany, where he honed his skills not only on jet airplanes but on race cars as well, and eventually became a race-car driver.
Roger Barr
Roger Barr. Photo courtesy of JVS Enterprises.
Aaron Borchetta
Aaron Borchetta. Photo courtesy of JVS Enterprises.
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.”

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Michael and Patricia Donnelly at The Paddock with Aaron Borchetta and Roger Barr. Photo courtesy of JVS Enterprises.
About The Paddock:
The Paddock, located in New Britain, Conn., was founded in 2018 by Michael and Patricia Donnelly with a mission to bring classic car restoration to a higher level. The Donnellys have been married for 28 years and live in South Glastonbury, Conn. Patricia is a former commercial banker and CFO, helps run The Paddock and has a finance and consulting business. Michael worked as a VP at a technology company for 20 years before retiring in 2018. He races a 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV in both SCCA and vintage events, winning the 2018 New England SCCA regional championship in E-Production.

The paddock’s staff of 10 consists of highly skilled artisans with more than 20 years of experience in their respective disciplines. The Paddock provides a full array of services, giving clients one place to go and one team to deal with for all their classic car needs. Services include full restorations, bodywork, engine building, mechanical work, upholstery work, repairs, location services and storage.