Patrick Dempsey may be known to millions as McDreamy, a nickname he earned during his 10 seasons playing a hunky neurosurgeon on 'Grey's Anatomy,' but the actor's off-camera exploits deserve a different moniker. McSpeedy makes sense.
Following in the footsteps of more than one leading man before him (think Steve McQueen and Paul Newman), the Maine native is as comfortable behind the wheel as he is in front of a camera. Unlike the vast majority of gearhead actors, Dempsey has actually met with some success on the racetrack, qualifying for the Baja 1000 and the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The guy knows what he's doing.
Dempsey's most recent four-wheeled adventure took him to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the mother of all endurance races, where he shared Porsche 911 GT3 RSR driving duties with pros Joe Foster and Patrick Long – the team finished a very respectable fourth in class. Dempsey's 15-month journey to the storied French event was documented in a four part series, which premieres Wednesday, August 28 at 10 p.m. ET on Discovery's Velocity network.
When we caught up with McSpeedy and asked him to describe his ideal rides, the perfect pairings of vehicles and roads, he waxed poetic. Here are a few of the gas and electric-powered ways Dempsey daydreams about spending his time out of the hospital.
A 1960s-era Porsche 911 S on Route 1, Maine
One of the current objects of Dempsey's affection is an early-era Porsche 911 S in an understated shade of gray, which he imagines would be an ideal car for tooling around Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park in his home state of Maine.
"That body style hasn't really changed, it's evolved. And it's just cool," he says.
But it's not just about the 911's familiar silhouette: Dempsey also admires the car's evocative image. "With cars like Lamborghinis, you can offend people if you're driving it outside of Italy. But if you're in an early 911, no matter where you are, people welcome you warmly."