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 1963 Porsche 356 in Malibu
Dempsey did exactly what you'd expect a bona fide car nut to do when he got his first significant paycheck: He bought his dream car. For Dempsey that was a 1963 Porsche 356 Cabriolet, which he still drives and still believes is best suited to sun-soaked Malibu, California.
"I bought the car right after I did 'Can't Buy Me Love,'" a 1987 flick whose title didn't apply to his black bathtub Porsche. "The car was on the side of the street with a 'For Sale' sign for around $9,000, which was probably all I made on that movie."
Why has the 356 endured in Dempsey's stable for more than a quarter century? "It's been one of the most reliable, enjoyable cars to drive," he explains. "Going down the coast in that car is so iconic, so cool and timeless, that it just hits the vibe perfectly."
Credit: Ed Callow