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 Bentley Blower from England to France
Though Dempsey embraces the technology that makes his Porsche 911 GT3 RSR a beast on the track, he's also a bit nostalgic for that romantic age when gentlemen racers took big risks in uncomplicated contraptions.
"Go back to the 1920s and take a Blower Bentley from England to France. That would be a great one," he says. "The Bentley was such an important car for the time and place because it was there for the first decade of Le Mans, and it gives the Brits a connection to Le Mans like nobody's business."
Dempsey has long admired the glamour and grit of old-school racers: "The Bentley boys partied hard, but they were also very professional, and that's what a lot of people don't remember. They dominated that era."