By Sarah Kuper
Michael Wright fell in love at a young age.
His childhood sweetheart wasn’t a playground crush, but rather a passionate admiration for beautiful sports cars – especially Porsches.
“I don’t know why I locked into Porsches but I did,” Wright said, “There are a lot of little boys who fit this category and for some reason are attracted to cars and find out everything they can about them.”
Wright credits childhood trips to the hobby shop to build every model he could find for his knowledge and appreciation of Porsche cars today.
In college, Wright was able to trade in his model cars for the real thing – owning the most affordable Porsche he could find.
Now, a successful civil litigation lawyer in Birmingham, Wright once again owns a Porsche – this time a bright red vintage 1970 914-6.
Wright bought the car already restored from a seller in Florida. But the vintage sports car does not sit idly in the garage.
Wright has been competing in sports car races since 2001.
He readily admits he doesn’t expect to win the top prize, but he takes pride in finishing well for the type of engine he drives.
“If I finish in the middle of the pack, that’s a psychological victory for me,” he said.
Wright has raced all over the southeast but it is the Barber Historics race he looks forward to nowadays.
“I can’t say enough good things about this event. It is comparable to the famous Monterey Car event in California. People will bring their cars from all over,” he said.
The Barber Historics race and show is May 20-22. Spectators can watch practice and qualifying races plus enjoy barbeque leading up to the finals on Sunday afternoon.
Although Wright doesn’t travel as far to race as he once did, he is still enjoying his car as a member of two Over the Mountain car clubs.
As a Porsche enthusiast, Wright is naturally a member of the local Porsche driving club, but he has also become part of the newly formed Mountain Brook Driving Club.
The club is a group of sports and luxury car enthusiasts that organizes public events to showcase their vehicles and private events such as scenic drives through the countryside to nice restaurants.
Wright said the driving club’s community involvement is especially important to him.
“We host and participate in fundraisers like Toys for Tots. We don’t raise more than a few thousand dollars but it makes it about more than just the cars,” he said.
Between the car clubs and the Barber Historics event, Wright said he has met interesting people from near and far – people he would have never encountered if it weren’t for his love of cars.
Wright said he is proud to have Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham.
“It is one of the best racetracks in the world and without a doubt the most beautiful,” he said.
He said he hopes more people will realize the gem hidden in Leeds and come out to support the track and the museum.
For more information on Barber Historics and the Barber Motorsports Park, visit barbermotorsports.com.
To learn more about the Mountain Brook Driving Club, find the group on Facebook at facebook.com/mountainbrookdrivingclub.