‘Doctor’ Delivers Summer Rides

“We built everything from the ground up,”
The Car Doctor World crew, Rod (The Nurse) Davidson, Erik (The Head Surgeon) Palmieri, and Ryan (The Car Doctor) Pilla gathered around a completely rebuilt E-Type Jaguar in the shop Monday. Jack Graves

Ryan Pilla, “The Car Doctor,” who became the Sports Car Club of America’s national Mazda champion last fall, spent the winter with his Car Doctor World crew, including Rod Davidson (The Nurse) and Erik Palmieri (The Head Surgeon), building nine sporty road and beach-friendly cars, most of which he’s got for sale.

“We built everything from the ground up,” Pilla said at his Scuttlehole Road shop in Water Mill Monday. “These cars aren’t for people who think the Hamptons ideal is to drive down the road in a $300,000 convertible Ferrari, but for those who want to be part of the landscape, who want to drink in the intoxicating ocean air and relive the carefree life that was the norm here years ago.”

Along that line, Pilla, who turned a Mazda trifecta in 2012 by setting speed records at Lime Rock, Watkins Glen, and at the New Jersey Motorsports Park, said he still misses the Bridgehampton Race Circuit — now a golf course, off Millstone Road, not far from his shop — where he used to race and teach.

Asked what was coming up racing-wise, he said, “We’re gearing up for six races that’ll be held between now and Thanksgiving, and we’re adding another driver to our team, which will make three of us.”