Jun 29

The Great Race

The Great race is an event for vintage cars to tour the country in a road rally style event. The idea is not to get from point A to point B as fast as you can, but to do so consistently. It’s a way to race across the country in a safe, legal, but very fun way. Each team consists of a drive and navigator who can switch duties as they drive, the amazing thing is some of these cars are very small and it makes you wonder how in the heck two occupants fit in the things.

jaguar race car

There is one big stipulation in all of this and that is the car must be pre 1969. As a result of that the Great Race tends to draw a cars of the vintage variety which I’ll readily admit I’m not so familiar with. So you can hit the jump and watch me inevitably screw up the names of several of these old racers. Then you can all point and laugh at me. Even though I may not know some of the names I certainly know cool when I see it and for that you’ll want to continue reading to see the very cool vintage racers which braved severe thunderstorms, 100+ degree heat, and the crumbling infrastructure of the American Midwest all to get out their beauties and go on an epic adventure, which is always cool.

I caught up with the Great Race along the banks of the Mighty Mississippi River in Mark Twain’s hometown of Hannibal, Missouri. Hannibal is going through some changes as are many American towns. As the big mega chains move in to the edge of town the Mom and Pop stores close down, and the result is a downtown that looks very much like a war zone. I always get a bit sad to think of what might have been 50 years ago when Hannibal’s downtown was surely thriving and alive with activity. However, for one day in the early Summer’s heat downtown Hannibal was alive with activity again as the rumbling of finely tuned race motors roared into town and the people flocked in by the hundreds to see what all that noise was about.
great race race car

What an amazing mix of style and craftsmanship on this racer.

Trans Am’s are always a popular car, their great looks, and performance make them a real site to see. This one rolled into town just after I did.
Trans Am

This old Studebaker sure looked the part of a great racer.
Studabaker at the great race

Another fine example of the cars that could be found at the Great Race. I suppose it was a bit hot for top down cruising.
rag top coupe

If you were racing in this Packard you could probably forgo hotel rooms at night. Plenty of room to sleep two here.

Sleek, low, and mean. This hot rod is ready to race.
Ford hot rod
The original SUV? Maybe not but it sure would do the job. I’d rather own one of these than an Explorer any day.
delivary truck

Well it was not long and it was time for the great race to depart to its next stop on it’s tour from St. Paul to Mobile. Event’s like these are great, they give families something good to do, they help the communities they over night at, and they give the younger generation an idea of what motoring in the past was like. If you’d like to know more about the great race check out their site www.greatrace.com and stay tuned for more from the Great Race a little next week.