By Judy Lacey
The Great Race made a stop in Lake Havasu City yesterday, and the town was ready with both sides of McCulloch Boulevard lined with classic cars waiting to pay homage to the premier race drivers.
The Great Race starts in Kirkwood, Mo., and ends in Santa Monica, Calif. Founded in 1983, it is the world’s oldest premiere old car rally. According to www.greatrace.com, it’s been running since 1983. It’s an antique, vintage and collector car competitive controlled-speed endurance road rally on public highways. It is not a test of top speed. It is a test of a driver/navigator team’s ability to follow precise course instructions and the car’s (and team’s) ability to endure on a cross-country trip. The course instructions require the competing teams to drive at or below the posted speed limits at all times. The driver with the best score when the race ends in Santa Monica wins $50,000.
The first car to arrive in Havasu Friday from Kingman was car No. 60, a 1940-vintage vehicle. According to www.greatrace.com, the car in the overall lead so far is a 1916 Hudson Hillclimber. In sixth place is the second-oldest vehicle, a 1917 Peerless Speedster. The oldest vehicle registered in the race is a 1915 Hudson 6-40. Only vehicles up to model year 1972 are accepted in The Great Race.
Very old vehicles do well in the Great Race. A 1911 Velie won the event in 2011, and in 2012, a 1907 Renault and a 1914 Ford Model T both finished the race.
Saturday’s overnight stop is in San Bernardino, Calif., and The Great Race ends Sunday at 2 p.m. when it arrives at the Santa Monica pier.