Since the idea of a time, speed, endurance rally for vintage vehicles is to challenge the drivers and navigators with a difficult route, we rarely jump on the interstate and follow a direct route from town to town. In fact, we might be within a couple hours of our next evening stop, but Rally Master John Classen sends the racers way out off the beaten path to ensure a challenging and scenic route. Today was no different, as we made the relatively short trek from Sacramento, California to Reno, Nevada, with a lunch stop in Gardnerville, Nevada in between. The morning route was full of twists, turns and elevation changes, so it gave the racers a real taste of what’s to come on this Lincoln Highway-themed route. The final stretch into our lunch stop in Gardnerville, Nevada was incredible. Being in a massive valley, yet still being at nearly 5,000 feet of altitude was a bit deceiving, but it didn’t throw off the racers, who had their cars tuned precisely for the conditions.
Let’s talk about lunch–the guys and gals in Gardnerville did it right! They had a huge car show, with an incredible turnout of high end cars and trucks. We’re talking brass era stuff, American classics from the ’30s, all the way up to high performance cars from the ’60s and ’70s. The folks in Gardnerville welcomed the racers, who entered the lunch stop area with beautiful snow-capped mountains in the background. After a great lunch, and lots of hospitality, we didn’t really want to leave Gardnerville so soon, but it was back on the road for the racers and staff. The snow-capped mountains stayed within view for quite a while, as we motored toward Reno. The day’s timed route finished with a very difficult “maze”, which is a series of course instructions that sends racers on multiple loops that bring them back to the same roads more than once. After the racers went off the clock, we hightailed it to the evening stop in Reno, Nevada. Everyone enjoyed the reception at the National Automobile Museum, home to the Thomas Flyer, the winner of the Great Automobile Race (from New York to Paris) in 1908.
We spent plenty of time drooling in the museum, going from section to section to see what the next room held. Millions, upon millions of dollars worth of vintage iron fill the Reno-based museum, which is open 7 days a week for tours. At the end of the day, the competition was tough, but it was David Reeder and Sawyer Stone taking the daily victory in their 1916 Hudson! Check out our highlights and stay tuned for more!