We all know how huge the Great Race is in the old car world. There is not a car guy or car girl out there that doesn’t know about the event. When I go to car shows I meet three kinds of people: ones who have been in the race, ones who have seen the race in person at one of our stops or ones that are planning on doing the race “some day.”
But did you know that the Great Race is so popular and well known that there is a major motion picture about the event? It’s true. I have seen it.
The storyline of the 1988 film “Dakota,” starring actor Lou Diamond Phillips, is about a young man with a troubled past trying to meet up with his father who is off competing in the Great American Race!
It’s been more than 20 years since I have watched the movie, but it gets two stars from the International Movie Database. According to the IMDb, “John Dakota is young bum with a hidden past. He meets a nice family and works on their ranch. He soon becomes a good friend of the disabled son and helps them overcome local problems.”
The movie includes Great Race founder Tom McRae and a lot of the cars from the race. I don’t remember what year the race footage is from, but it is probably 1986. In the end, Dakota heads off on his motorcycle and hooks up with his Great Racing dad! Another happy Hollywood ending.