Coker Tire Company is a special place. It was founded in 1958 as a regular tire shop and service center, but as the years went on, Harold Coker branched out and began sourcing discontinued molds for desirable “vintage” tires. He passed the antique division of his company to his son Corky, who took the ball and ran with it. Fast forward a few decades and Coker Tire is the world’s largest supplier of tires and wheels for collector vehicles. Corky raced in the Great Race many times throughout the ’90s and 2000’s, and eventually bought the Great Race, adding it to his stable of automotive-related companies, known as the Coker Group. With a revived spirit and plenty of help from the Coker Tire staff, the Great Race has grown tremendously in the past five years. Coker Tire continues to serve as a sponsor of the event, and Corky serves as the Ringleader of this traveling circus!
One of the Top 5 automobile museums in the world, the Nethercutt Museum and Collection in Sylmar, Calif., will host the Great Race participants for a private lunch and viewing on Sunday, June 28, just hours before the Grand Finish on the Santa Monica Pier. Normally closed on Sundays, curator Skip Marketti and the Nethercutt family have agreed to open the Museum and Collection that day to Great Racers only. They will be allowed to view the Museum, which houses hundreds of the finest automobiles in the world, as well as the Collection across the street, which his home to the Grand Salon. In addition, the participants will be able to see a 1937 Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson Locomotive and 1912 Pullman Private Car. Click HERE for the story!
In our continuing quest to provide more information to Great Racers, especially rookies, the Great Race has produced two new “How to Videos” to go with 11 others featuring Director Jeff Stumb talking through various topics of interest. The two new videos are on “Filling Out the Time Delay Form” and “Starting on Time.”
Corky Coker, owner of Coker Tire Company and the Great Race, has announced that the Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty will travel the historic Lincoln Highway for its 2016 event. Coker made his announcement during the highly acclaimed Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance event in Florida, amongst a crowd of car enthusiasts from around the world.
The 2014 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by HagertyTV show will air four times before the end of January on MavTV. There will be 10 p.m. airings on the East Coast and West Coast. It all begins Thursday, Jan. 15, at 10 p.m. Pacific (1 a.m. Eastern) and will last for one hour. It will air immediately following the Lucas Oil Modified Series from Blythe, Calif.
The following Thursday night, Jan. 22, it will air at 10 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. Pacific). It will air again that night three hours later (10 p.m. on the West Coast).
The final showing in the month will be on Thursday, Jan. 29, at 10 p.m. Pacific (1 a.m. Eastern).
MavTV is the new home of many of the old Speed Channel favorites such as My Classic Car, Stacy David’s GearZ, Dave Despain, Dream Car Garage and Two Guys Garage. MavTV is seen in more than 80 million homes across the country. It is on Dish channel 248, Directv channel 214 and Verizon channel 810. It is also available through cable providers Comcast, Time Warner and Charter.
Please check your local listings for the dates and times in your area.
Harold Coker, the founder of Coker Tire and a nine-year participant in the Coker Tire Challenge each September, passed away Sunday morning, Nov. 16. He was 84. He was the father of Corky Coker, the owner of the Great Race. Harold and his wife of 61 years, Lill, were fixtures at the Coker Tire Challenge, as well as dozens of other automotive-related events across the country. The Challenge’s most prestigious award, the Bill Coker Spirit of the Event Award, is named for his late brother.
Although Harold never participated in the Great Race, his influence was always there: his two sons, Corky and David, participated in the Great Race, as did his brother Bob, his daughter-in-law Theresa, his grandson Cameron, his granddaughter Kelly and his grandson-in-law Greg Cunningham. Click this link to read more about Harold’s passing and to see photos from his recent induction into the Tire Industry Association’s Hall of Fame: http://blog.cokertire.com/
The Christmas season is fast approaching, and we at Great Race have the perfect gift for your driver, navigator or fan. It’s the 2015 Great Race Christmas ornament. We are offering this Limited Collectors Edition ornament for only $13 plus shipping ($5 flat rate). And if you order before Nov. 21 it will be delivered by Dec. 7 in plenty of time for wrapping before Christmas.
This ornament, which will sell for $20 to the public after Jan. 1, commemorates the 2015 Great Race along Route 66 in June.
Our friends at Vicari Auctions – Pete and Barbara Vicari and Will Loomis and the rest of the gang – are bringing a collector car auction to Chattanooga, Tennessee in March. Their website – www.vicariauction.com – announced the dates for the auction as March 13-14, 2015, at the First Tennessee Pavilion. The auction site at the pavilion is part of the Finley Stadium complex and can be seen from the windows of Great Race headquarters at Coker Tire just two blocks away. Click HERE for the story!
What a great weekend of rallying in the Southeast for the 9th annual Coker Tire Challenge. It’s hard to believe Corky Coker has been putting on this event for so long, but it’s been a great experience, and it provides a more laid back atmosphere than the hustle and thrash of the Great Race. Our buddies at Hemmings and Hagerty always join the fun, so it’s always nice to spend time with those folks. Check out our favorite photos from this year’s Coker Tire Challenge, and continue reading to see the final scores.
The Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty will travel historic Route 66 for its 2015 event, organizers have announced. The Great Race, the world’s premiere old car rally, will start in Kirkwood, Missouri, just outside of St. Louis and finish at the Santa Monica Pier in California. Click HERE for the story!