Great Race is on the Cover of October 2015 Hemmings!

And even better than that, the Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty is featured in an awesome 10-page article that covers all the highlights of our epic journey from Kirkwood, Missouri to Santa Monica, California, along historic Route 66. Jim Menneto and his crew at Hemmings did an outstanding job with the coverage, and you should be receiving your copy of the October 2015 issue of Hemmings Motor News soon. We’re assuming that you already subscribe to the world’s largest collector car marketplace…but in case you don’t, click here to get more information. In the mean time, go to your favorite newsstand or book store and pick up a copy of the October 2015 issue and read all about the 2015 Great Race!
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G.R. Pike and Bobby Hadskey Return for 2016 Great Race

G.R. Pike and Bobby Hadskey, the 2004 Great Race winners, have entered the 2016 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty after a two-year absence. They are scheduled to participate in G.R.’s right hand drive 1916 Hudson Indy race car, which they won the event in 12 years ago in Monterey, California. Pike, the driver, is from Searcy, Arkansas, and Hadskey, the navigator, is from Germantown, Tennessee.

The 2016 Great Race will start on Saturday, June 18, in San Rafael, California. That city, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, was the finish line in 2006 when another 1916 Hudson – the four-passenger speeder of Dave Reeder’s – won the race. Reeder and his grandson navigator Sawyer Stone are considering bringing back their 1916 Hudson for the 2016 race. If that happens, there will be at least three 100-year-old vehicles in next year’s race. Defending champions Howard and Doug Sharp will again be campaigning their 1916 Hudson Pikes Peak Hillclimber. The Sharps’ won the Great Race for the second time last month when they edged out Beth Gentry and Jody Knowles and their 1932 Ford Cabriolet at the finish on the Santa Monica Pier in California.
A 1916 Hudson Indy race car pulls into Crowley, La., on the Great Race


The 2016 Great Race Field is Filling Up–Sign up NOW!

That’s right, we have nearly filled the 120-car field for the 2016 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagety, which travels from San Rafael, California to Moline, Illinois via the Lincoln Highway. There are only a few spots left, so if you want to partake in the road trip of a lifetime, don’t delay…the spots are limited and we’ll be sold out soon. Our route is Lincoln Highway themed, with visits to the Bonneville Salt Flats, Mount Rushmore and much more! If you’re interested in signing up, please click HERE for info, or you can call the hotline, 1-800-989-7223 to speak directly to Jeff Stumb or Jennifer Andrews.

Great Race 2015 Day 9–The Big Finish in Santa Monica

We’ve covered all sorts of terrains and endured many tough weather conditions over the last week or so, but today was by far the toughest, as we had to navigate Southern California traffic! All joking aside, we had a short day of rallying before breaking for lunch as the Nethercutt Museum. It is without a doubt one of the most amazing car collections in the world and we enjoyed our short time there. We need another excuse to be out West so we can check it out and spend some more time. By 2:30pm, we had fully taken over the Santa Monica Pier, as all of the remaining Great Race cars rolled through the finish line gate, much to the delight of thousands of onlookers. By the time it was all said and done, the pier had just over 100 cars on it, and thousands of people milling about. The biggest moment of the day was when Howard and Doug Sharp rolled across the finish line, as they had been crowned the Grand Champion of the 2015 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty. The Sharps piloted a 1916 Hudson Pikes Peak Hillclimber to the victory, with the always consistent team of Jody Knowles and Beth Gentry following closely behind. We had a huge day that was full of excitement, so check out our favorite shots and look forward to more photos and final scores to be posted soon.
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Great Race Day 8–Lake Havasu, AZ to San Bernardino, CA

It’s getting close to the end of the 2015 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagery, and the action is getting hotter than ever. Today’s route started in the Lake Havasu City heat, with temperatures in the mid-90s as we left the hotel first thing in the morning. We crossed the state line into California, and made the long trek to Twentynine Palms for our lunch stop. The drive through the desert was hot, lengthy and difficult with an extra challenge of trains crossing as the racers were on the clock. The crowd was huge at Twentynine Palms, as the town really got behind our lunch stop, and included a local car show along with our festivities. The heat was still pretty intense, and only got worse as we left from lunch and went into the Joshua Tree National Park. We gained a few more degrees as we went into an outrageously big Wind Farm in Palm Springs.
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Great Race 2015 Day 7, Flagstaff to Lake Havasu City, AZ

Today’s action on the Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty can be summed up with one word–HOT. It started out hot and it ended even hotter. The day’s route started on a 100-mile stretch of Route 66, which led us to Kingman, Arizona. Within the Route 66 run, there were a few turns and tricky mazes, but it was mostly made up of a consistent 50 mile per hour run, which is tougher than you might think. Adding to the difficulty, the temperatures reached three-digit territory before lunch, and by the time we rolled into Kingman, Arizona for our lunch break, it was 105 degrees.
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Great Race Day 4–Amarillo to Santa Fe

So far on the 2015 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty, we’ve seen some pretty cool stuff. But today’s route topped the charts on scenery. We started in Amarillo, Texas, where the smell of cattle farms filled the air as we milled around at the host hotel. Just a few miles from our hotel was the famous Cadillac Ranch so we spent a few minutes checking it out before starting the day’s rally. If there was a theme for today’s course it would be “straight” and “long”. Through West Texas farmlands, we made a long run to our lunch stop in Tucumcari, New Mexico and spent a little time at the New Mexico Route 66 Museum during our break. From there, it was into the barren wilderness–and we mean it when we say barren. Long straights and beautiful views made up the entire afternoon of rallying. There was very little civilization throughout the afternoon route, and we did have some mechanical issues, which resulted in three cars riding home on the sweep trailer. Our stop in Santa Fe, New Mexico was outstanding, with thousands of folks coming out to The Plaza in historic Santa Fe. It was a big, long day with a bunch of cool stuff to see, so we’re excited to show off our work. Enjoy!
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The Grand Start of the 2015 Great Race in Kirkwood, MO

Instead of trying to condense all of this into one big day one blog, we’re going to give you the highlights from the HUGE kickoff at the Kirkwood Depot in historic Kirkwood, Missouri. The town of Kirkwood was very supportive of our event, and thousands upon thousands of spectators came out to see the cars take off from the starting line. Unlike the last few days in Kirkwood, we had excellent weather and enjoyed the sunshine and warm temperatures. At this point, anything was better than the soaking rain we had been experiencing. With folks lining the streets of Kirkwood, all the way out to the Interstate, we were reassured that this was the perfect town for the kickoff host city of the 2015 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty. Take a look at some of our favorite shots from the start, and look forward to another post with other awesome photos from throughout the day!
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John Hollansworth Collection Destroyed by Fire

John Hollansworth, a Great Race veteran of more than 20 years, lost all of his collector cars and memorabilia in an early morning fire on April 7 at his shop in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. Fortunately, no one was injured. Called “Gasoline Alley” after the famed pit area at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, John’s shop hosted tens of thousands of visitors over the last 19 years. John said the fire apparently started around 4 a.m. and by the time he and the fire department arrived it was a total loss.
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One Great Racer Leaves, One Joins AACA Board

Great Race director Jeff Stumb’s two-year term on the board of directors for the Antique Automobile Club of America ended last week at the annual meeting in Philadelphia just as another Great Racer’s term began. Tabetha Hammer, Affinity Communications Manager with Hagerty and a three-year participant in the Great Race, began her term (2015-17) on the AACA board as one of three new directors sworn in on Feb. 12.
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