And Another One Hits the Books (Last Team 39 Blog for 2018)

July 1, 2018

I mean the Great Race for 2018 is DONE. Congratulations to Jeff & Eric Fredette (our rookie mentors way back in 2006), who won the Grand Championship! Congrats to all the winners of their classes. And congratulations to all who finished this tough, bumpy-road event. Special, very appreciative thanks to the many good people in the support and scoring crews. And thanks to our host cities and the people who came out to cheer us all along. We had a grand trip. Great work by Dale Kasson, Navigator

Today, we made no noteworthy errors! That’s noteworthy! It was almost enough to make us believe we really do belong in Expert Division (NAHHH!). 9 seconds was good enough for 8th place for the day, and 2nd in Expert (only the Fredettes bested that – with a ONE second day). That moved us up in the final cumulative scores to 16th overall (of the initial field of 120, and we rose to 9th among 19 total Experts in the field). We were also 2nd among Studebaker entries, behind Annegret Reichmann & Uli Kammholtz in the ’55 President coupe (whose generator died before the last checkpoint, leaving them to coast the last few feet and finish -whew!). We earned no new aces today, though, so our record of 7 from last year stands, but then we did have 15 one-second legs, any of which might have as easily been an ace.

Our Stage 9 Scores – not too bad!

Halifax had a grand event for us at the harbor waterfront (oh, maybe just maybe some of it was in honor of Canada Day that also happened today). Bender pulled in after an excellent running day, decked out for the holidays and bi-national nature of this event. We had a super crowd, including a visit from Bill Jarvis and his wife Karen (Bill is Atlantic Canada Regional Director for the Studebaker Drivers Club). Which reminds me: once we pass the last checkpoint, the cars are held at a station outside of town, to regroup in order, so that we arrive at the ceremonial finish in town, also in order. As it happened, four of the five Studebakers in the 2018 Great Race parked almost side-by-side! What a handsome lot.

The Parc Ferme and Crowd at Halifax Finish

Bill & Karen Jarvis from Studebaker Drivers Club, with Bender

55, 56, 54, and 60 Studebakers (37 Not Shown)

Jeff and Eric Fredette, wonderful fellows (father and son), who always came with Jeff’s dad (now gone) and mom Lida and sister Kim, took the big prize. They were our rookie mentors in 2006, and after 13 years, they finally won (after missing by seconds in other attempts). Congratulations, guys – congratulations to a grand family.

Fredette family (unfortunately minus Pops): They won it!

The banquet was excellent. As expected, Don Henderson, who used his car to stop another with brake issues from careening off Mt Washington, won the Spirit of the Great Race, perhaps the most coveted of all awards here. Well deserved.

The Awards Banquet (Well, actually just half the room – 500 people)

At the afterparty, Ed Overmyer passed the Pink Monkey to Bill Croker. I explained a bit of Bill’s travails in my earlier post. His usual Packard had suffered a block crack in the Spring and not been ready for this race. So the Crokers ran in a borrowed car, which blew a hose and so lost all its coolant. Then the wiring for the lights failed so they couldn’t get gas for the next day. Then the clutch failed, leaving the engine unattached to the wheels. Lots of trouble, indeed!

Bill Croker gets the Pink Monkey award for Most Mechanical Troubles, by 2017 Recipient Ed Overmyer

After that, they set off the fireworks (might have been for us or Canada Day – Who can say, really). We said our good byes and retired for the night.

Fireworks over Halifax Harbor, in celebration of Canada Day!

What a thrilling, challenging, and nearly successful run we had! We can point to just one or two errors that kept us out of the top 20 and maybe even the money! But that’s AOK – still our personal bests. We made it, hardly ever even got dirty! We competed, cooperated, connected, and had a wonderful time. Now another 600 miles, and I’ll be home.

In closing, here’s the song I thought up (during some long, steady stretches), with apologies to George Gershwin who wrote the original version:

See these old cars?
They’re the real stars,
and when they go far,
who could ask for anything more?

We’ve seen places,
won some aces.
In Great Races,
who could ask for anything more?

Now it’s ending,
time for mending,
and homeward sending,
Who could ask for ANYthing more?

Til next time, yr fthfl blggr, jc

10 comments about “And Another One Hits the Books (Last Team 39 Blog for 2018)”

  • All the best. Thanks for all your hard work and perseverance. And especially thanks for the memories.

  • And thanks to Bill and Karen Jarvis for representing the Atlantic Canada Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club! Its members are proud of ALL the Studebakers in this event. Nice to see the #133 ’37 Coupe team from Ontario win ‘Best Classic Car’!

  • John, getting together with you, Dale and Bender in Moncton and Halifax was a real pleasure. You taught me a lot about rallying and the Great Race. Your blogs are fun to read. Perhaps the Great Race officials should create an award category for entrants like you who go “a capella” with neither a support team nor a trailer to go home on.

    Congratulations on your results this year!

  • Thank you John for your daily postings, they were enjoyable and informative. Congratulations to you, Dale, and Bender……..well done!

  • Thanks Dale, Johe and Bender for great blogs every day, really my only source of news for the event. One thing missing was the day 9 blog focused on the awards which is good of course. But we didn’t hear anything about the drive on the Nova Scotia southshore.
    Richard a fan

    • RIchard, I did post the Final Team 39 blog, including awards banquet. There wasn’t much about the Nova Scotia shore, as that was all timed running and no camera (need three hands!). Thanks for your support! As of today (July 6), we are past halfway home, taking a break in Kennebunkport, ME.

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