Great Race Grand Champion John Sears, a veteran navigator since the 1960s, passed away in Tucson, Ariz., Sept. 30. He was 77 years old. Sears won the Great Race in 1996 as navigator for Doc Hampton in a 1929 Ford Model A. That race started in Tacoma, Washington and ended in Toronto, Canada, and it was the first time a Model A was victorious in the event.
Sears was a longtime SCCA rallyist, winning many events, including the “Scenic View” event with friend and driver Ron Farris. Sears, on the far left of the photo, and Farris, on the far right, also competed in the 2014 Coker Tire Challenge in Chattanooga, his final Great Race sanctioned event.