The newest entry into the 2013 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty is Gary Showalter from Vernal, Utah. Gary, a Ford dealer and mayor of Vernal, was in the 2005 Great Race, and now eight years later is going to be participating again. This time, however, it will be in a different car. But the car is no stranger to the Great Race. It is a 1942 Ford Super Deluxe 2 door sedan and it has almost 10 Great Races under its belt. We mentioned the late Bill Monaghan’s 1936 Graham in a previous story as one of the most unique cars ever in the Great Race, well Gary’s 1942 Ford is one of the most famous cars to ever take the green flag in the race.
For many years, the car belonged to Rock Wilson of Great Falls, Montana. The car is lovingly called “Mariah” and is all original. Rock claimed the engine had never even been rebuilt. And it would just go, and go and go with no problems at all. Rock was very competitive in “Mariah,” but one year for some reason he raced a 1950 Allard and had a lot of problems. “I should have brought ‘Mariah’ again,” he could be heard saying over and over.
Gary saw the Great Race in person in 2004 at a pit stop in his hometown, and the next year he was in the race as a contestant in a 1957 Thunderbird. He became friends with Rock during that event and they kept up with each other over the years. Gary didn’t know that Rock was going to sell “Mariah” until Gary saw it at an auction a few years ago. But Gary didn’t buy it, and he always regretted it. Well, when the new owner decided to sell it later on, Gary didn’t pass on it twice. He bought the car and now “Mariah” will be making another start in the Great Race.