Pre-war vehicles has always been the backbone of the Great Race. And in this case, the war we are talking about is World War I. The 2019 Great Race will take place more than 100 years after the end of the “War to End All Wars,” but there will be at least seven vehicles that date back to 1918 and earlier. One, in fact, was almost 10 years old when World War I ended. Dennis Holland Jr. and Dieter Kutz will be campaigning a 1909 Buick race car in the event this summer, and it has quite a racing history. Not only was it a real race car from the turn of the last century, it has a long Great Race history as well. In the late 1980s, Dennis Holland Sr. and his daughter Julie were fixtures on the event with their 1909 Buick. Now Dennis’ son and his friend Dieter will be bringing the car back to the Great Race from Riverside, California to Tacoma, Washington, but there are six other cars from 1918 and earlier in the event as well.
Howard and Doug Sharp will return with their 1916 Hudson Hillclimber, which was the winner of the 2015 Great Race. And that will not be the only 1916 Hudson in the field. Brad and Dan Epple will again be competing in their 1916 Hudson Indy race car after breaking down at the halfway point last year. Ed Habetz has signed up with a 1916 Chevrolet. Although Ed is a regular in the event, this will be the cars first time. Rookie Jeremy Kurtin will be participating in a 1917 Chevrolet speedster, making this year’s race the one with the most 1917 or earlier Chevrolets ever. And the boys from Hagerty – Kyle Smith and Brett Lirones – will return for a second straight year in their 1917 Peerless Green Dragon race car. That car has the distinction of being in more Great Races than any other vehicle. Normally, Jay Reinan and his crew of Wondering Troubadours of Finland would be racing their chain-driven 1918 American LaFrance speedster, but word has just reached Great Race HQ that Jay has bought a 1913 Cadillac race car and hopes to have it ready by June. Enjoy the photos of the Buick and the WTF team’s Caddy.