Mt. Washington Auto Road
America's oldest and continuously-operating attraction
The Mt. Washington Auto Road in New Hampshire will host a lunch stop on the 2018 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty Tuesday, June 26, race organizers have announced.
The Mt. Washington Auto Road in New Hampshire will host a lunch stop on the 2018
Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty Tuesday, June 26, race
organizers have announced.
The Great Race, the world’s premiere old car rally, will bring 120 of the world’s finest
antique automobiles to the area for the $150,000 event, with the first car rolling into the
base of the Auto Road starting at 12:15 p.m.
In all, the participants in the event will cover more than 2,300 miles in 9 days. The
start will be at the Pierce Arrow Museum in downtown Buffalo, N.Y., on June 23.
The race will finish July 1 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the banks of Halifax Harbour as
part of that city’s Canada Day celebration.
Teams and cars from Japan, England, Germany, Canada and every corner of the
United States will be participating in their vintage automobiles dating back as far as
1913. “There are more than 500 people just in our entourage from all around the world taking part in this incredible adventure,” director Jeff Stumb said.
Along the route, competitors will travel through four states – New York, Vermont,
New Hampshire and Maine – and two Canadian provinces – New Brunswick and Nova
The Great Race, which began 35 years ago, is not a speed race, but a
time/speed/distance rally. The vehicles, each with a driver and navigator, are given
precise instructions each day that detail every move down to the second. They are scored
at secret check points along the way and are penalized one second for each second either early or late. As in golf, the lowest score wins.
Cars start – and hopefully finish – one minute apart if all goes according to plan. The
biggest part of the challenge other than staying on time and following the instructions is
getting an old car to the finish line each day, organizers say.
Each stop on the Great Race is free to the public and spectators will be able to visit
with the participants and to look at the cars for several hours. It is common for kids to
climb in the cars for a first-hand look.
Cars built in 1972 and earlier are eligible, with most entries having been manufactured
before World War II. In the 2017 Great Race from Florida to Michigan a 1932 Ford
Cabriolet won the event when it crossed the finish line in downtown Traverse City. That
vehicle was driven by Jody Knowles of Tyrone, Ga., and navigated by Beth Gentry of
Newnan, Ga. They won $50,000 for finishing first overall.
A 1913 Bugatti, a 1916 Hudson Pikes Peak Hillclimber, a 1916 Chevrolet Phaeton, a
1917 Peerless Racer and a chain-driven 1918 American LaFrance Speedster are the oldest cars scheduled to be in the 2018 Great Race. The winners will again receive $50,000 of the $150,000 total purse.
Over the decades, the Great Race has stopped in hundreds of cities big and small, from
tiny Austin, Nev., to New York City.
“When the Great Race pulls into a city it becomes an instant festival,” Stumb said.
“Last year we had four overnight stops with more than 10,000 spectators on our way to
having 250,000 people see the Great Race during the event.”
The event was started in 1983 by Tom McRae and it takes its name from the 1965
movie, The Great Race, which starred Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood and
Peter Falk. The movie is a comedy based on the real life 1908 automobile race from New
York to Paris. In 2004, Tony Curtis was the guest of the Great Race and rode in his car
from the movie, the Leslie Special.
The Great Race gained a huge following from late night showings on ESPN when the
network was just starting out in the early 1980s. The first entrant, Curtis Graf of Irving,
Texas, is still a participant today.
The event’s main sponsors are Hemmings Motor News, Hagerty, Coker Tire and
For more information, go to www.greatrace.com or contact Jeff Stumb at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling him at 423-648- 8542.