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The Great Race and Buick5563


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"Mint green seersucker??"

 

Check www.barnfinds.com/1951-mechanix-illustrated-roadster for information on a vehicle like this.

 

Facebook link goes to the #30 American LaFrance car, but participants list shows #73 (Mike as Navigator)?  1951 Mechanix Illustrated M1

__GREAT RACE 2016_160620_GR16_0494.jpg

Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)
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That stinkin' Ford Flathead overheated and failed in almost every way imaginable. The driver was not prepared for the heat and lack of comfort, and the car wasn't either. Yesterday he dropped out. I have received permission to Finnish the race in a 1948 BMW tribute motorcycle with a sidecar where I will navigate the final two days. 

The Wandering Troubadours of Finland are a force to be reckoned with when combined with a Texas Road Warrior!

WTF + TRW = FUN

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Dale,

 

First thing is to check the entry fees. I think there are two levels on the web site for the Great Race.  Then the cost of transportation to the starting point and return.  Then factor the hotels, meals and wear and/or the car.  So yes, it is not cheap.  You would need a bunch of sponsors as you can see on the cars.

 

John

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A friend with a Peerless entered, had trouble finding sponsors, and a crew for support, so was forced to request a deposit refund.  That was honored, he had his hopes set on the race, personally I wonder about some of the entries, I like it to be the really OLD cars, cars that will find it a real challenge is key to me.

 

I trust money making hasn't become a factor.

 

Dale in Indy 

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It IS  wildly expensive.

There is a difference between the sponsor stickers on the cars and a corporate sponsor.  You don't have to find a sponsor. You can find a crew by posting online. That is how I did my first race. Pat and Pat advertised here on the BCA forum that they wanted a driver. I paid my own way as a "once in a lifetime" experience.  My second race, they paid my hotel bill. Same with this year for me.  I still paid for my flights and meals and drinks :D.  So a crew member or navigator will work for cheap or free. Transportation costs are ridiculous and everybody knows that. Hotels are going to run at least $1500 for the trip. 

I agree Dale, it should not be allowing street rods (resto mods) in the race. The other WTF team is running a 1918 American LeFrance chain driven roadster converted in the 40's from a fire truck. They get more love at the finish line than almost any other team, because the guys come in covered in oil sprayed full length dusters. 

I still think it is the most fun car event I have ever been associated with.

There are almost $150k worth of prizes at the end and a lot of logistics go along with putting something this big on. There are huge costs.... BUT Coker and Hemmings et. al are businesses promoting their products and are making money. 

I do know that there are veteran race teams who aren't happy with the routes chosen recently. For an expert rally team, it isn't a challenge to drive 50 mph for 1:49 then drop to 45 mph until you see a specific road sign. I was happy when my car got under a minute per leg. These guys are pi$$ed when they get a 3 second differentiation. When my car dropped out, we were number 88 with a score of nearly ten minutes off of perfect. The winner of this years race will probably be under 30 seconds, and they are driving an early 1900's Hudson. 

I am looking for a corporate sponsor for next year, BTW. Maybe the BCA could tally for the rally? ;) I want $20k so I won't have to actually spend any of my own money...

 

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Thanks for that information, Mike!  Even if Tom Bodette kept the like on for them, it would still have significant costs.  NOT to forget finding "unobtanium" parts in Heartland USA.  It might be a vacation, but it's still WORK.

 

Congrats to those who entered and also to those that FINISH!

 

NTX5467

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It would not surprise me if some of those later year cars are so road worthy that they don't need a support car/group.  To me, NOT knowing how far you could go without a break down would be what I call the CHALLENGE. 

 

But that's just me.  

 

Dale in Indy 

 

 

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Dale, you have a greater tolerance for ambiguity than many others do.  It can be more fun that way, sometimes, which can be a very variable situation . . . and generate "war stories" for later on.

 

In a time/distance rally, the type of equipment is not as critical as the navigator's function.  I remember seeing some of the cars when they stopped in LasColinas in Irving, TX in the 1990s (when the later Reatta convertible was the pace car!!).  The vehicle speedometer was taped over, with an auxiliary speedometer (provided by the Race) and a clock added.  It was the navigator's function to keep the vehicle "on time" and "on track", giving directions to the driver for such things.  For some of the older vehicles, reliability was a must, but some had issues anyway.  Seemed like just one breakdown could seriously degrade the possibility of any kind of decent finish . . . unless others had similar issues.  NOT quite a "vacation drive"!

 

Perhaps the real test of a restoration would be to completely restore a vehicle of choice, show it, possibly get some awards, then enter it in a cross-country Great Race-style event (if not the GR itself!), and enjoy!  Adding even MORE costs to the price of admission to the event by the participants.  If so motivated, the GR can be a good way to spend money on cars and travels.

 

But you can probably say that, as with other car events, it's not so much about the event, but the PEOPLE in the event with you.  Shared experiences can build great memories and friendships.  And as 5563 has indicated, once you do it, you want to do it again!

 

Enjoy!

NTX5467

Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)
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Her is the entire WTF race team at the finishing line in Iowa with Jessi Combs and the 1918 American LaFrance.

Jay and Chris were interviewed by Jessi for an upcoming Great Race show. 

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(Might those big smiles be . . . "Look at the FUN we had", "WE made it!"  "No musical instruments?  We've got 'car sounds' to sing to!")

 

Thanks for those pictures, Bill!  Looks like an interesting bunch!

 

NTX5467

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Finished with our best score of the race today. Just over 3 minutes. Yeah, that is worse than the good teams do in four consecutive races, but I am happy with it...AND I finished!

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On June 24, 2016 at 8:26 AM, Imperial62 said:

Looks like fun and like they have figured out some improvements to the driving gear ala headphone noise cancellation and face mask.

 

When the MI and driver went home, he didn't leave that stuff, so we had to figure out sign language on the fly. We had a great day yesterday on the course, and once again enjoyed hanging out with a great group of guys.

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Team WTF won best race car at the awards ceremony last night. I am in the airport headed back to Austin.

As an example of the level of competition, leg nine of the race (final day), we scored 3:06. We were 85th place for the day. Granted, our speedometer was foggy from getting rained on, and we had to use sign language to communicate as well as being two rookies. I still think we kicked booty...

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  • 2 years later...

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