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Anyone attending or in the Great American Race?


TerryB
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The event started in Buffalo on Saturday and is on its way through New England to Nova Scotia.  Anyone hear been at the layovers or have ties to any of the participants?  Would love to see some pics if you have them.  I’ve been to several over the years when they have been closer to home.

Thanks!

Edited by TerryB (see edit history)
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To far away for me this year.  I suspect Curtis Graf is there for about the 33rd time.  He was the first registrant for the First Great American Race in 1983 and has raced more than a dozen different vehicles from a 1902 FRP to a 1934 Ford.  Always atop competitor and former Grand Champion, he has enjoyed antique cars to the fullest.

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I was always a big fan of the Hemmings panel truck entry as I had a 1937 Dodge 1/2 ton for many years.  I remember one year it came through Hershey which seemed so fitting as a stop over location.  Took my son to one in 1993 when he was all of 4 months old.  Maybe that’s why he’s a mechanical engineer today designing parts for automobiles!

Terry

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On 7/1/2018 at 1:04 PM, TerryB said:

I was always a big fan of the Hemmings panel truck entry as I had a 1937 Dodge 1/2 ton for many years.  I remember one year it came through Hershey which seemed so fitting as a stop over location.  Took my son to one in 1993 when he was all of 4 months old.  Maybe that’s why he’s a mechanical engineer today designing parts for automobiles!

Terry

  The driver of the Hemming's Motor News Dodge was Justice Taylor  (Now Deceased).   

  Employed by Hemming's  for years and in charge of their collections mechanical needs.  A

  great competitor an all around nice guy.  I visited with him in Burlington VT on non GAR events.

  I can't believe that I don't remember the Great American Race in Hershey, but maybe one of

  those pit stops that is fading away after all those years.  I was one of the 100% voters for the 

  $5,000 Library Award every year and paid more attention to small towns than most.

  The 1993 Race was Huntington Beach CA to Norfolk VA.  Exhausting!

  Paul Dobbin #37 in your program

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Some years ago we were asked to prep a late 1930's American Classic for the race. The car had not been run in 20 years or so. We were allowed 2 weeks to get the car running and prep it for the race. You can't do a lot in 2 weeks. The race that year was East coast to West coast. The car made it to within 70 miles of the finish line. The owner refused to pay our bill.

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28 minutes ago, Restorer32 said:

Some years ago we were asked to prep a late 1930's American Classic for the race. The car had not been run in 20 years or so. We were allowed 2 weeks to get the car running and prep it for the race. You can't do a lot in 2 weeks. The race that year was East coast to West coast. The car made it to within 70 miles of the finish line. The owner refused to pay our bill.

 

I hate hearing stories like that, but apparently it's common. Wealthy guys with unreasonable expectations seem to stiff their restoration shops all the time. Why would they do that? Those are the very guys you will need to keep your car healthy and burning that bridge can close a lot of doors in the future. In this hobby, knowing people is how things get done and perhaps more importantly, good relationships get things done sooner. I have a good friend who is a restorer of some note and he amazes me with the tales of very wealthy guys who have him restore their Packards and Stutzes and then stiff him for thousands of dollars. What's up with that? I guess that's how rich guys get rich, but burning those bridges is very short-sighted in this hobby. Whenever I take anything to a shop to be serviced, I pay immediately and I don't haggle over the price. I want a good relationship and paying an honest guy an honest buck for his efforts doesn't seem like an extravagant way to do it.

 

On the other hand, perhaps it's time for restoration shops to stop letting cars leave with outstanding bills. NOTHING leaves our shop without PAID IN FULL on the invoice. Maybe it's different with sales vs. service, but after just one experience like that, I'd move finished cars to a different location and only let them leave once the bill has been paid. There's no credit in this business.

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3 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:


I hate hearing stories like that, but apparently it's common. Wealthy guys with unreasonable expectations seem to stiff their restoration shops all the time. Why would they do that?

    Why?, Because they think they are special and civil rules don't apply to them.  Not only the 

    wealthy guys but anybody who thinks that way in any circumstance.  It's an ego problem that

    is sometimes more often seen in the obnoxious rich.  Fortunately most wealthy people can

    blend in and not have their inflated ego be their dominate personality trait.   I found most guys

    in the Great American Races that I participated in were real antique car guys, however some of

    the wives & children were obnoxious.

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  • 2 years later...

Trying to track down the FRP  that was in the Great Race , I believe it was in Europe than sold at a show or shortly after according to the dealer. I have contacted Curtis , was not able to correspond with him much. I am trying to build a photo display of Port Jefferson, NY built cars for a local history project 

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Dave.....half the cars headed to Pebble aren’t done until ten minutes before they are loaded.......sometimes they are finished in the lot. That said, it’s a problem I hear once every year or two. 

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I was very interested in this event a number of years ago when I first heard of it. I thought about buying a qualifying car and full steam ahead. I read about 2 sentences into the fine print and realized its way out of my league. The buy in price keeps the average guy out. I even thought to buy a car, get sponsorships, auction the car at the end and give the money to charity. All the while getting to ride in the race. But that sounded like WAY too much work for someone with a full time job.  It seems the same people race every year, and win every year. When the motorcycle cannonball started a few years ago, my brother was in attendance for the start in NC. He said there were a lot of people running seat of the pants, so to speak. Each year it has grown by leaps and bounds to the point that most riders now have a full support team complete with mobile machine shops. Little guy has been bumped out of the way by big money.

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On 1/30/2021 at 3:14 PM, figboy 112 said:

Trying to track down the FRP  that was in the Great Race , I believe it was in Europe than sold at a show or shortly after according to the dealer. I have contacted Curtis , was not able to correspond with him much. I am trying to build a photo display of Port Jefferson, NY built cars for a local history project 

     

I remember that car with Curtis Graf as the driver.   As I remember it didn't get very far on in

the GAR.  I don't remember if it was the 1984 or 1987 race either.   I think 1984 because they

did not have a race program yet.   But I do remember Curtis firing that thing up with straight pipe exhausts.   I know Curtis tried hard to have it ready for that race, but when it got to California is was not ready. 

Try contacting Greatrace.com.   They should have a picture in their archives, as Curtis is their best

customer.

I'm sure I took a picture of it, but the print didn't make it into my annual album.  Negatives are someplace that I can't find either.

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R 32 , yes up to speed for the most part on the ONLY, but who knows what else might turn up? In fact I contacted you last year and you provided some great info. The Metropole is a bit of a bug hunt so far only one poor quality picture and some general text on the cars, Richards last car design? A few  sources says he built another car in Cleveland. Some info that left over FRP parts were built into working chassis in Bridgeport, CT , bodies added  than sold as Porters by a NYC dealer of sorts . I found a bit of info on the company that did the work, American British Manufacturing Co. They were in the news a bit but mostly about litigation, they seemed to be getting sued a lot. 

Metropole Roadster.JPG

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On 2/1/2021 at 7:27 AM, George Cole said:

Once again, this thread has morphed into another life.  Please, does anyone have any information or pictures of the GAR?  

  George,

  To get the feel of the Great Race, watch this 1993 Great American Race video by ESPN.

  At about 27 minutes into the video ESPN put a camera man in our backseat, which caused my driver to act like he knew

  what he was doing.   They made us look like hillbillies, but it got me an offer to navigate in a 1935 Miller Indy car,   

  because I kept my cool.  There is also footage of the FRP in the beginning of the video.  This was my 8th GAR and i 

  came back several more times for the adventure of a lifetime eveytime.

 

 

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On 7/3/2018 at 2:07 PM, Matt Harwood said:

 

I hate hearing stories like that, but apparently it's common. Wealthy guys with unreasonable expectations seem to stiff their restoration shops all the time. Why would they do that? Those are the very guys you will need to keep your car healthy and burning that bridge can close a lot of doors in the future. In this hobby, knowing people is how things get done and perhaps more importantly, good relationships get things done sooner. I have a good friend who is a restorer of some note and he amazes me with the tales of very wealthy guys who have him restore their Packards and Stutzes and then stiff him for thousands of dollars. What's up with that? I guess that's how rich guys get rich, but burning those bridges is very short-sighted in this hobby. Whenever I take anything to a shop to be serviced, I pay immediately and I don't haggle over the price. I want a good relationship and paying an honest guy an honest buck for his efforts doesn't seem like an extravagant way to do it.

 

On the other hand, perhaps it's time for restoration shops to stop letting cars leave with outstanding bills. NOTHING leaves our shop without PAID IN FULL on the invoice. Maybe it's different with sales vs. service, but after just one experience like that, I'd move finished cars to a different location and only let them leave once the bill has been paid. There's no credit in this business.

I agree fully. I've been in the retail tooling business for 20 years, nothing is shipped, released or delivered, and sometimes even built until its paid for. I bent the rules once for a very well known and respected college on a seven thousand dollar order, it took me six months to get paid. Never again.

 

If they want credit, go to the bank, that's their business.

 

Ron

Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)
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So I sold a new15 ft aluminum boat to the local paper mill.

Man, we need it now, an emergency in one of our settling ponds. Can you deliver within an hour, If you can we will pay an extra hundred.

I said, sure, I can do that but C.O.D.

OK, hurry !! This is a big emergency !!!

So I get to the mill about twenty minutes later and headed straight up to the office to get paid.

"I don't know who told you that we could pay right now, that all has to be billed through the main office back east".

Well, my offer was C.O.D. so no pay no boat!

By the time I got back to my truck they had already unloaded it and were paddling across the pond. A nasty corrosive looking pond that I wouldn't want to even touch.

It took them about six months to pay and they refused to pay the promised extra hundred.

The only good thing about working with that mill was that I knew most of the guys in the maintenance department and I won one of their football pools (super bowl) one year. I got back way more than that hundred.

 

A few years later the mill got sold to the competition and got absorbed and shut down. Every body fired and the place still sits there all abandoned and contaminated. Last I heard is the city wants to annex and build a new neighborhood. UGH !!

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On 2/1/2021 at 10:31 AM, TAKerry said:

I was very interested in this event a number of years ago when I first heard of it. I thought about buying a qualifying car and full steam ahead. I read about 2 sentences into the fine print and realized its way out of my league. The buy in price keeps the average guy out. I even thought to buy a car, get sponsorships, auction the car at the end and give the money to charity. All the while getting to ride in the race. But that sounded like WAY too much work for someone with a full time job.  It seems the same people race every year, and win every year. When the motorcycle cannonball started a few years ago, my brother was in attendance for the start in NC. He said there were a lot of people running seat of the pants, so to speak. Each year it has grown by leaps and bounds to the point that most riders now have a full support team complete with mobile machine shops. Little guy has been bumped out of the way by big money.

My dad and I quit going to NASCAR races in the early 60's for the same reasons stated above.  To many car manufacturers and big buck$ racing teams drove out the little guys. 😒

 

Capt. Harley😉

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