HomeCar CultureLifestylePan Am Classic Rally offers a US cross-country road trip

Pan Am Classic Rally offers a US cross-country road trip


A Vauxhall competes on Bespoke Rallies' South American event | Bespoke Rallies photos
A Vauxhall competes on Bespoke Rallies’ South American event | Bespoke Rallies photos

If you have or can borrow a classic car, have $35,000 to spare and have no commitments from June 14 to July 13, you might be interested in learning there are still a few spots left on the inaugural Pan Am Classic Rally, an event organized by Britain’s Bespoke Rallies organization.

The group’s first Pan Am event starts in Savannah, Georgia and ends in Seattle, though there is provision for bailing out when the competitive event reaches San Francisco on the Fourth of July on the 15th of the 21 legs of the trip.

Rally organizers promise plenty of unpaved roads across America
Rally organizers promise plenty of unpaved roads across America

The event is open to vehicles produced by the end of 1978 and includes dirt, mountain and country roads, the organizers say.

“If you like your competition, you will love this event with its variety of terrains, test and regularity challenges,” the organizers say on their website. “Coupled with that you will take part in a remarkable journey through the lesser known parts of this great country.

“We do incorporate some rest days so there’s time to stop and admire some of the great sights, including the Grand Canyon and Yosemite among many. In other words, not everything you see will be in your rear-view mirror!”

Or for those not quite so into competition, there’s the Touring class division.

“Most of us imagine the USA to be connected by long tedious straight interstates and we agree with you that these are no fun, so we have looked for and found the by-ways, the back-yards and the local roads that give you a real picture of America,” the organizers say.

“Stop and eat at a diner, climb mountains, drive the Tail of the Dragon, cross Death Valley, see Monument Valley, admire the great Cottonwood Canyon, follow the Blue Ridge Mountains, see the Antebellum south and most of all enjoy the journey.”

The route runs from Savannah to Nashville to Memphis, through Arkansas to Amarillo, up to Taos and Durango and Moab, through northern Arizona to Las Vegas and then across Death Valley and up over the Sierras to San Francisco before turning north to Seattle.

The $35,000 entry fee includes lodging, breakfasts, some dinners and lunches, mechanical support, a rally medic, etc.

A Jaguar in pavement in South American event
A Jaguar in pavement in South American event

If you’re busy early in the summer, Bespoke Rallies also is organizing other events, including:

  • The Slatibartfast, named for the character who, according to the Hitchhikers’s Guide to the Galaxy, designed the Norwegian fjords, and event in August that starts in the Netherlands and runs through Scandinavia.
  • The Great Amazon Adventure, a month-long event in September in South America.
  • Cuba Classic Rally, scheduled for January 2018.
  • The 3rd Maya Classic Rally, in Mexico and Central America and the U.S. in February 2018.
  • The Grand Prix of South America, scheduled for October 2018, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the original event from which this one takes its name.

For details, see the Bespoke Rallies website.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
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