HomeNews and EventsThe Great Race begins its 37th cross-country journey

The Great Race begins its 37th cross-country journey

Vintage car rally has drawn 120 vehicles with teams from 5 nations


The Great Race, a competitive cross-country rally for vintage vehicles, launches its 2021 edition October 19 at Alamo Plaza in San Antonio, Texas, and is scheduled to finish some 2,300 miles and 9-days later at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Greenville, South Carolina.

The event, backed by Hemmings Motor News, the Hagerty Driver’s Club, and Coker Tire, is being staged for the 37th time. It is a time/speed/distance endurance rally that in 2021 has drawn 120 vehicles in several categories. All the vehicles are pre-1974 models.

Teams competing for more than $150,000 in prize money include not only those from the United States and Canada, but from Japan, England and Australia.   

The Great Race, The Great Race begins its 37th cross-country journey, ClassicCars.com Journal
The Great Race 2018 champions

 “Each stop on the Great Race is free to the public and spectators will be able to visit with the participants and look at the cars up close for several hours,” organizers point out in the pre-race news release.

The following is the schedule of lunch and overnight stops:

June 19 — Courthouse Square, San Marcos, Texas, and Santa Fe Plaza, Temple, Texas.

June 20 — Lake Granbury Conference Center, Granbury, Texas, and Horton Classic Car Museum, Nocona, Texas.

June 21 — Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum, Sapulpa, Oklahoma, and Main Street, downtown Joplin, Missouri.

June 22 — Benton Square on East 5th Street, Rolla, Missouri, and Main Street, downtown Cape Girardeau, Missouri

June 23 — Broadway and Water Street downtown Paducah, Kentucky, and Veterans Boulevard, downtown Owensboro, Kentucky.

June 24 — Elizabethtown Sports Park, Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and Griffin Gate Marriott, Lexington, Kentucky.

June 25 — Heritage Station, 11th Street, downtown Huntington, West Virginia, and Word Park, Neville Street, downtown Beckley, West Virginia.

June 26 — Main Street, downtown Galax, Virginia, and Main Street, downtown Mooresville, North Carolina.

June 27 — Finish, 1 p.m., Hyatt Regency, Main Street, downtown Greenville, South Carolina.

The Great Race, The Great Race begins its 37th cross-country journey, ClassicCars.com Journal

“The Great Race, which began 38 years ago, is not a speed race, but a time/speed/distance rally,” organizers note.

“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 they are either early or late. Speed changes, challenging roads and the feat of keeping a vintage car running over nine days and thousands of miles makes for the ultimate test for these diehard car enthusiasts.”

The Great Race, The Great Race begins its 37th cross-country journey, ClassicCars.com Journal

The rally is named for the 1965 movie, The Great Race, starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood and Peter Falk. In turn, the movie, a comedy, was inspired by the 1908 New York to Paris motorcar race.

For more information about The Great Race, visit its 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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