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The Great Race Begins This Weekend

The vintage rally departs from St. Augustine


Since 1983, The Great Race has been giving automotive enthusiasts a way to stretch out their round and rubber legs while winning prizes in the process. Starting this Saturday, June 24, 2023, more than 126 automotive classics will be departing from Francis Field in St. Augustine, Florida, America’s oldest city.

Images courtesy of The Great Race

That first Great American Race (as it was previously known) consisted of 69 pre-World War II vehicles, with their owners paying $5,000 each to enter for a bid at winning $250,000 in a trip from Los Angeles to Indianapolis. For 2023, the race starts out in St. Augustine and finishes in Colorado Springs. Cars must be built before 1975, with each entry costing $6,500 for private individuals, or $9,000 for corporate entries with for-profit businesses. There are also X-Cup entries driven by “qualified high-school/college/technical-school/youth-group teams” that pay $1,500 per entry.

The Grand Champion for 2023 will win $50,000, with the total purse being $158,750. These numbers are based on 100 entries, which suggests the winnings will be greater since current entries exceed this by over 25 percent.

According to Jacksonville Today, the event is not as much a race as it is a controlled-speed rally where driver and navigator use a route book with special speed instructions that must be maintained in multiple stages. GPS, maps, and smartphones are not allowed. An analog clock mounted in each vehicle is the only timing mechanism allowed, which is noted at each checkpoint along the way, with points deducted for being too early or late.

You can keep abreast with race updates by visiting The Great Race page on Facebook.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.


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