Fans of classic cars perhaps have heard of The Great Race, but the event is under the radar for the general public. This event, organized by the classic car publication Hemmings Motor News, involves many antique and vintage cars in a week-plus endurance road rally. It takes pace on public roads and highways, but is not about speeds - all the cars must obey the speed limit. Instead, the race is a test of skill, mechanical know-how and teamwork to keep the car going and on track across a region of the U.S. or Canada. No GPS or computers are allowed, and only cars that were manufactured up to and before 1972 are eligible.
This year's Great Race passed through Troy, New York on June 24, near Engineering360's headquarters. It had been raining hard that day but lucky for spectators and racers the rain let up just before the cars crossed the downtown Troy checkpoint. Because of the rain a lot of the cars were a little behind schedule.
Many of the cars have open tops and one question a lot of people were wondering is what happens when it rains. The answer appears to be that drivers get wet, possibly really wet. It is easy to see how driving in the rain would slow the racers down.
All the cars were fascinating although I think my personal favorite was the American LaFrance speedster, with a large cog and chain drive and the visible movement of the valve lifters. Pictures of this event speak volumes more than I ever could.