Hubtown residents can expect to see a wide array of vintage automobiles from various parts of he world rolling into town next summer.
Drivers and navigators in vehicles dating as far back as 1913 from all over North America and from Japan, England and Germany, will participate in the 2018 Hemmings Motor News Great Race.
Truro is hosting a lunch stop for the race on June 30.
The Great Race, billed as the world’s premiere old car rally, will bring 120 of the world’s finest antique automobiles rolling into town for the $150,000 event.
Participants cover more than 2,300 miles in nine days, from its start June 23 at the Pierce Arrow Museum in downtown Buffalo, N.Y., to its conclusion on the banks of Halifax Harbour, July 1, part of Halifax’s Canada Day celebrations.
“There are more than 500 people just in our entourage from all around the world taking part in this incredible adventure,” event director Jeff Stumb said in a news release.
Along the route, competitors will travel through four states – New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine – and two Canadian provinces – New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
The Great Race, which began 35 years ago, is not a speed race, but a time/speed/distance rally.
Each vehicle has a driver and navigator who are given precise instructions each day that detail every move down to the second. They are scored at secret checkpoints along the way and are penalized one second for each second they are off, early or late.
The cars depart from the starting point one minute apart and the car with the lowest score wins.
Each stop of the Great Race is free to the public. Spectators will be able to visit with participants and to look at cars for several hours.
Cars built in 1972 and earlier are eligible, with most entries having been manufactured before the Second World War.
A 1913 Bugatti, a 1916 Hudson Pikes Peak Hill climber, a 1916 Chevrolet Phaeton, a 1917 Peerless Racer and a chain-driven 1918 American LaFrance Speedster are the oldest cars scheduled to be in the 2018 Great Race. Winners receive $50,000 of the $150,000 total purse.
“When the Great Race pulls into a city it becomes an instant festival,” Stumb said. “Last year we had four overnight stops with more than 10,000 spectators on our way to having 250,000 people see the Great Race during the event.”
Truro Mayor Bill Mills described the event as “another great opportunity for Truro.”
“It is obvious our reputation for hosting great events is becoming well known,” he added.
From a good movie to a Great Race
The event was started in 1983 by Tom McRae and takes its name from the 1965 movie, The Great Race, which starred Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood and Peter Falk.
The movie is a comedy based on the real life 1908 automobile race from New York to Paris. In 2004, Tony Curtis was guest of the Great Race and rode in his car from the movie, the Leslie Special.
For more information: www.greatrace.com .