Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Great Race

Tomorrow, Binghamton hosts the Hemmings Motor News Great Race, a time/speed/endurance motor race participated in by vintage cars.

Memories....the last time the Great Race came to Binghamton, it was 2000 and I had a grade school aged son.  I remember the cars were supposed to get to Binghamton by 5pm and spend the night here.  They started coming in around 6pm and my son was thrilled.  He loved old cars.  It was worth the wait.

Now, we are empty nesters, my son will probably be working, and he's already had the experience of owning (and trying to do mechanical work) on a Ford Pinto.  Time does fly.....and we probably will not attend this year.  Some things just aren't the same without a child's company.

What, exactly, is the Great Race?  Quoting from their website:
"The Great Race is a vintage and collector car competitive rally on public highways.  It is not a test of speed.  It is a test of a driver/navigator team’s ability to follow precise instructions and the car’s (and team’s) ability to endure on a cross-country trip.  The course instructions require the competing teams to drive at or below the posted speed limits at all times."

These cars, of course, are really vintage.  I read somewhere the oldest car in this year's race dates from 1911, a 1911 Velie.  At one time, they didn't permit cars built after World War II -now they allow cars built in 1969 or earlier.  (so my son's Pinto wouldn't have made the cut).  The racers are two person teams, and there are a number of husbands and wives. 

Our local vintage car group, the Cruising Buddies, will be downtown tomorrow to greet the racers.

I have no digital pictures of the event - that was still the days of film (unless I want to try to scan some of them.)  Maybe one day....

At some time during the past 11 years, the Race went bankrupt, but now they are back.  I hope a new generation of young ones (and a lot of older ones) enjoy tomorrow evening.

And I hope it isn't 11 years until the next time. Just think, when they come through again, I might be a grandma....

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