The 2002 Great Race - San Antonio to Anaheim

Here We Go Again!
The Bobcats' 2002 Great Race Adventure...

As you may recall, a few years ago, at the instigation (inspiration??) of our friend, Bob King, we restored our 1932 Plymouth coupe and entered it in the 1998 Great Race. This is a precision timed rally of antique automobiles competing for prize money based on the ability of the driver and navigator to follow precise instructions. That year, Bob and Bob (The Bobcats) drove from Tacoma, Washington to Kansas City, and Bob Mead continued on to Haverhill, Massachusetts assisted by Rick Sladek as navigator for the second half of the competition. Then, in 2001, we repeated the act, going from Atlanta, Georgia, to Pasadena, California, with Bob King as the first navigator and our friend, Harry Jenkins, navigating the last twelve days. Margo faithfully drove the truck with the trailer behind, accompanied by her trusty sidekick, Batty, a canine navigator. She will again provide us with the best support any team could ask for -- finding and checking into the hotels at each destination, patiently awaiting our arrival, and taking care of countless details. You can learn more about the car and the rules at last year's Web site.

This year's rally goes from San Antonio to Anaheim. We will participate for the first four days only, going as far as Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Neither of the Bobs wanted to subject themselves (or the car!) to the desert heat after last year's experience. We will try to provide a report as each day unfolds, much as we did last year. We hope you enjoy sharing in our adventure...

Winston sits proudly on his trailer awaiting our departure.

Here's the Press Release that the Great Race organization did in 2002:

ANAHEIM, CA - (June 10, 2002) - Twenty years ago, in a feat most thought impossible, Great Race founder and CEO Tom McRae took a hit movie by the same title and created America's premier road odyssey, capturing the hearts and imaginations of the whole country. Earlier this year McRae announced with great pride that this year's route for the 20th Anniversary Great Race would run from Sunset Station in San Antonio, Texas, to Center Street Promenade in Anaheim, California, June 15 through June 22. "This 20th anniversary is a huge accomplishment," said McRae. "We took a rollicking fantasy off the silver screen and not only brought it to life, but kept it thriving for two decades. In the past 19 years we've racked up over 5,000,000 miles with no accidents, visited more than 700 cities, and awarded more than $3.5 million in prize money as we've raced our way back and forth across the continent," continued McRae, awed by the statistics. "And we're still counting."

This year more than 100 rare vintage cars, some nearly 100 years old, will race 2,500 miles across the rugged Southwest in the internationally acclaimed antique car rally-race, competingfor a share of the $250,000 prize money, the richest purse in vintage car racing. McRae, who is retiring after this year's race, is determined to make his last Great Race his greatest race. "Our renowned Great Race rally master, John Classen, has put together one of our most competitive routes ever," enthused McRae. "This will be a true competitors event, testing the mettle of even our most experienced Great Racers."
Starting at the historic Sunset Station in San Antonio, The Great Race will stop in 23 cities to rest and refuel both body and machine as it roars across the Southwest. From small towns like Sweetwater, TX; Tucumcari, NM; Gila Bend, AZ, and Temecula, CA, to the populous regions of Houston, Fort Worth, Scottsdale (Phoenix); and Anaheim, CA, The Great Race is an adventure of a lifetime.

At each stop along the route, The Great Race becomes a star-studded rolling street festival of automotive history, where the cars are the stars. Host cities pool their resources to create spectacular, day long, free, family celebrations, to welcome the intrepid drivers and their historic vehicles into town. In a friendly competition, the host cities vie for The Great American City Awards. A total of $10,000 in cash prizes will be presented to the public libraries of the three winning host cities providing the most hospitable and enthusiastic reception.

Echoing the speed-controlled road rallies popular before 1940, The Great Race is a timed endurance rally-race; a contest about precision driving and navigation, not speed. Aided only by a speedometer, analog clock, pencil and paper (no maps, cell phones or odometers), the competitors must follow written course instructions at exact, predetermined speeds. The winners finish within seconds of the predetermined "perfect time." 

Great Race vehicles must be manufactured before 1951, or pre-1960 for sports cars, race cars and motorcycles. This year's race will feature more than 100 vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles, including a 1916 Twin- 6 Packard Roadster; 1916 Studebaker Speedster; 1916 American LaFrance Fire Chief's car; a 1916 Hudson H Speedster; and a 1915 Dodge Speedster.

Great Racers come from all over the country and are a diverse group made up of CEOs, plumbers, doctors, firemen, retirees, married couples, army buddies, best friends, fathers and daughters, uncles and nephews, and brothers who share a common bond in their love of old cars and new adventures. Teenagers are encouraged to enter The Great Race in the X-Cup division. High schools students across the country spend months rebuilding vintage cars as class projects with the goal of joining The Great Race in the summer. "The X-Cup brings young people into the graying hobby of vintage cars, and ensures it survival," explained McRae.

"It's hard to believe it's been 20 years since our first Great Race," reflected McRae. "I must have crossed this country at least 50 times, coast to coast, working with the Race, and each trip has been an inspiration. It is absolutely amazing how these wonderful old machines bring people and communities together. Thousands of people show up for this event in each city every year," says McRae. "This will be our 20th Anniversary and, with God willing, the greatest Great Race yet."

For more information on the 20th Annual Great Race visit The Great Race web site at:

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