America’s Car Museum (ACM) will be the final destination for Great Race 2019 and to celebrate the arrival of more than 120 vintage vehicles departing from Riverside, Calif., the museum will host a Shine Time Car Show, a Junior Judge Program for youth ages 10-16, food trucks, beer garden, vendors and ACM Member VIP party on June 30.
Great Race, which began in 1983 as an homage to the 1965 Tony Curtis film of the same name, is an annual long distance vintage vehicle rally – 2019 marks the first time in the rally’s 36-year history that the tour will conclude at America’s Car Museum, located adjacent to the Tacoma Dome.
“We are pleased to be working with our friends at LeMay – America’s Car Museum to host the finish of the 2019 Great Race,” said Great Race Director Jeff Stumb. “We started in Tacoma in 1996 and 1998 and finished there in 2005, but this will be the first time we have the honor of holding the race in conjunction with America’s Car Museum.”
Great Race (www.GreatRace.com) is an antique, vintage, and collector car competitive controlled-speed endurance road rally on public highways. It is not a test of top speed. It is a test of a driver/navigator teams ability to follow precise course instructions and the cars (and teams) 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.
A free, 90-minute “Junior Judge” program at the Great Race Shine Time Car Show will allow youngsters aged 10-16 to learn about cool vehicles, meet their owners and award their favorites of the show. Available to all ACM members is a private VIP party in Club Auto, where guests can cool off, relax and mingle.
“Great Race is an incredible rally and a monumental undertaking that celebrates the roots of America’s driving culture with countless people each year,” said America’s Automotive Trust Vice Chair David Madeira. “We’re honored to be the Grand Finish for their hundreds of participants, and we look forward to cheering the group on with thousands of spectators as they cross the finish line on June 30.”
Representing ACM during Great Race is Jim Hedke, who will be driving a 1964 Studebaker Lark Daytona, a vehicle that finished 5thoverall in The Great Race 2015.
For more information on the Great Race activities happening at ACM, visit americascarmuseum.org/shinetime.
Studebaker 1964 Lark Daytona
One of the autos that will be arriving at the museum is the Studebaker 1964 Lark Daytona. Owner Steve Hedke, wife Janet and daughter Allison will be representing America’s Car Museum in The Great Race and will be driving this sweet ride.
Purchased new in Topeka, Kan., in January 1964by Dr. Lyle Glenn of Protection, Kan., not only was Glenn the first to immunize a complete city against polio; he took very good care of his car as well.
This special machine has a rare hardtop body style, with only 2,414 having been built. This particular model was built in the last few months of production in South Bend, Ind. It was originally equipped with 259 V8, power shift automatic, bucket seats, center console, air conditioning, heater, radio, dual-circuit brakes, two-tone paint and dual exhaust. It is now fitted with Chevrolet 350 V8, turbo-hydramatic transmission, Ford 9-inch rear axle with positive traction, front power disc brakes and factory optional Halibrand mag wheels. It was built to compete in Hemmings Great Race and finished fifth overall in 2015 (out of 120 cars entered).
Here, Steve Hedke talks about his Great Race experiences:
“We ran our first Great Race rally in 1999, which was a three-day regional event. Our first ‘big’ race was in 2000, Boston to Sacramento, in our 1957 TR3. We have run most of them since, and GR was shut down for a few years. We have rallied either in Vintage Car Rally Association (VCRA) or the Great Race almost every year.
“So far we have won Rookie, second in Sportsman Division, third in Expert. We have won three ‘days,’ or best score of the day, which includes a trophy. We have finished seventh overall in our ’29 Ford.
“2015 is the first year we ran the Studebaker, with a third place in Expert and fifth overall, our best finishes to date. The Stude, being a rally car, is not finished to ‘show’ quality, but we have won a couple of Studebaker Club awards in our class.
“We consider ourselves as a ‘top 10’ team if all goes well. We strive to be ‘in contention’ going in to the last day. Luck plays a big role in how any team finishes, and we all know that. @ time champion Rex Gardner once said to me, ‘This deal is 80 percent luck, 10 percent skill, and another 10 percent more luck!’”