Bob Resch. Purple Walrus Press.
If unique is what you seek, Depot Town was the place to be.
Thursday afternoon and evening was a meeting of the minds for car
buffs, gear heads and about 1000 spectators from in and around
Ypsilanti as the Great Race paid a visit to Depot Town. There was
the unmistakable smell of oil and grease. The rumble of an 8 cylinder
'36 Packard 120B Coupe. The putter of a '32 Model A Ford and the purr
of a '63 Jaguar E-type. These are just some of the cars that turned
heads, elicited ooh and ahhs, and drew smiles of satisfaction.
Now to the nuts and bolts! The Great Race is the premier 2,300 mile
endurance rally for more than 120 pre-1972 vintage cars. It runs from June 24-July 2
and this year covers 19 cities starting in Jacksonville, Florida and hitting the finish line in Traverse City,
Michigan. The free event allows spectators to get an up close and
personal view of some eye-catching, classic vehicles and talk to the
drivers. Ted Stahl from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, owns and is the
navigator of a fiery red 1967 Pontiac GTO. Ted told me that it's been
a few years since the Great Race stopped in Ypsilanti, and since the
route changes year to year, it may be a few more years before The
Great Race is scheduled to come back.
All the restaurants in Depot Town were abuzz with activity as patios
were packed with thirsty and hungry customers who applauded the cars
as officials directed them to their parking spots outside of
Sidetrack, The Maiz Cantina, Café Ollie and Aubree's and street
parking well past the clock.
More than $150,000 will be awarded to the winners of the Great Race.
The winnings will be split among several classes with the Grand
Champion taking home $50,000. A very nice payday I must say!
It's remarkable to see these old cars still up and running. Shining
like diamonds. The forefathers of the modern day auto industry.
They're full of life and road stories. They can still rock hard. They
speak in muffled and sometimes bombastic tones. Today they were
pressed, dressed and ready for success. Forever young and proud to
roll from town to town.
In my humble opinion, just making it to the finish line makes EVERYONE
a winner in the Great Race!