Vintage Car Rally

Coming to Grants Pass June 26

The Great Race is bringing 150 of the world's finest vintage cars to Downtown Grants Pass! Racers from around the world will start arriving at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26. Cheer them on as they compete in this $150,000 event and join them for a Reception and Street Party Downtown.

The Great Race is the world’s premiere vintage car rally. These antique automobiles will cross the day’s finish line at SW G Street in 1-minute increments. G St and 5th St will be closed to traffic. All other streets will be open. Racers are ranked by their ability to follow precise instructions and arrive at checkpoints at the just the right time.

Wednesday, June 26th

5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

SW G Street (near Downtown Welcome Center)

-Vintage Cars Arrive 1 Minute Apart!
-Public Street Viewing

Owl Parking Lot (5th & H Streets)

-Reception & Street Party
-Hosted by The City of Grants Pass
BBQ dinner provided for the racers and dining for the general public at neighboring restaurants

Live Music Featuring 
Danielle Kelly Soul Project


More About The Great Race

The Great Race, which began 36 years ago, is not a speed race, but a time/speed/distance rally. The vehicles, each with a driver and navigator, are given precise instructions each day that detail every move down to the second. They are scored at secret check points along the way and are penalized one point for each second either early or late. As in golf, the lowest score wins.

Cars start – and hopefully finish – one minute apart if all goes according to plan. The biggest part of the challenge other than staying on time and following the instructions is getting an old car to the finish line each day.

In all, the participants in the event will cover more than 2,300 miles in 9 days!

1918 American LaFrance takes the green flag in San Rafael, Calif

The start will be at the Mission Inn in downtown Riverside, Calif., on June 22. The race will finish June 30 in Tacoma, Wash., at LeMay – America’s Car Museum overlooking the Puget Sound.

Each stop on the Great Race is free to the public and spectators will be able to visit with the participants and to look at the cars for several hours. It is common for kids to climb in the cars for a first-hand look.

“There are more than 500 people just in our entourage from all around the world taking part in this incredible adventure!" - Jeff Stumb, Great Race Director

Teams and cars from Japan, England, Germany, Canada and every corner of the United States will be participating in their vintage automobiles dating back as far as 1916.

Along the route, competitors will travel through four states – California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Cars built in 1974 and earlier are eligible, with most entries having been manufactured before World War II. In the 2018 Great Race from Buffalo, N.Y., to Halifax, Nova Scotia, a 1933 Ford pickup truck won the event when it crossed the finish line in downtown Halifax. That vehicle was driven by Jeff Fredette of Tinsley Park, Ill., and navigated by his son Eric. They won $50,000 for finishing first overall.

A 1916 Hudson Pikes Peak Hillclimber, 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 2019 Great Race. The winners will again receive $50,000 of the $150,000 total purse.

1932 Ford Dirt Track Racer of Trevor Stahl and Josh Hull in Wyoming

“When the Great Race pulls into a city it becomes an instant festival!"

Over the decades, the Great Race has stopped in hundreds of cities big and small, from tiny Austin, Nev., to New York City.

The event’s main sponsors are Hemmings Motor News, Hagerty, Coker Tire and Reliable Carriers.

The event was started in 1983 by Tom McRae and it 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 the guest of the Great Race and rode in his car from the movie, the Leslie Special.

The Great Race gained a huge following from late night showings on ESPN when the network was just starting out in the early 1980s. The first entrant, Curtis Graf of Irving, Texas, is still a participant today.

More information about The Great Race can be found on their website, greatrace.com. For more information on The Great Race's arrival on June 26, contact us at 541-476-7574 or office@travelgrantspass.com.

More About The Great Race