The Germantown Museum

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In Times Past………..
By Andy Pouncey
June 14, 2007

2007 marks the 25th Anniversary of GREAT RACE. Inspired by the legendary “Greatest Auto Race” of 1908, in which six teams raced around the world to prove the viability of newfound automotive technology, the Great American Race was created to give enthusiasts an opportunity to drive their classic cars in a cross-country adventure. 

Great American Race 2007 is a competition of time, speed and endurance for classic cars manufactured in 1969 or earlier. During the race, teams are provided a set of course instructions, which indicate every speed change, stop, start and turn each day. The teams of drivers and navigators attempt to match the “perfect time” established for the course – low score wins!

Remember when the city closed Exeter Road in 2003 and hosted almost a hundred GREAT RACE antique cars? In fact, the city played the role of host so well that the library was given a $5,000 grant, topping all other cities between Livonia, Michigan and Daytona Beach, Florida. 

Great American Race 2007 will travel through ten states and more than 40 communities, and they are coming through Germantown again! On June 30, 2007, over 75 cars will leave Concord, North Carolina, on another 4,000-mile cross-country adventure, arriving in Anaheim, California on July 14th.

In honor of its 75th Anniversary, the 1932 Ford “Deuce” has been named the featured marque for Great American Race 2007.

On Tuesday, July 3rd at 5:55 p.m., the first car will cross the finish line in Germantown and 74 other cars will follow in one-minute increments. The ceremonies begin at 5:30 p.m. and the public may view the cars until 8:30 p.m. They will spend the evening of July 4th in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

And if you like antique cars, drive your own here for display or drive over to look at others brought by local car clubs beginning at 3 p.m. Set up for the locals will begin between 12 and 1 p.m. 

Great Race competitors range in age from 9 – 87 years old. 71% have a 4-year college degree, and 83% own an average of 4 cars. 80% indicated they spend an average of $17,500 on their car hobby annually. Each car will have a back up team ready to perform needed repairs overnight to see that their car is back on the road the next morning.

My wife and I enjoyed the cars even more so because we sponsored one car last time and we wouldn’t miss the opportunity to do it again. For $200 a sponsor has the opportunity to welcome one of the 75 cars crossing the line. Once the car is parked the sponsor shares dinner with the driver and navigator at the Great Hall in the Germantown Centre. For two to three hours they enjoy delicious food, bluegrass music and car talk. Plenty of car talk.

Come to enjoy an event that comes our way only once in a few years. In fact, they are returning because they enjoyed Germantown so much on their 2003 journey. Wave a flag, and help welcome the Great American Race on Tuesday, July 3rd. A great reception will ensure that they will return again! 

Call me about sponsorships at 757.7273. 

Factoid: The event’s longest race took place in 1995, running from Canada to Mexico City and including a visit to all three national capitals.



apouncey@ci.germantown.tn.us

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