FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Elizabeth Evans
Cahoon & Cross
Phone: (757) 705-7153
Elizabeth City, N.C. Selected as Stop for Great Race Antique Car Rally, June 25 at Waterfront Park
(Elizabeth City, N.C., April 2, 2014) -- Gentlemen, and women, start your engines! More than 100 antique automobiles will cruise into Elizabeth City, N.C., June 25, as a featured lunch stop during Hemmings Motor News Great Race, the world’s premier antique car rally.
Now in its 31st year, the race begins June 21 in Ogunquit, Maine. Driving vintage cars, such as Hudsons, Model-Ts and classic coupes, the competitors will travel 2,100 miles down the Atlantic Coast, passing through 13 states, before finishing in The Villages, Fla., on June 29.
“We are accustomed to having visitors arrive by car or boat here in the ‘Harbor of Hospitality,’ but this is the first time we will have such a fantastic showing of antique automobiles at one time,” said Charlotte Underwood, director of the Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We plan to roll out the welcome mat and show these drivers a good time!”
The race is presented by Hagerty, a company that specializes in insurance for antique and vintage automobiles. The Elizabeth City lunch stop at Waterfront Park is sponsored by Perry Auto Group DBA Performance Chevrolet & Carolina Chrysler Dodge Jeep, with support from the Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Cars built prior to 1972 are eligible to participate, with most entries having been manufactured during World War II. According to event organizers, the Great Race 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 their moves down to the second. They are scored at secret check points along the way and are penalized for arriving too late or too early. As in golf, the lowest score wins. The 2014 winners will receive $50,000 of the $150,000 total purse.
For the Elizabeth City stop, the motorists will begin arriving at Waterfront Park after 11:30 a.m., at one-minute intervals, and stay until 1 p.m. Spectators may visit with the participants and view the vintage automobiles. All Great Race stops are free to the public.
“When the Great Race pulls into a city it becomes an instant festival,” Race Director Jeff Stumb said. “Last year we had 30,000 spectators at the start in St. Paul and another 10,000 people at the overnight stop in Cape Girardeau, Mo.”
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.
For information on the Great Race, visit www.greatrace.com.
Elizabeth City is the “Harbor of Hospitality®”
Elizabeth City is located in Northeastern North Carolina on the Intracoastal Waterway, halfway between Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks. Known as the “Harbor of Hospitality,” the city has six National Register Historic Districts and is home to the Museum of the Albemarle, The Center at Arts of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City State University Planetarium, Port Discover Hands-on Science Center and one of the largest U.S. Coast Guard air stations in the Continental United States. Nature-based travelers are drawn to the area’s proximity to Dismal Swamp and the abundance of outdoor recreational offerings. For additional information, call Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-866-ECity-4U (1-866-324-8948) or visit DiscoverElizabethCity.com. For up-to-the-minute info on happenings and events visit ElizabethCityHASIt.com.