Photos by Andrew Wigdor / News Editor
The Great Race, a cross-country vintage automobile race dating back to 1983, made a lunch stop for the 2017 route in the Cannonsburgh Village on Monday.
According to the Great Race website, the event began when car enthusiasts Tom McRae and Norman Miller partnered to race pre-World War II automobiles across the United States for a cash reward. By 2017, the event has evolved in many ways but has continued to keep the spirit and basic structure that McRae and Miller inspired years ago.
Each team, consisting of a driver and a navigator, is given a set of instructions that directs every speed change, turn, stop and start that the team must make during the day. There are generally 220 to 250 rules per day. There are also four to seven checkpoints along the route that record the exact time that each team passes. The main objective is not to be the fastest but to pass the checkpoints at the correct time.
The Great Race course takes the drivers and navigators across the country, starting in Jacksonville, Florida and ending in Traverse City, Michigan, and there are several stops in various states along the way. The 2017 race lasts until July 2 and includes 149 teams. Among the many drivers and navigators in the race is the Central Magnet School team, led by School Resource Officer Sgt. Scott Culp. The 1953 Pontiac Chieftain driven by the team was purchased by the Middle Tennessee region of the Antique Automobile Club of America. Consisting of five students and graduates, Matthew Norman, Joey Hughes, Hunter Jones, Chris Johnson and Jacob Hendrixson, the Central Magnet School team was the first to enter the lunch stop at the Cannonsburgh Village on Monday.
Before and during the stop, which included music, food and hundreds of vintage cars, the Murfreesboro community and people from across the country gathered to enjoy the event and celebrate their common interest in vintage automobiles.
“I saw an ad for (the lunch stop) in Hemmings Motor News, and I’m really looking forward to seeing all the different cars,” said Landon Griner, 13, ofvWoodberry, Tennessee. “I’ve never been here before, and I’m looking forward to it, mostly to see all the older Ford Mustangs.”
“I just love old cars,” said Bo Reese, 67, ofvGoodlettsville, Tennessee. “I came to one that they had in Nashville about 20 years ago, and I just love the old cars. It doesn’t get any better than this. This is what it’s all about.”
Once the teams rolled into the lunch stop, drivers and navigators were encouraged to enjoy a complimentary lunch and the attendees of the event were encouraged to view the cars that were parked throughout Cannonsburgh Village.
“My son gave me a call from Northern Illinois telling me they were coming through here,” said Russel Egon, 67, of Madison, Tennessee. “So, I came down to see the cars. It’s a great event.”
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