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21.10.2021 09:32    Comments: 0    Categories: Chamber News      Tags: the great race  antique cars  event  

The Great Race, the world’s premiere old car rally, is coming to Parry Sound, Ontario, on Monday, June 25, 2012, and is expected to bring up to 100 antique automobiles to the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame as part of a lunch stop.


The event, which starts in Traverse City, Mich., and circles the Great Lakes through Canada before finishing in Dearborn, Mich., is free to the public and will last for several hours beginning around 10:30 a.m.


Parry Sound is the first stop on Day 3 on the nine-day international trek. The Parry Sound Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to be assisting in the planning.



“We’re extremely proud that the Great Race has selected our area to host their event”. “This event will be a primary marketing tool for our area to the northern United States as well as Ontario and when you combine this with efforts such as the hosting of Breakfast Television by Georgian Bay Country and others we’re certainly highlighting what our area has to offer.”

      - Andrew Ryeland, President of the Parry Sound Area Chamber of Commerce 


“This is an excellent event for our area and will provide North American coverage showcasing not only our area but the warmth and enthusiasm of our residents and visitors alike” 


“We will be working closely with organizations such as the Town of Parry Sound, the municipalities of The Archipelago, Carling and McDougall as well as Seguin as the race will be passing through these Municipalities via the 400. We will also be working closely with the Downtown Business Association, Georgian Bay Country and others to ensure that we host a fantastic event”

      - Perry S Harris, Executive Director of the Parry Sound Area Chamber of Commerce



Ed and Brenda Hurst  of Greensburg, Pa., has participated for several years in their 1932 Chevrolet sedan.


The Great Race, which began 30 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 second 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, organizers say.


The first car is expected to arrive around 11 a.m. and another car will arrive each minute for the following hour and a half. The cars will remain parked to allow spectators to visit with the participants and to look at the cars. It is common for kids to climb in the cars for a first-hand look. Cars range in age from 1911 to 1969, with most having been manufactured before World War II.  Over the decades, the Great Race has stopped in hundreds of cities big and small, from tiny Austin, Nev., to New York City. But the race has never been to this part of Canada.


The stop in Parry Sound will be the third in Canada on this year’s race. It will begin in Sudbury that morning and stop in Barrie overnight. The racers will spend the next three days in Canada before re-entering the U.S. at Thousand Islands, N.Y.


The Great Race 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 and will be racing a 1916 Packard again this year.


The event’s main sponsors are Hemmings Motor News, Hagerty Insurance, Coker Tire and Passport Transport.


For more information, go to  


The entire field of cars in the 2011 Great Race parked in front of the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey, Pa.

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