I don’t throw around the word “epic” too often, but it is absolutely appropriate for my experience with the Great Race. It’s not normal to drive 3,700 miles in a 13-day span, while taking more than 5,000 pictures of some the world’s finest collector cars ever to compete in a time, speed, endurance rally. For me, it was a two-week stretch of 18 hour work days, traveling from place to place in a mini van. For the people actually competing in the Great Race, it was a little more exciting because they were doing it in pre-1969 vehicles. Although it was an incredible amount of work, we survived and came out of it with about a million good stories.
The beautiful beach front by the Holiday Inn hotel in Traverse City, Michigan. Beautiful skies and ultra-clear water would be a regular thing by the end of our trip.
I’m a car guy, but if you’ve seen many of my posts, then you know I generally like drag cars, nostalgic hot rods and muscle cars. I don’t really get into the restored classic car stuff, although I can appreciate the time and effort spent. With that said, I wasn’t exactly excited to be covering the 2011 Great Race. Most of the cars were restored originals or some sort of hand built speedster that was built to resemble a vintage racecar from the ’30s…either way, it just isn’t my thing. And if you’re not familiar with the Great Race, it’s actually not a race if you want to be technical. It’s a time, speed, endurance rally, meaning that the cars (1969 and older) have to travel a pre-determined route in a particular time. Going too slow is bad and going too fast is bad–it’s all about precision driving. I know I probably should’ve blogged about this while it was still relevant, but I just thought I’d wait until I had some time to really sit down and write for a minute or two. It was a grueling trip and I’m gonna tell you all about it and show off some of the pictures I took along the way.
I guess you could say this is my "famous" shot, since it was on the cover of Hemmings Motor News. This was shot on day one somewhere in North Carolina.
Alright, I usually don’t like to make a big deal about my accomplishments, but I was extremely excited to see the September 2011 issue of Hemmings Motor News show up here at the office. I had sent the folks at Hemmings a disc of photos from the Great Race, but I had no idea one of them would end up on the cover! There is also a six-page coverage from the event inside, so that’s cool, too. It’s a big magazine, and I feel great about shooting the cover image!
My job at Coker Tire required me to go on the Great Race a couple of months ago, and it was a long trip. We started in Chattanooga, Tennessee and ended up in Bennington, Vermont, home of Hemmings. We saw lots of cool scenery and I took several thousand photos during the week-long adventure. Looking back it was fun, but a solid week of 16-hour work days is enough to wear anyone down. Oh, and let’s not forget about the 16-hour return trip! It was a lot of work, but stuff like this cover makes it worth it. Check it out…
Cover of Hemmings Motor News September 2011 issue featuring the Great Race!