Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Great Race Winds Up at the Landing Today

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Great Race Winds Up at the Landing Today

Article excerpt

It's almost over.

A tad more than 4,000 miles and 13 days after they started the

15th annual MBNA America Great Race in Sonoma, Calif., the

remaining contestants in the cross-country vintage automobile

and truck rally enter their final stage today. They drive from

Tallahassee to Gainesville and on to a finish about 4 p.m. today

in front of The Jacksonville Landing.

Charlie Currie, driver of the oldest car in the event, a 1910

Selden Raceabout, was in first place last night. He said it has

been tough going for the past two weeks, and now the end is in

sight.

"Things are working in our direction now," he said. "I am glad

it's almost over. I don't do well in heat and humidity. She is

running perfect right now."

The event has led these competitors through western Georgia in

the past two days, stopping to great fanfare in Newnan, Columbus

and Cairo before Tallahassee. Seventy of the 84 vintage cars and

trucks that started the cross-country rally have survived and

will roll out at 6:30 a.m. today for the last leg of the race.

The cars will be arriving at the Landing between 4 and 6 p.m.

Some of the entrants will be on display along with local classic

and specialty cars around the Landing.

Officials would not release the route because the entrants only

see their route map minutes before they leave each day.

The rally is limited to cars that date from 1951 and earlier,

and an estimated 400,000 spectators have lined country roads

along the way to watch the entrants vie for part of an overall

$250,000 in prizes. For the drivers, following a preset route

and staying at a preset speed limit through the race had its

pluses and minuses. It's also been very tough on the cars,

including the 1940 Spirit of Jacksonville Buick limousine shared

by Jacksonville entrants Bill Warner and Peter Kirill.

They have had to replace water pump belts and repair a broken

gear shift. …

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