It should be no surprise, given the high level of anticipation, that the 2016 running of the Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty sold out months ago, as it did one year prior. As a follow-up to last year’s east-to-west run along Route 66, the 2016 time/distance vintage vehicle rally will travers North America on a west-to-east route that will meander on/along the famed Lincoln Highway from San Rafael, California, to Moline, Illinois, passing several of the nation’s most iconic natural and man-made monuments during the epic nine-day adventure. Yet in spite of the sell-out, Coker Tire and Great Race organizers have continued to receive requests to partake in the event, prompting a recent announcement of the return of the Great American Tour.
Established last year, the Great American Tour served multiple purposes, permitting those interested in entering the sold-out Great Race to participate in the trek, while also offering the experience of the renowned rally for newcomers but without worrying about competition. The relaxing tour was a success in its initial venture, prompting four teams from last year to submit entries to this year’s Great Race.
As was the case last year, the 2016 Great American Tour – scheduled for June 15-20 – will run in conjunction with the Great Race. Teams should be arriving in San Rafael, California, on June 15 and, that evening, will be able to partake in the theatrical screening of the 1965 classic “The Great Race.” A full slate of tours are scheduled for Thursday (June 16), including (but not limited to) visits to Bodega Bay, the Golden gate Bridge and Sonoma Raceway. An excursion to Napa is scheduled for Friday before teams are invited to participate in the opening festivities of the Great Race on Saturday (June 18) in downtown San Rafael. The Tour will continue on to Old Sacramento, historic Placerville, South Lake Tahoe, Carson City and other locals before reaching Reno, Nevada on Sunday where the Tour will conclude. Entry in the Great American Tour is limited to just 25 teams (and is limited to vehicles from 1979 or older) and the entry fee includes all meals, attraction entry fees and hotel accommodations.