Friday, June 10, 2011

One Day Until the Great Race: Chattanooga

We finally made it to Chattanooga.  The car is still being worked on as I type this, but we've been promised that it'll be ready to go by tomorrow.

Our day started with waking up at 6am to get ready to meet Charlie and Tommy from the Great Race at Walker Chevrolet to pick up the car and head to Chattanooga at 7:00.  After getting the car on the trailer we made a b-line for Chattanooga so that the people there could get to work on the car as soon as possible.  We pulled in at around 11 (we lost an hour going from central to eastern time).

From the moment that we stepped out of the trailer, we were completely overwhelmed by all things Great Race.  I stepped out of the truck and almost walked right into the most beautiful Jaguar E-Type that I'd ever seen.  Truly love at first sight.  We then proceeded to meet our Great Race mentors (Pat and Pat Brothers), Corky Coker of Coker Tire fame, Jeff Stumb (Director of Cities/Entries for the Great Race, one of the guys who helped us get the car here in the first place, and fellow Great Racer), as well as numerous other people all while we pushed the Corvette into Honest Charley Speed Shop to finally fix the bearings and spline, and have the car inspected.  Jeff led us into Coker Tire where we finished our registration and caught the tail end of rally school.

Since we didn't have a car to participate with in the warm up rally, we rode shotgun with Tom and Faye Littrell in their 1952 Hudson Hornet so we could learn what we could from them.  Despite taking a wrong turn or two, Tom and Faye did a great job in helping us learn the ins and outs of rallying.  It is much easier to understand when you're actually in the car rallying.  We also got to see some beautiful parts of Tennessee off of the highway at the same time.

We got back from the warm up rally and went straight to dinner in Coker Tire's museum.  The museum was quite something.  It held a large number of vintage cars and pre-war motorcycles from Corky's personal collection.  Dinner was also held at the same time as a silent charity auction.  There were a few items auctioned off live, one of which was the custom Duckloe Brothers' chair with the Great Race logo which we donated.  All of the proceeds of the auction went to help a local non-profit organization that serves people with autism.  After that, we had a quick meeting to go over how tomorrow would work and then we were all dismissed to head back to the hotel to get a good night's rest.

Anyways, I'll stop boring you with all my writing and throw in some pictures.  I apologize for the poor quality of some of the photos.  I didn't have time to grab my camera when we went on the warm up rally so I took pictures with my cell phone.

A picture of the Corvette missing a wheel on a lift at Honest Charley Speed Shop.  The guys at the shop were great!

Unloading the Corvette when we arrived at Coker Tire.

That Jaguar E-Type along with a few other Great Race cars at today's lunch stop at Wendy's.  I think I spent about 5 minutes in the parking lot drooling over that car.

The Littrell's 1952 Hudson Hornet that we rode along in for today's warm up rally.  Everyone that we passed along the route seemed to love it.

Corky Coker helping to auction off the chair at dinner.  

I'm really looking forward to starting the rally tomorrow, I can't believe it's finally here.  I think Dad and I understand enough to get us going tomorrow and we'll definitely learn more as we go.  I am nervous but we'll do our best and I'll be happy just to finish.

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