Festivals & Events June 18, 2018

Everything You Need To Know About the Grand Finish of the Great Race in Halifax

This Canada Day, the Halifax Waterfront will be decked out with antique cars as The Great Race hits the Halifax region!

Here is everything you need to know about the 35th annual Great Race!

What is The Great Race?

The Great Race is an annual event for antique, vintage and collector car enthusiasts to showcase their cars. Founded in 1983, the race was created to get old cars out on the road with the added incentive of competing for a large purse (The 2018 winner will walk away with $50,000). Learn more.

2018 Route: Halifax or Bust!

This year’s race will begin on June 23rd at the Pierce Arrow Museum in Buffalo, New York. Over the next 8 days, the contestants will then follow a route that winds through New England and into Atlantic Canada before ending in Halifax at the Waterfront Warehouse on Canada Day. As the fireworks light the night sky, the winning team will win receive the $50,000 grand prize.

Typically the second to last day of the race would be comprised of around 100 miles (160km) however, since this put the drivers in Truro, which could not accommodate the  300 contestants + support teams, the cars will make their way to Dartmouth.

On June 30th you can go see all the cars on display at the Canada Day Eve celebrations at Alderney Landing.

It’s not a traditional car race…

Since older cars aren’t made for the speed and durability needed to race for time, the routes are designed to not only showcase the older cars but made to ensure that the older machinery will withstand the journey.  To do so, the race avoids interstates and instead takes a more intricate route through the back roads for a scenic journey. Because of this, the cars are not judged on speed and the entire race is speed-controlled.

The Great Race

If it’s not a speed race, how does it work?

The competitors are not judged on speed, but instead accuracy. Each day the race regulators provide the contestants with a list of guidelines, these guidelines include turns, speed changes and start and stop locations – there can be upwards of 250 guidelines a day! Drivers are awarded points based how closely they adhere to the guidelines.

There are numerous checkpoints throughout the daily routes, at which the drivers time is recorded. Each driver receives points based on if they arrive at the check point according to the correct time laid out in the guidelines, not because they arrived the fastest.

The Great Race

Each car has a two-person team

Contestants enter in teams of two. In each car there is a driver, who actually drives the car, and a navigator to ensure that all the guidelines are followed… and in true old fashion style there are NO GPS’s or computers allowed. To really put the teams skills to the test, even the odometers in the cars are covered!

The Great Race

The Older the Car the Better

If your car model is newer than 1972, you’re out of luck. All cars entered must be dated prior to 1972,  but the older the car the better for your overall score.

The oldest car in this year’s race is a 1916 Chevrolet Baby Grand, however in recent years, the oldest car to finish the race was a 1907 Renault.

1907 Renault – The Great Race


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