The Great Race is coming through Nocona, Texas
Nocona has been added as a promotional stop on the 2021 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty on Sunday, June 20. The Great Race, the world’s premiere old car rally, will bring 120 of the world’s finest antique automobiles to Nocona for the $150,000 event. This stop will complete a fun-filled weekend known as Cruisin’ Nocona.
Cruisin’ Nocona was started several years ago and has become an annual event for classic car collectors and connoisseurs. A weekend full of classic cars parading through North Texas Hill Country, car show, live music and good ole’ family fun. Cruisin’ Nocona always boasts big fun, and this year is no exception.
What other events are taking place during the weekend of the race?
Besides the Poker Cruise, Classic Car Show and our Classic Burnout, Nocona is hosting numerous family fun events including pony rides, kid’s games, street dance and more. Nocona is also home to several museums:
Horton Classic Car Museum
This classic car museum is an incredible compilation of cars, some of which are the most sought out antique automobiles in the world. Explore three massive building and find automobiles with far out stories. The Corvette collection is something worth seeing – every model from 1953 to 1973 all in one room – very rare collection.
You’ll also find a green 1967 GT500 owned by Carroll Shelby with his signature on the dashboard, 1931 Packard to a Ford GT350 once owned by Bob Segar.
Come see why Nocona is The Official Classic Car Capital of Texas!
Nokona Baseball Glove Factory
Visit the Nokona factory and museum to see how America’s ballglove is made. You will see each part of the process – from leather selection and cutting, to stamping, embroidery, forming, stitching, and lacing.
Tales & Trails Museum
Nocona’s modern Tales ‘N’ Trails Museum offers a vibrant & vivid historic picture of the North Central Texas area through its vast collection of artifacts and photographs.
What is the Great Race?
The Great Race is an antique, vintage, and collector car competitive controlled-speed endurance road rally on public highways. It is not a test of top speed. It is a test of a driver/navigator teams’ ability to follow precise course instructions and the cars (and teams) ability to endure on a cross-country trip. The course instructions require the competing teams to drive at or below the posted speed limits at all times.
Each stop on the Great Race is free to the public and spectators will be able to visit with the participants and to look at the cars for several hours. It is common for kids to climb in the cars for a first-hand look.
In all, the participants in the event will cover more than 2,300 miles in 9 days. The start will be in front of the Alamo in San Antonio, on June 19. The race will finish June 27 in Greenville, S.C. Along the route, competitors will travel through 10 states – Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Teams and cars from Japan, England, Germany, Canada and every corner of the United States will be participating in their vintage automobiles dating back as far as 1916.
How does the Great Race work?
Each day the driver and navigator team receive a set of course instructions that indicate every turn, speed change, stop, and start that the team must make throughout the day (usually 220 to 250 such instructions per day). Along the course route there will be from 4 to 7 checkpoints recording the exact time that the team passes that point. The objective is to arrive at each checkpoint at the correct time, not the fastest. The score for each team is the result of the team’s ability to follow the designated course instructions precisely. Every second off the perfect time (early or late) at each checkpoint is a penalty point. This format is much more mentally demanding than a flat-out cross-country race. GPS or computers are not permitted, and odometers are taped over. This is a test of human mental agility and endurance as well as classic car endurance, rather than programming capability. The course avoids timed segments on interstate highways, opting instead for scenic local, county, and state highways whenever possible through some of the prettiest country in the United States.
Is there an age limit for the cars that can enter the race?
Any car up through model year 1974 is eligible to enter. For purposes of scoring, the older the vehicle, the better the age factor adjustment the team will receive.
What is the oldest car in the race?
It varies from year to year. A 1911 Velie won the event in 2011. In 2012, a 1907 Renault and a 1914 Ford Model T entered the race, and both cars finished. In 2019, a 1909 Buick started and finished the race.
Why was Nocona selected as a stop?
Nocona has a history of cruisin’ in classic cars. The Great Race selected Nocona as an overnight stop because of the love and dedication for classic cars and all things fun.
“The Classic Car Capital of Texas”
Nocona, which is known as the Classic Car Capital of Texas, is also home to the Horton Classic Car Museum. This classic car museum is an incredible compilation of cars, some of which are the most sought out antique automobiles in the world. Explore three massive building and find automobiles with far out stories. The Corvette collection is something worth seeing – every model from 1953 to 1973 all in one room – very rare collection.
“One of the Top 5 Most Fun Small Towns in America – Rand McNally
There’s always something happening in Nocona. From our huge Mardi Gras celebration in February, our Chisholm Trail Rodeo in June, Wheels & Grills BBQ cookoff in September, Halloween, and Christmas fun. Not to mention our Gas Junkies Car Club that puts on car shows and drag races throughout the year. Small Town. Big Fun.
Approximately 100 – 120 classic cars/motorcycles will cruise the hill country with stops along the way including lunch at winery.
4. Community Car Shows
About the Great Race
The Great Race, which began 38 years ago, is not a speed race, but a time/speed/distance rally. The vehicles, each with a driver and navigator, are given precise instructions each day that detail every move down to the second. They are scored at secret check points along the way and are penalized one second for each second either early or late.
Cars built in 1974 and earlier are eligible, with most entries having been manufactured before World War II. A 1916 Hudson Pikes Peak Hillclimber, a 1917 Peerless Racer and a chain-driven 1918 American LaFrance Speedster are the oldest cars scheduled to be in the 2021 Great Race. The winners will again receive $50,000 of the $150,000 total purse.
History: The event was started in 1983 by Tom McRae and it takes its name from the 1965 movie, The Great Race, which starred Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood and Peter Falk. The movie is a comedy based on the real life 1908 automobile race from New York to Paris. In 2004, Tony Curtis was the guest of the Great Race and rode in his car from the movie, the Leslie Special.
The Great Race gained a huge following from late night showings on ESPN when the network was just starting out in the early 1980s. The first entrant, Curtis Graf of Irving, Texas, is still a participant today. The event’s main sponsors are Hemmings Motor News, Hagerty, Coker Tire and Reliable Carriers.
Nocona is steep in heritage. From the thunderous hooves driving the Chisholm Trail to the Native Americans hunting their prey, Nocona has always been an entrepreneurial town. The leather goods industry hosted its first female-owned boot making business in the early 1900s to the world-renowned classic car museum of today. And the only baseball glove factory still in existence in the United States, all right here in Nocona. Nocona celebrates its heritage and entrepreneurial drive bringing new businesses to this small town.
Come see why we are "One of The Top Five Most Fun Small Towns in America".
For more information, go to ncona.org or www.greatrace.com