This past weekend Harald von Langsdorff and myself competed in the 2017 Pumpkin Run rally. This was a time-speed rally held in Millsboro, Delaware and sanctioned by the Northeast Rally Club. This event attracted over 30 cars of every type and age.
The rally weekend started off with a practice rally on Friday afternoon. The wet weather on Friday was a precursor for the weather for the entire weekend. The picture below shows the dull and wet weather that was typical for the weekend at the start of the practice rally on Friday.
Weather On Friday Morning Practice Rally Start
While the cars that competed were all interesting, the Ford two-door business coupes from the 1930s are quite popular and are a good combination of power and age to be competitive in these types of events. Older cars get a scoring advantage, therefore a good performing older car is very desirable car and these Ford coupes are usually very competitive.
Two-Door Business Coupes From The 1930s Are Very Competitive
In the above picture, the greyish car on the left is a 1937 Ford coupe that was crewed by Haverty/Rookey. The car on the right is a 1939 Ford coupe that was crewed by Tourje/Tourje. These are both very nice cars and these teams do quite well in these time-speed rallies.
It is surprising to see all of the different car models that Ford produced in the 1937. A listing of all of the available Ford model variants in 1937 is shown below.
1937 Ford Car Model Line Up
The flathead V8 engines in these Fords give these cars good performance. There appears to be plenty of available performance parts that are available for the engines of these cars. Note that in 1937 Ford had two versions of the flathead V8 engine – the 60 horsepower version and the 85 horsepower version. The 60-horsepower flathead was a new addition to the North American market. Previously this engine had been used in some English Ford models, but not in North America. The smaller 60 horsepower flathead V8 only displaced 136 cubic inches, while the 85 horsepower flathead V8 was larger at 221 cubic inches. Ford had brought the smaller flathead to North America in order to provide a more economical engine as compared to the larger 85-horsepower engine. A few years before, in 1935, Ford had dropped the smaller 4-cylinder engine and the 60-horsepower flathead V8 was seen as a replacement for the smaller 4-cylinder engine.
The picture below shows the flathead V8 engine in Dave Haverty’s 1937 Ford. Note that it has been modified by using Offenhauser heads as compared to the standard Ford heads. Period modifications are permitted in these “Great Race” type rallies. I have seen Dave’s car perform and it is obvious that the engine now puts out significantly more than the 85 horsepower that the original engine put out.
Ford Flathead V8 Fitted With An Offenhauser Head
As I noted above, there was wide variety of cars entered in the rally. The picture below is illustrative of this variety. In the foreground is Harald’s 1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SLC, and down the line is a 1959 Volvo PV544, a vintage Ford oval track racer, a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Indianapolis 500 Pace Car convertible, a 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle, and a 1967 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser. Quite a varied collection of cars!
Harald von Langsdorff With His 1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SLC
Harald & I just did OK in the rally. We had some very good scores (We even won an Ace for a perfect score on one leg of the Saturday portion of the Pumpkin Run rally.) but we also had some higher scores that dropped us down the standings. We are working to try to understand why we had these higher scores on some legs.
Harald & I Won One of Three Aces Awarded On The Saturday Portion
The final results of the 2017 Pumpkin Run rally are shown below. The Overall winners and Pro Class winners was the team of Deering/Deering in their 1935 Ford coupe. They edged out the team of Hudson/Hudson in their 1940 Chevrolet who won the Championship Class.
The SOP (Seat of the Pants) Class was won by the team of Craig/Craig in their lovely red 1999 Jaguar XK8. The Rookie Class was won by Richards/Connor in a Chevrolet Chevelle. Wheatley/Rogers won the Police Class in their 1971 AMC Matador police car in the 1971 livery of the Millsboro Police Department.
2017 Pumpkin Run Rally Final Results
The next time-speed rally sanctioned by the Northeast Rally Club will be the Rally Round The Erie Canal based in Fairport, New York which will be held May 3 – 5, 2018. Based on a previous running of this rally in 2016, this should be a good rally. The field will be limited to 50 cars. For information on how to enter this rally, send me a private email message.
If you have any questions or comments about this post, then please leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot com