Trans-America Rally Passes Through Old Forge, New York

On Thursday June 11 I drove up to Old Forge, New York to meet up with the Trans-America Rally.  The cars were planned to get into Old Forge around 4:30PM, but the cars were delayed for more than 1 hour due to some Canada/USA border crossing delays in coming from Quebec City and two roadblocks as a result of a massive search for two escaped convicts.  I got to Old Forge early and I was able to set up my camera east of Old Forge in a good place.

I was pleasantly surprised when a rally buddy, Mike Mazoway, came along and we shot the breeze for while waiting for the rally cars to show up.  While I was there I had several local cars and one motorcycle stop to ask me if I had my camera set up to take pictures of “the moose”.  Apparently the nearby pond has been known to be visited by “the moose”.  I told the people that I was taking pictures of rally cars, but promised to take pictures of “the moose” should it make an appearance.  It didn’t.

In particular I had traveled to the rally to meet up with Michael Eatough, a competitor in the rally, with whom I have been exchanging emails for about a year.  Michael’s car is shown below.


Michael Eatough’s 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230S

Michael has a 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230S that is FIVA registered as a completely stock car.  The car has never been restored and is in excellent shape.  The car has the well-known Mercedes-Benz reliability, but as it is a standard car, it suffers on the race track tests from having no performance modifications to the engine.


Emil Ensink/Maria Ensink-Droge’s 1976 Mercedes-Benz 280SLC

The Mercedes-Benz 280SLC shown above has the lighter weigh performance of the SL models but the slightly longer wheelbase of the SLC model provides space behind the front seats for storage of luggage and spare parts.  I had the opportunity to enjoy some adult beverages in a local pub with the owner of this car, Emil Ensink of the Netherlands, who has driven the Mercedes-Benz 280SLC in a number of rallies around the world and who has another marathon rally on his plate later this year in South Africa.


Clint & Dawn Smith’s 1967 Jaguar E-Type

The Jaguar E-Type shown above is doing very well in the rally.  It current sits in the fourth position in the Overall standings.

The Endurance Rally Association brings along their own trucks from England for use by their event mechanics and doctors in the rally.  I saw into the back of one of the trucks used by the event mechanic/sweep teams and I saw that they have a wide variety of tools and other equipment to help provide some first aid to cars that break down.


Endurance Rally Association Support Truck

The 1961 Ford Galaxie Sunliner shown below is entered by a couple from New Zealand.  The car however was recently purchased in Cleveland, Ohio where it was prepared for the Trans-America Rally, then driven down to Halifax, Nova Scotia for the beginning of the rally.  It has a 352 cubic inch V8 engine that has been fitted with a new four-barrel carburetor.


Stephen Partridge/Corgi La Grouw’s 1961 Ford Galaxie Sunliner

The Bentley shown below is a very impressive vehicle.  It is a very large and substantial vehicle and gives the impression that it is truly up to rigors of a marathon rally.  In addition, it is crewed by a very experienced rally team.


Martin/Olivia Hunt’s 1927 Bentley 4 1/2 Le Mans

The Triumph Stag shown below is leading the rally.  The crew is very experienced having won the pre-1941 class in the last Peking-to-Paris rally in a late 1930s Chevrolet sedan.


Phil Garratt/Kieron Brown’s 1977 Triumph Stag

The Holden EH shown below is an interesting car.  Holden of Australia is a General Motors company and often there are some similarities between Holden’s cars and the Chevrolet cars in North America.  This car had styling similarities with the Chevy II cars of that era, but I think that the Holden is slightly smaller.


Mike Killingsworth/Mike Armstrong’s 1964 Holden EH

I enjoyed my short visit with the Trans-America Rally in Old Forge.  I will have more about this rally in the upcoming days.  The competitors that I talked to were all enjoying the rally despite some periods of rain.  They are all having fun, enjoying meeting both old friends and making new friends, and looking forward to the parts of the rally that are still ahead of them.

For more information about the Trans-America Rally check out the event website by clicking on the link below.

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2 Responses to Trans-America Rally Passes Through Old Forge, New York

  1. Mike Mazoway says:

    It was fun catching up with you in Old Forge. Cathy had a great time too. I went out on Friday and caught up with Frank Beyer and saw the cars on the gravel regularity sections. We then went on to Sodus Bay to catch them at lunch. What a great group. Now I have running this event on my bucket list.

  2. Tim Winker says:

    Need an update from the Trans-America Challenge. I have a story and photos from the event as it passed through Minnesota.

    Send me an email.

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