The 24th annual Colorado Grand made its lunch stop in Hotchkiss on Friday, Sept. 14 at the Delta County Fairgrounds. The Colorado Grand covers a 1,000-mile route which began and ended this year at the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa.
Owners ship their cars to the starting location. The Colorado Grand was held from Sept. 10-15 giving the drivers and co-drivers a scenic drive.
While car enthusiasts love to come out and admire and dream about the classic race cars and the participants enjoy a delicious lunch provided by the Hotchkiss Chamber of Commerce, the members of the Colorado Grand give out incredible donations. This year they raised their $3,500 scholarship to $5,000 which will be given to a senior at Hotchkiss High School. Colorado Grand has given over $3.4 million in donations totally, including over $1 million to the Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation. The Colorado State Patrol accompanies the drivers throughout the tour.
This year people were able to see famous-named cars from around the world — Jaguar, Ferrari, Alvis, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Aston Martin, Cunningham, Lancia, Cobra and Shelby Cobra.
Richard and Joanne Hansen from Illinois came in their robin-egg blue 1957 Jaguar XK140MC Drophead Coupe Convertible. The tour has taken them to Vail, Walden, Ridgway, Ouray, Silverton, Durango, Telluride and Hotchkiss. The Hansens have done the rally 20 times. Hotchkiss is always one of their favorite stops. Richard said their car, which was fully restored 1-1/2 years ago, had severe overheating problems because of a faulty thermostat. He put over 1,500 miles on it back in Illinois and it didn't overheat, but it boiled over in the Colorado mountains. After its repair last Thursday night, it was running great on Friday.
What is it like to drive a vintage Jaguar? "Oh it's wonderful. They handle well. What you have to do is compare these cars to the cars you could buy in 1957 — two-seater performance cars. There were only two, the Corvette and the Thunderbird. And they were both good cars, but they couldn't handle quite as well as a Jaguar for example," Richard said. "When Jaguars first came out in 1948, they were the stars of all the auto shows. All the famous movie actors had to have one. Clark Gable had one."
The Jaguar is made in Coventry, England.
Garrett Bouton drove a 1939 SS100 Jaguar. It was painted in British Racing Green. "It was called the model 100 because it was the first production car to go 100 miles an hour," Bouton said. He has been clocked at 99 miles per hour.
"The SS is a fascinating thing because the name of the car before the war, when this car was built, was not Jaguar. It was Swallow Sidecar," Bouton said. The company started out making sidecars for motorcycles before starting to make cars. His car came off the factory line in January 1939. By April the company converted to war production. About 116 of this type with the big engine for racing were hand-built before the war began. Of the 116, it is believed that 15 or 16 still exist and are being driven today.
The car has the SS logo for the car company, but due to Hitler's use of "SS," the company did not want to continue with their name after World War II, so they renamed their company Jaguar.
All the cars that participate in the Colorado Grand are pre-1960 vintage sports cars.
The Colorado Grand alternates years that it has its North Fork Valley lunch stop either in Hotchkiss or Paonia.blog comments powered by Disqus