Great Race automobile rally rolls through Old Sacramento

Premier old car rally to finish day one of cross-country race in downtown Sacramento

Photo courtesy of The Great Race

Photo Courtesy: The Great Race

SACRAMENTO, CA (June 14, 2016) – Old Sacramento, the historic heart of the city, will be alive with the sights and sounds of 120 classic automobiles as the 2016 Great Race rolls through on Saturday, June 18, 2016. The world’s premiere old car rally has chosen the 1849 Scene near Front and J streets as the ceremonial finish line for day one of this year’s 2,400-mile race along parts of the Lincoln Highway.

The cars will arrive in Old Sacramento starting at 5:15 p.m. at one-minute intervals for two hours, winding their way south on Second Street, west on L Street, then north on Front Street before finishing at Front and J Street near the historic Eagle Theatre. Each vehicle will have a driver and a navigator on board, however, the timed portion of the race will have already been completed outside of Sacramento city limits, so no street closures will be in effect.

“We’re looking forward to having the renowned Great Race stop in Old Sacramento,” said Brooksie Hughes, district director of Old Sacramento. “This is the perfect family event to begin celebrating Father’s Day, and parents and kids, alike, will find something to enjoy. From getting to speak with the drivers, seeing the classic cars up close, or visiting the shops and restaurants, Saturday in Old Sacramento will be fun for the whole family.”

The rally is free to the public and spectators will be able to visit with the participants and look at the cars for several hours. Cars built in 1972 and earlier are eligible, with most entries having been manufactured before World War II. The 2016 winners will receive $50,000 of the $150,000 total purse. Last year’s winner, a 1916 Hudson Hillclimber driven by Howard Sharp, will participate this year again.

“When the Great Race pulls into a city it becomes an instant festival,” race director Jeff Strumb said. “Last year we had three overnight stops with more than 10,000 spectators on our way to having 250,000 people see the Great Race during the event.”

The Great Race, which began 33 years ago and takes its name from the classic Hollywood feature, is not a speed race, but a time/speed/distance rally. The vehicles are given precise instructions each day that detail every move, to the second. They are scored at secret checkpoints along the way and are penalized one second for each second either early or late. As in golf, the lowest score wins.

This year’s overnight stops are, in order, Old Sacramento; Reno; Elko, NV; Evanston, WY; Cheyenne, WY; Rapid City, SD; Sioux Falls, SD; and Cedar Rapids, IA; before finishing in Moline, IL.

Additional information about the event can be found at For all inquiries regarding media opportunities and Old Sacramento, please contact Jordyn Anderson by email at [email protected].