FARGO — The Hemmings Motor News Great Race will end this year outside the Fargo Theater on June 26.

The race will kick off in Warwick, Rhode Island on June 18, and “120 of the world’s finest vintage cars” will begin rolling down Broadway in downtown Fargo around 1 p.m., according to a press release from the Fargo-Moorhead Convention. & Visitors Bureau.

La Grande Course is a vintage car rally presented by the Hagerty Drivers Club. It has a 39-year history and has so far traversed 46 of the 48 contiguous United States, race director Jeff Stumb said in the press release.

“In 2022, the Great Race will finally be able to add the final two states to its schedule, Rhode Island and North Dakota,” Stumb said.

The nine-day, 2,300-mile itinerary will visit 19 cities in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota.

“We are also thrilled to have the arrival in downtown Fargo, one of the most exciting cities in America. Downtown Fargo, which has seen crowds in the tens of thousands at two occasions for College GameDay, is fantastic,” said Stumb.

Teams and cars from Japan, England, Australia, Germany, Canada and the United States will travel to Rhode Island in mid-June with vintage cars dating back to 1916.

La Grande Course is not a speed race, but a rally of time, speed and distance. Each vehicle will have a driver and a navigator who will receive precise instructions every day.

Teams are scored at secret checkpoints along the way and are penalized one second for every second ahead or behind.

As in golf, the lowest score wins.

A 1941 Cadillac drives through a crowd in Fairport, New York.

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Cars built in 1974 and earlier are eligible, but most entries are vehicles built before World War II. The race has a total purse of $150,000.

“When the Great Race comes to a city, it becomes an instant festival,” Stumb said. “Last year we had several night stops with over 10,000 spectators en route for 250,000 people to see the Great Race during the event.”

The event was started in 1983 by Tom McRae, and it takes its name from the movie “The Great Race”, starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood and Peter Falk. The film is a comedy based on the real 1908 car race from New York to Paris.


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