The ALLURE of Rallies & Tours 25 Publishing. Between them, Rich and Jean have won 31 International Au- tomotive Media Awards for writing, photography and graphic design. In addition, Rich won the prestigious Ken Purdy Award and was nominated for an IAMA Lifetime Achievement Award. Rich was an active racing driver for over three decades. He started as an AMA Expert motorcycle road rac- er sponsored by Yamaha. He subse- quently raced factory-sponsored cars in SCCA, IMSA, SCCA Pro Rally and the 24 Hours of Daytona, plus vintage racing his own Devin SS, Kellison J-4R and B-Production 1967 Corvette Sting Ray. He won an SCCA Championship with an RX-7 sponsored by Mazda and an Overall Win in the 24 Hours of Nel- son Ledges driving a Saleen-prepared Mustang. He holds an FIA International license and competed at over 85 tracks around the world. Taylor is a Member of SAE Inter- national (Society of Automotive Engi- neers) and an ASE Certified Automo- bile Technician who owns a restoration shop called Minisport. Minisport has created dozens of project cars for auto manufacturers, magazines and private owners, cars that have been displayed at the SEMA show, Detroit Auto Show and New York Auto Show. Cars restored by Minisporthavealsowonawardsatmany National concours, including Amelia Is- land Concours, Greenwich Concours and Lime Rock Concours. A 1967 Ca- maro convertible restored by Minisport was honored by being displayed in the lobby of the General Motors Tech Cen- ter for a year. It’s not surprising that an experience involving a Tour would spark another successful career for the Taylors. In 1991, Rich and Jean went on the Mille Miglia Storica in Italy. When they came home, they decided to host a vintage car rally in New England...more upscale, more select, more personal, more fun. Since that first 1993 event with 23 couples who weren’t exactly sure what they’d got- ten themselves into, Vintage Rallies, Inc. has grown into an ex- tended family group of thousands of car enthusiasts, many of whom keep coming back year after year to see their friends again, enjoy their cars and share another 1000-mile adventure. Their adventures have expanded, too. In2018they’llkickoff their 26th annual New England 1000, 20th annual Texas 1000, and 15th annual Mountain Mille. They also did the Forza Mille V-12 for 10 years and Forza Amelia for 6 years. In 2010, they held their first Northwest Passage in the spectacular Canadian Rockies and in 2015, their first Southwest Passage starting in Santa Fe. In 2017, Vintage Rallies celebrated its 100th majorNationaleventifwecountvar- ious private events they put together for clients like the Checkered Flag 200 group from the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, Mercedes-Benz USA, Fairfield Concours de Elegance, Green- wich Concours, Nutmeg Tour for Autism and a group of Duesenberg owners led by collectorsSamandEmilyMann. Vintage Rallies has a regular crew of over a dozen hardworking men and women who help during the actual events, but everything else is handled personally by Rich and Jean. “It’s still a real Mom and Pop operation,” explains Rich, “and we aim to keep it that way. That’s the only way we know to preserve the personal touch.” Vintage Rallies succeed on many dif- ferent levels. Rich and Jean have donat- edwellover$2,000,000toawidevariety of North American charities. They’ve introduced thousands of car enthusiasts to like-minded friends. They’ve hosted a couple of surprise engagements on their events, any number of birthdays and an- niversaries, at least one house sale and the start of innumerable friendships. They’ve also been responsible for the sale and restoration of literally dozens of vintage sports cars, many bought and restored specifically to bring on rallies. As Rich says, “We like to think we’ve brought some pleasure into the world, made people laugh, shown them a good time,letthemexperienceout-of-the-way places they’d never take the time to dis- cover themselves. If nothing more, we’ve gotten people to drag their old cars out of the barn and use them! Our reward is at the end of the week, when people—es- pecially women who were reluctantly dragged to these events by their husband or boyfriend—say, “That’s the most fun I’ve ever had!” or “This is the best thing we’ve ever done with cars!” Rich and Jean—like Jim Grundy— firmly believe and promote the idea that carsaremeanttobedriven.Bothencour- age club and organization membership and are strong supports of the advance- ment of the collector car hobby. In rec- ognition of their achievements, Rich and Jean Taylor were given the Hemmings Motor News Hobby Hero Award. Jean Taylor VintageRallies_024-025.indd 25 12/23/17 1:06 PM