By Jeffrey Broadus
In January 2018, Grundy Insurance released one of the most in-depth books ever published on tours and rallies called, “The Allure of Rallies and Tours”. This book captures some of the best-known national, international, club, and specialty tours that take place every year. Below is one of many articles that was published in the 1stedition. This article defines the different types of tours offered through club and specialty companies like Vintage Rallies run by our friend Rich Taylor https://www.vintagerallies.com/. Information on ordering a copy of the 64-page book can be found at the bottom of this article. You can also log on to www.Grundy.com and click on the tap under Grundy Community; Tours, Rallies and Events. Then click on our flip-book and see the book in its entirety. The tour group definations are as follows:
ESCORTED GROUP TOURS:
There are usually around 20 cars on an escorted group tour. These are small groups so everyone can meet, chat and get to know each other. In most cases you stay in some beautiful hotels, often smaller, country house hotels or something similar. Each car has a route book, which has detailed written directions, route maps, hotel information, recommended places for coffee/lunch, and everything there is to do, see and visit each day. Some groups provide a road atlas and/or pre-loaded Garmin GPS. There is no convoy driving, or any competition. You are free to drive at your own pace, stopping when you like to see and do what appeals to you. Escorted group tours organize the tour so you’re able to concentrate on enjoying your special car and the driving experience. Dinners are included on most, but not all evenings. In some cases, Classic Travelling Tours for instance, encourages you to try other activities such as wine tasting, concerts, private museum tours, etc.
Some groups offer a tour book for purchase, which allows you to enjoy a driving experience in- dependently, without the hassle and guesswork of organizing. Just use the information provided, book the hotels (all with suitable parking), and enjoy the routes—knowing you’re going to be driving fabulous roads through beautiful scenery and staying in some glorious places.
Hub Tours—also often called Cloverleaf Tours— are tours that use one primary location designated as the base or center of the tour. You use this location and travel back and forth to selected attractions in different directions, usually within an hour or two from the center of the cloverleaf.
Progressive Tours are tours that move from one location to another such as city-to-city or state- to-state. You check into a new hotel each night throughout the length of the tour. The age of cars on the tour will determine the daily drive. Older cars usually plan to cover around 200 miles per day, while new cars might average 400 miles per day.
A rally is a competition run on public roads that requires you to follow driving instructions while performing a task along the way. As a “car person” the chances are good you’ve already run a rally as part of a regional or national club event.
Common forms include the “poker” or “question and answer” rally formats, where you gather playing cards or look for answers along the route. The competition often has more to do with luck than skill, and club events are usually low key and not hard on the car or the passengers. The routes are usually selected for their scenic value rather than long stretches of high-speed running. Plaques or trophies are awarded to the winners with the additional element of bragging rights to their friends.
T-S-D (TIME-SPEED-DISTANCE) RALLIES:
Most car buffs are also familiar with the Sports Car Club of America’s European style “time-speed- distance” (T-S-D) rallies that they’ve been running for over 50 years. These are based on precision: you are still driving on public roads and obeying all traffic laws, but in addition to staying on the route, the ultimate task to perform is to arrive at the finish exactly on time. You’re given the route, time, and distance, and from that you calculate the speed that you need to drive to get there on time. This requires some practice and specialized equipment, plus a navigator who’s good with both math and directions. Current T-S-D club rallies are often held at night and are designed for modern cars and electronic calculators.
Vintage Rallies mixes these formats together to form an intriguing competition suitable for vintage cars, while still requiring precision driving skills. You’re given the speed, the time and the distance. You’re also provided with an elaborate route book, while you provide the pencil, a time of day clock and a stopwatch. Some old car rallies include surprise Checkpoints, which means that you must keep a perfect average the whole time. Vintage Rallies, Inc. uses “Mille Miglia” scoring first developed for the 1977 Mille Miglia Storica rally that honors the original Italian Mille Miglia that began in 1927. Mille Miglia scoring has no surprise Checkpoints and allows you to wait before crossing the finish line at each Checkpoint if you arrive too early. In effect, you can drive as quickly as you dare, then wait at the Checkpoint to record a perfect time. Seconds off, either early or late, dictate your score. The course instructions are not designed to trick you…the skill comes from precisely following the directions, then compensating for obstacles you might encounter on the open road that force you to slow down or stop. How well you compensate and get back to speed is how you win.
SO WHAT QUALIFIES:
Vintage Rallies vehicles can be basic drivers, show-quality restorations, street-legal racing cars, or modified production cars with early speed parts. Your car should be completely reliable and have enough power to hold speeds on steeper hills. The timed portions of the rally are usually held on remote two-lane roads with average speeds at or below the posted speed limits. Your car doesn’t have to be especially fast, just consistent.
To purchase send a check or money order for $20 made Payable to:
% Tour Book
400 Horsham Road
Horsham, PA. 19044
Be sure to include your name, complete mailing address (city, state, zip), email and phone number. Or visit us on the web http://www.grundy.com/tours-rallies-events/