Would you like to see what a multimillion car looks like? Each year, more than 90 vintage racecar owners take to the road for the annual Colorado Grand Auto Tour – and about every three years, the entourage passes through Moab.
The 28th annual tour will stop for lunch in Moab on Wednesday, Sept. 14. The public is invited to come take a close look at the cars and meet the owners.
“This is truly a rare opportunity to see up close a large collection of cars from around the world,” Moab Rotary Club member Mike Badger said. “These are show cars that rarely come out on the road.”
The Moab Rotary Club is hosting lunch for the drivers at Rotary Park, 680 E. Mill Creek Drive. Drivers will begin arriving at 11:30 a.m., departing for the next leg of their journey by 1:30 p.m.
To view the old-time fancy cars, visitors are encouraged to park on nearby Locust Lane, or in the LDS parking lot and walk through the former Rimrock school grounds where the cars will be on display. Owners will be around during the two-hour lunch break to visit with local residents and talk about their cars.
Local band Millcreek Station, which features Grand County School District Superintendent Scott Crane, Utah State University-Moab Dean Steve Hawks and Grand County Council member Jaylyn Hawks, will perform for the tour members during their lunch. Aarchway Inn donated the use of its tables and chairs for the event.
Vintage car owners travel great distances to participate in the four-day tour through the Four Corners region. Some fly their cars over from Europe for the tour, Badger said.
Each year, the trip begins and ends in Vail, Colorado. This year’s route travels to the Colorado towns of Paonia and Grand Junction, before continuing on to Moab, and then to Telluride, Colorado, according to Silverthorne, Colorado, resident Eddie O’Brien, one of the tour’s founders.
O’Brien said he helped come up with the event years ago while living in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where he was on an economic development committee looking for a special event to boost the economy.
The entire entourage includes 240 people, when you factor in sponsor Mercedes Benz and its support car drivers, eight Colorado Highway Patrol troopers, and maintenance trucks and trailers, O’Brien said.
Badger said Moab benefits from the tour stopping here. For example, the Rotary Club hired Sweet Cravings Bakery and Bistro to provide lunch – paid for by the tour. And, for hosting, Rotary will receive an $8,000 scholarship that will go to a Grand County High School student who plans to attend Utah State University-Moab, Badger said.
The Rotary Club also applied for a $15,000 grant that would go to the Moab Free Health Clinic. Badger said the tour organization will decide about that particular grant request in December.
“All the money stays in Moab,” Badger said.
Helping small towns is part of their mission, O’Brien said. In addition to the $8,000 scholarship, each town where the tour stops receives additional money for a local charity, he added.
The tour has donated more than $5 million over the years to various communities along its routes.
Vintage car tour stops for lunch in Moab on Sept. 14
When: Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Rotary Park, 680 E. Mill Creek Drive
Cost: Free to spectators
To learn more about the tour, go to www.co1000.com.