The 31st Colorado Grand tour rolled into Salida Friday. The event provides funds for local charities and dazzling onlookers with a variety of vintage sports and race cars at Thonhoff Park in Salida on Friday, Sept. 13.
The five-day, 1,000-mile tour stops for lunch in towns across Colorado, bringing 96 or more, vintage vehicles through the Rockies, with the assistance of the Colorado State Patrol.
The tour this year included such rarities as a 1928 Bentley Vanden Plas, a 1937 MG 7A Roadster, a 1950 jaguar XK120, a 1963 Porsche 356B Cabriolet, and dozens of others.
Eddie O’Brien, one of the event co-founders since 1989, brought his red 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 to the event.
He presided over the award ceremonies, together with the Salida Rotary, event hosts.
O’Brian presented Rotary director Elaine Allemang with a $10,000 check, as well as another check for $8,500 that will provide a graduating Salida High School student with a substantial scholarship for college.
The Rotary will choose the student scholarship, with help from the Chief of Police and a member of City Council, said O’Brien.
Over the four-day event, O’Brien said they have five lunch stops and upwards of a half-dozen “coffee stops.”
According to O’Brian, though it involves a lot of work, the tour is personally rewarding.
“I’ve been doing this so long, I’ve seen all the cars, and I love them, but what I really like is the Colorado Grand people. I’m the community liaison, and to me, my relationships with the towns are absolutely spectacular. I know everybody in all these small towns, and they know me …”
Participant Miles Morris, who brought his 1962 Porche 356B Roadster, said members also delight in the Colorado mountain scenery and getting to know people in the towns they visit. “It’s really delightful,” he said.