Celebrating its 26 year, the Colorado Grand continues to captivate all involved with its scenery, roads, cars, people and all-absorbing atmosphere. This magical event was originally inspired by participation in the Mille Miglia Storica by the late Bob Sutherland and Mike Dopudja who sought to showcase Colorado at a somewhat more leisurely pace and raise money for Colorado charities. Recognizing the need for event support they recruited Captain Larry Tolar of the Colorado State Patrol and our primary charity, the Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation was adopted.
The recipe breaks down like this; gather 85, pre-61 sports and racing cars of distinction piloted by sporting enthusiasts from around the world. Coordinate these participants to rendezvous in Vail and armed with a world-class route book, navigate a thousand miles of stunning scenery and roads over four days. Add a dash of Colorado culture with lunch stops at various small towns along the route that include local homemade food and hospitality. Gently fold in the fall weather and turning leaves and allow to set up. Top it all off with our unique Concours d' Non-Elegance, nestled in the Switzerland-inspired Lionshead area with the cars displayed wearing their road wear proudly.
As for the 85 total cars, 16 of them were some of Maranello's finest. The earliest Ferrari was the 1949 166 MM Touring Barchetta, S/N 0022M owned by David Seielstad who brought his wonderful Barchetta from Hawaii (which also solidified David for the long distance Ferrari honors). The Barchetta is noted as the first Ferrari ever shown at a concours taking first in class at the Concours d'Elegance Lido in Venice in 1949, presented in its original black with green goat-skin upholstery. The car raced in 11 events in Italy, Monte Carlo, and Portugal, placing 10th overall and 3rd in class in the 1951 Targa Florio.
Other Ferrari cars of note include Jimmy & Lisa Dobbs III's 1952 212 Inter Vignale Coupe, S/N 0239 EU-0292 MM which was decorated in its 1952 La Carrera Panamericana Sinclair livery, back for its second time. We had two 410 Superamericas stuffed with Lampredi 4.9-liter power plants including Jack and Debbie Thomas' Series I, S/N 0479 SA, a 1956 Turin show car that wound up with the Saudi Arabian royal family, and Lammot DuPont's fascinating Series II Superamerica, S/N 0713 SA built on the short 2600 mm chassis. Ordered for Richard Wolfe of Columbus, Ohio a Mercedes-Benz collector, who had the factory fit some unique features including 300SL bumper guards and taillights, steering damper, and rear-view mirrors. He also ordered a compass, a Blaupunkt radio with reverberation unit, a Halda trip computer, and dual rear-window wipers. The car was shown at the 1957 Chicago Auto Show and the Sebring 12-hour race.
Filling out the monstrous 4.9-liter entries was my personal favorite, Wayne & Graceia Golomb's 375 MM Plus PF Cabriolet Speciale, S/N 0488 AM. Delivered on New Year's Eve 1954 to King Leopold II of Belgium, this strikingly beautiful Cabriolet is also quite startling when running. It is a magic moment when expect to hear a mild-mannered touring motor but instantly you are transported to the pits at Monza when the belching 340hp is lit up.
Repeat Granders John & Heather Mozart brought their Testa Rossa 59/60 Fantuzzi Spyder, S/N 0770 TR, a factory team car, driven by Phil Hill, Olivier Gendebien, Dan Gurney, Tony Brooks, Wolfgang Von Trips, Richie Ginther, and Pedro Rodriguez. In it, Hill set the fastest lap at the Nürburgring in 1960 (the long course). 1960 it finished second overall in the 1960 Buenos Aires, 1000 Km with Von Trips and Ginther at the wheel.
Longtime Granders Michael and Katharina Leventhal brought their 1956 250 GT LWB Alloy Berlinetta, S/N 0555 GT. Notable races include seventh overall in the 1957 Mille Miglia and fifth overall in the 1957 Trieste Opicinia Hillclimb. It would enjoy considerable success at Italian hill climbs and races from 1958 to 1961, including the 1959 Targa Florio, where it garnered a ninth overall and first in the GT class.
Another rare sight was Lee Harrington's 1958 250 GT Speciale, S/N 0853 GT. Finished in Swedish Blue by Pinin Farina for Prince Bertil of Sweden, is one of five, Ferrari-built stunning bespoke 250 PF coupe Speciales; this final one is considered to be the PF Coupe prototype. There are numerous unique features including the ¾ glass window treatment and rear tail light treatment. Lee, a perennial concours participant chose the Colorado Grand for his touring debut.
Additional 250 GT's included Hugh Ruthven's 250 GT Drogo, S/N 0977 GT that completed its 25th Colorado Grand and Robert Kauffman's 250 GT Boano Coupe, S/N 0609 GT, the 14th of 18 low-roof alloy-bodied coupes. There were two, 250 GT Series II PF Cabriolets brought by Parker Hall with S/N 2703 GT and S/N 2099 GT brought by Chris Marsico.
Finally, we had five 250 GT SWBs, including three early alloy cars; Joshua Feiber's 1960 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Alloy, S/N 1813 GT, a repeat Targa Florio entrant from 1960-1962, and a third in class at the 1960 Trieste-Opicina Hillclimb; Chris Andrews' 1960 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Alloy, S/N 2033 GT the 30th of 167 such cars constructed, raced in Italy by its first owner in 1960 and 1961 before being sold in 1962 to race-car driver Lorenzo Bandini and Jerry Lynch's 1960 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Alloy, S/N 2095 GT. Jerry's SWB had an extensive racing career beginning a week after delivery primarily in enduros, finishing third overall at the 1961 Mille Miglia and second overall at the 1961 Coppa Sant'Ambroeus. Long events such as the Coppa Intereuropa, Targa Florio, Nürburgring and Spa were its specialty. Jerry bought the car in 1974, had it restored, then raced it at the Monterey, Road America, and Steamboat Springs for many years. Lawrence Bowman brought 250 SWB Berlinetta 61/Comp, S/N 2767 GT, one of only 21 SEFAC Hot Rods built, enjoying an illustrious racing career in Europe in 1961 to 1962. And last, but not least, Randy Reiss' late 250 SWB Berlinetta S/N 3695 in stunning fly yellow.
This year's 1,000 miles were primarily focused in Northern Colorado with our day 1 start from Vail, through the Yampa Valley, over Gore Pass and down into a Lake Dillon for a much welcomed hot lunch to take the edge off a soggy ride. The afternoon was highlighted by ski resort tour including the trek up to the Loveland Pass summit, elev. 11,990 ft. and past Arapahoe Basin (which will became the first ski resort to open this year) and Copper Mountain on our way to Leadville, America's highest city (10,152 ft.) for a coffee stop at the historic Delaware Hotel. We continued on over Tennessee pass, past Ski Cooper and the historic Camp Hale, established by the U.S. Army in 1942 as a winter-troop training base and back down into Vail for the end of our first day.
Day 2 began with a beautiful day's run over Vail Pass to Breckenridge, over Hoosier Pass and into Salida for lunch. The afternoon was highlighted by a stunning drive by Twin Lakes and up Independence Pass (12,095 ft.), the highest paved crossing of the Continental Divide and into Aspen to ultimately end our day in Snowmass.
Our third day headed us north through Glenwood Springs and through the Piceance Creek Basin and into Meeker for lunch. We continued on to Craig through the Yampa Valley with a coffee stop at the Carpenter Ranch, a 1,000 acre ranch operated by The Nature Conservancy for our evening's destination in Steamboat Springs.
Our final driving day included a route over Rabbit Ears Pass to Kremmling, through the Arapahoe National Forest with a short coffee stop respite at the C Lazy U Ranch, an incredible 8,500 acre, luxurious dude ranch. The remainder of the morning took us over Willow Creek Pass and into Walden for lunch where we were treated to among other things, local wild game faire appetizers highlighted by pheasant crostini! With only 134 remaining miles, we collectively reflect on this glorious week of our enchanted forest adventure and cannot hold back a big smile as we high-five our successful completion of another Grand (my twentieth). Our final evening's banquet provides platform to present our awards, thank our sponsors, volunteers, motors and devoted organizing team. Up early on Saturday we prepare for the concours d' Non-Elegance and display our bug-splattered vehicles in the European-styled Lionshead mall for all to see. Thanks to our very generous participants and sponsors, all indications are showing that we will have another record year of returning much needed support to very deserving charities.
Who would have ever thought that after 26 years such a marvelous event would continue to be going so strong. Thanks for a great article Paul.
Drive safe and enjoy life.as it has an expiration date.. Larry