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September 22, 2005
The 2005 Colorado Grand
For the un-initiated, the Colorado Grand is the finest 1,000 mile tour in the United States. In it's 17th year, the Colorado Grand was the first of it type patterned after the Mille Migla in Italy sans the insane atmosphere. Limited to 75/85 cars, the entrant vehicles are limited to "1961 and Prior Sports and Racing cars of Distinction", which affords some amazing vehicals. Many of the cars are one of a kind and/or have serious racing heritage. We raise money for many Colorado Charities including the Colorado State Patrol Widows and Orphans Fund, the Robert Sutherland Memorial Foundation and many other deserving local organizations. We are accompanied by the Colorado State Patrol Motorcycle Unit (The Motors) and Sergeant Tim Keeton and as always enjoy getting to meet the motors. We are truly blessed to be able to put on this event here in the state of Colorado and trust that it will continue to operate for many years.

This year's field only included 6 Ferrari cars (one of the lowest number of Ferraris in recent memory on the Grand) including:

1952 Ferrari 212 Barchetta S/N 0158ED - Bill Jacobs
1958 Ferrari 250GT Drogo S/N 0977 GT - Hugh Ruthven
1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Alloy Berlinetta S/N 0555 - Michael Leventhal
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta S/N 2617 GT - Gary Schaevitz
1956 Ferrari 250 GT Competizione Berlinetta “14-louvre TDF Prototype” S/N 0425 - Bruce Lustman
1962 Ferrari 250GT SWB Berlinetta S/N 3695 - Randy Reiss

This years Grand was one for the books with the roads, weather, cars and people as nice as you can ask for. Our route focused us in the Southern half of the state of Colorado allowing us to explore some of the often reached locales in the beautiful state of Colorado. The Grand always starts and ends in Vail with different stops each evening in different localles. Departing Vail, we headed over McClure Pass on our way to our first super lunch stop in Paonia, known for their local wineries and fruit gowing capability. After lunch, we skirted the rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Ridgway and onto our evening stop in Telluride.

Day Two was a short day backtracking to Ridgway onto our first ever lunch stop in the awesome mining town of Ouray. Our only encounter with weather was over the Red Mountain Pass via the Million-Dollar Highway (my personal favorite pass), where Colorado Butterflies fluttered down to cool things off. It was a beautiful site and our first brush with Fall and Winter of 2005. Our stop for pie / Jerky in Silverton allowed us to visit this quaint town (also one of the ends of the Durango Silverton Train line) and rest up from our 50 mile trip... 53 miles later we arrived at our evening destination of the suburb (ok, resort), north of Durango named Tamarron.

The third day we were starring down the barrel of a 282 mile tour which included a trip to the most Southern Colorado town of Arboles andf beginning our Northern trek past Chimney Rock, Pagosa Springs and Wolf Creek Pass and through Slumgullion Pass replete in its turning leaves where we drop in to the very cool remote town of Lake City for Lunch. Did I mention that these lunch stops are the recipiants of a donation from the Colorado Grand and one Scholorship for a lucky student? In turn, the townspeople unveil their Emeril-like cooks to feed us top-notch down-home cooking and hospitality. Just Wonderful. We head to Gunnison and ultimately into the town of Crested Butte to finish our day.

Our final day requires us to return to Gunnison as there's only one road in and out of Crested Butte, over Cochetopa Pass and into Salida for lunch (a favorite of the Granders). Our efforts are very visible here with much of our donations going to the outdoor bandshell. A very welcome suprise was previous Granders, Bud and Terry Spratlen hauling their 250 LWB Spyder up from Denver to display with us and greet old friends. It was wonderful to see them. After lunch, we headed through Buena Vista, Granite, Leadville (the hightest incorporated city in the US) and reluctantly pulled into Vail to end our 1,000 mile oddessy. Friday evening's banquet is centered around the Silent and live auction and the killer slide show presented by Girard-Perregaux and closet-photographer Ron Jackson. One of the links below points to Ron Jackson's photo collection. We were successfull in raising over $70,000 during the evening's events, thanks to many generous donors and Girard-Perregaux whoch donated one mens and one ladies 1 of 1 watch to the Grand to be auctioned off during the live auction. The watches alone brought $35,000! The Colorado Grands purpose is to raise money for Colorado charities and this year should see the Grand top $2m in donations over the 17 years, with last year generating over $200k alone.

Saturday's final event is dedicated to the Concours d'Non-elegance, where the Grand Cars are displayed still in their bugs, dirt and grime. Over 60 cars were displayed including many different car clubs from Denver. How can I sum up this event? Shock and Awe? Overwhelming Pleasure? Hard to describe really, but its the most amazing combination of people, cars, roads, weather and hospitality going. Its a chance to meet up with old and new friends, talk about cars, watches, wine, good food and all things nifty. A hugh round of applause goes to all involved in pulling off this incredible event. Below are galleries from a few folks, many thanks to their contributions.

Ron Jackson's Gallery

Eddie O'Brian's Pictures

Paul Gilpatrick's Photos (Day One & Two)

Paul Gilpatrick's Photos (Day Three)

Paul Gilpatrick's Photos (Day Four)

Paul Gilpatrick's Photos (Day Five)

The Colorado Grand Web Site

Comments

My 2005 Colorado Grand photos and story are available here: http://www.goolsbee.org/tuesday.html