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September 19, 2006
Colorado Grand Day One

After a wonderful registration and “concours” day, we had a brief encounter with the brisk weather that would greet us for Monday Morning.  Registration day is always a ton of fun.  I’ve known folks for so many years, it’s like coming home.  As I have been known to say about many of the super car events, “yes these cars are great, but it’s the people that bring folks back to an event.”  So many wonderful cars and people are joining us for this 18th adventure in the high altitude of Colorado.  This year’s event is a week later than normal, allowing the leaves to turn to their peak for our trip.  It appears that there is a lot of moisture still, and it’s become cold early.  I’m imagining a cold, hard and wet winter.

John Mozart's Alfa 8C 2900
Pictures copyright GP Purist

Tom & Susan Armstrong's Cunningham C-3 Vignale Coupe
Pictures copyright GP Purist

The Machul's Alfa 8C Monza
Pictures copyright GP Purist

Pictures copyright GP Purist

This year’s car that Ron Jackson and I are sporting is a lovely white Chrysler Sebring Cabriolet (convertible).  You see, we are and more importantly Ron Jackson tasked with recording the weeks events in digital photo form, and we tend to take many shots from the back and side of the car, thus our “cabriolet” is essential to the task.  Ron has come completely equipped with everything produced for digital photography by Nikon.  Rumor has it that Nikon’s stock has risen substantially since Ron began collecting these fine instruments.

Blast off from the Vail Cascade Monday was a balmy 25 degrees F, and of course top-down is the only option for these open air vehicles.  We headed east along I-70 towards Silverthorne and then North in search of the town of Walden.  A typically brisk and beautiful zigzag across northern Colorado included a memorable ride over highway 125 and Gore Pass.  The colors were particularly spectacular.  Our intended destination is a quaint little town in the very northern Colorado where we stopped at the town park surrounding the courthouse.  This town is very proud of this fixture and after a renovation from last year it looks great.  When arriving into town we were met by a large number of new sports cars adorned with matching decals.  Porsches of all flavors, Corvettes, Ferrari 430 Spider, 288 GTO and a Gulf-liveried Ford GT were displayed and took up every available spot along the town’s main drag.  The Peak to Peak rally was responsible for all of this loitering.  The Peak to Peak is the brainchild of Harry Mathews, a long-time Denver fixture on the car scene.  A major eclectic collector of many different cars such as a gaggle of important McLarens, Corvettes, Ferraris and other fine racing and sport cars.  Harry is an alum of the Grand and I even sold him my 1961 Ferrari Series II Cabriolet (S/N 3055).

Herford Traffic Jam
Pictures copyright GP Purist

We headed back over the long stretch of pavement allowing the entrants to stretch their ride’s legs.  Along the road we were greeted by a 730-head cattle drive replete with cattle boss and their trusty dogs.  Circumventing these beasts required that a patrol lead the way flashing his lights and swerving back and forth to motivate them to give up the right of way.  Now we were frightfully aware of what we were driving through and around for the previous 2 miles!  What a sight.

Unfortunately there were three fatal breakdowns along the way, a red Porsche caught on fire, a Jaguar D-Type just quit and Decker Swan’s BMW 328’ clutch “froze”.  So, all of the back-up cars were now fully utilized with participants.  We arrived after experiencing a couple of construction zones and one stop by a sheriff of one our participants, Jan Tegler a freelance writer riding with Auto Aficionado Publisher James Lopez in James’ brand new Audi A6.  The Sheriff was hidden in a valley and the end of a curve and there was no chance to slow down.  Ron and I were right behind them, so of course we took pictures…  We arrived in Steamboat Springs once a Mecca for Colorado racers to meet every Labor Day for the Steamboat Vintage Races.  Arriving in town brought back a flood of great memories of this great event and car guy’s weekend.  It seems that the condo owners got the best of things and shut down the races a number of year’s back.  I heard an unsubstantiated rumor that someone has resurrected the concours.  As we pulled into the Sheraton we were all looking forward to a shower and some vittles.

Did I mention that my partner in crime came equipped with two prototype watches that will be produced with for the Colorado Grand???  As it turns out, one is strapped to my wrist and I’m quite enjoying it.  For its size it is much lighter than I expected and is oh so comfortable.  This is going to be a winner and I understand that orders have already been placed.  Thanks again to Ron Jackson & Girard Perregaux for their unbelievable sponsorship this year.  With out too much help this will no doubt set the high water mark for sponsorship for the charities this year.  We successfully avoided the rubber chicken meal and located a local steak establishment and event tried Black Bear sausage!  Ok, I’m ready for tomorrow. Oh, don't forget to check out the GP Purist's Blog at for more information and more importantly photos!


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